Essential Oils and Acupressure: The Positive Effects on Migraine

Essential Oil for Migraines

By now, most of us are familiar with essential oils. And many of you even use them on a regular basis. I have found that they are so useful in so many ways and can be a powerful ally for keeping me healthy and happy.

Aside from diffusing, slathering and massaging the oils, there is another way to use essential oils to help relieve migraines that I have found very helpful for my patients. And that is to use them on specific acupressure points.

Using an essential oil and placing it on certain acupressure points works synergistically and can enhance the benefits of both modalities.

There are a number of wonderful essential oils that can help relieve migraines and they each work in different ways. It is important for you to find your “recipe” of points and oils that work for you. Here is a great way to get started.

How to use essential oils on acupressure points:

Simply place the essential oil on your fingers or directly on the acupressure point and press just enough to feel the pressure but not enough to hurt.

You want the body to accept the oil and the therapeutic benefits of your touch. Then hold the point for 2-3 minutes. Breathe deeply and calmly and enjoy taking time for your self-care.

Essential oils and Acupressure points

Lavender is famous for its ability to relax and calm us when we are stressed.

That’s because it is an autonomic nervous system regulator and systemic nervous relaxant. Plus, it has analgesic, (pain relieving) qualities as well being a spasmolytic, meaning that it can reduce spasms and cramps. This is where it comes very handy for migraines where there is tension and vascular constriction.

It also has mildly cooling quality that can help reduce irritability, anxiety and stress related conditions including insomnia.

Interesting to note that when the potential for an episode to come on, it may cause a mild panic where the limbic brain kicks in and could overwhelm any logical, practical response. Some studies have shown that lavender can potentially reduce the limbic system and basal ganglia hyper-functioning and help the temporal lobes return to its normal function.

There are many more therapeutic functions of lavender, but these are a few that can help you get relief.

On the emotional front, lavender can assist in getting past insecurities and being open to speaking one’s truth. Sometimes unexpressed emotions can lead to all sorts of dis-ease. Using lavender as an ally to help express feelings could save so much suffering, on many levels.

The acupressure points that would be very useful to use lavender on are:

  • LI-4 (Union in the Valley)
acupressure points
  • GB-20 (Gates of Consciousness)
acupressure points
  • GB-21 (Jian Jing)
acupressure points
  • GV16 (Feng Fu).
acupressure points

Layering Oils

As you read on, you will find that there are multiple oils that can be used on the same points. In which case you can just layer the oils with great results.

Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile essential oil could be considered a classic relaxant oil. It’s one of the most effective oils for treating tense conditions such as spasms pain, inflammation and stuck energy.

Roman Chamomile essential oil in asheville, nc

Roman chamomile has the uncanny ability to relax and diffuse tension at its root in the brain and nervous system. It’s really helpful for over sensitivity and agitation, headaches, muscle pain, spasms and many symptoms that get worse with stress.

Highly effective acupressure points for Roman chamomile to relieve migraines are GB20, GV16, as well as CV12, located on the middle of the torso above the belly button. This helps center and calm at a deeper level. The last point is on the third eye.

Holding Roman chamomile on this point greatly enhances the function of this point by bringing another level of tension relief, as well as potential reduction of depression, fear, panic and agitation. Combined with lavender, they can be super calming and relaxing.

The third eye point dials down the mental chatter and quiets the mind. It is often used in acupuncture sessions to bring fast relaxation to the patient.

acupressure points

Roman chamomile’s soft white flower petals from which the essential oil comes, supports a person in finding their true purpose. It can help ease anxiety and worries and brings peace and patience. It can even work to restore confidence in finding one’s spiritual purpose.


Marjoram, the herb, has a long history of being used in the culinary world for savory dishes and warm, comforting stews. It has also been a traditional European remedy with a long history of medicinal use as far back as Egyptian times.

Marjoram essential oil

The essential oil of Marjoram is extremely versatile for treating a wide range of tension conditions. It’s reliably effective relaxing, antispasmodic and analgesic actions help reduce spasms, pain, and general nervous tension. Like Clary sage, this oil is a dependable cerebral sedative for acute episodes of mental agitation whatever the cause and is great for helping rest and even sleep.

Marjoram works on the sympathetic nervous system, our fight, fight or freeze system. It is excellent for acute spasms and pain of both smooth and strained muscles, as well as tension and vascular headache such as migraines.

essential oil of Marjoram

Acupressure points that are especially great with Marjoram are GB20 and GB21.

You can also just rub it into any pain spots you may have since they are not all the same for everyone. Layer either lavender or roman chamomile or all of them.

In order to layer oils simply put one drop of oil on the point and then the next and the next and then hold the point. The amount of pressure should be comfortable not painful. You want to get the body to relax into the point and if you press too hard, it will start to stress and constrict.

Blue Tansy

Blue Tansy essential oil is easily one of my favorites. It is known as the Bringer of Flow in that it circulates energy and promotes relaxation. In addition, it clears excessive heat. This is helpful for when there is lots of emotional tension and irritability, ‘hot headedness’, spasm and pain. Blue tansy is a vasodilator meaning that it dilates the blood vessels so that blood flows easier.

Blue tansy has excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and analgesic and antihistamine actions making it super useful with headaches triggered by allergens.

This beautiful blue oil has lots to offer in the psychological area as well. It exerts calming effects that work well in anxiety states, agitated depression and acute panic states. It can offer emotional stability when feeling conflicted and distressed and stubborn. Sometimes headaches can be triggered by severe emotional states. Blue Tansy is a wonderful ally.

Acupressure points that do especially well with Blue tansy are LV2 (Xing Jian) and LV3 (Tai Chong).

It is also great to put on LV14 (Qi Men), located on the lower rib cage, along the same horizontal line of the bottom of the sternum out about halfway

These are just a few of the top essential oils that I have found can bring migraine relief. To be effective it is best to apply them two to three times daily. Hold each point with the right essential oil and breathe deeply.

You may find yourself breathing easier and feeling lighter.