Gall Bladder 20 Point for Headache Relief

Location of Point

You can relieve your headache utilizing acupressure points far away from your head. We explored some of them in previous blogs.

However, you find the Gall Bladder 20 headache relief point on your head, just where you might expect it. You can use your fingers to find and treat your headaches by pressing this point. Firstly, use your index finger to find this point on the back of your skull where it meets the top of your neck. Next, bring your fingers several thumb widths away from the center of your neck.

Now, do you feel that bump on the back of your head to the right or left of the center of your upper neck? Finally, slide your index or middle finder under the bump.  Note that this point will be noticeably more tender than other areas in the back of your head. If so, you have found your Gall Bladder 20 point.

Anatomically the acupuncture point Gall Bladder 20 resides between the upper sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscle. Remember that those muscles are two of the major headache producers.  Realize that the Gall Bladder 20 point just happens to be located at a point where they intersect.

Headache and Stiff Neck Relief

Typically, the referral pattern for a headache from the Gall Bladder 20 point goes forward to the side of your head. Indeed, your headache may extend as far as your eye area. Therefore, try to lighten your eye socket migraine or tension headache by pressing with Gall Bladder 20 acupoint.

Pressure to the Gall Bladder 20 acupoint loosens up tight neck muscles. As a result, when you turn your neck more freely, you will likely find the intensity of your headache diminishes. Consequently, the upper trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles have relinquished their grip on your neck.

How Do I apply Pressure to this Gallbladder 20 Point?

Use several different methods to reach this point. Try using the tips of your index or middle finger. Place one finger over the other for additional reinforcement as you rub in a circular fashion around the point.

Alternatively, use the middle knuckle of your index finger to apply pressure to the point.   Rub in a circular fashion. If you choose this method, realize it is somewhat more intense than the other methods.

In addition, you can clasp your fingers behind your head. Use your thumb to apply a more gentle, soothing pressure to the back of your head. Let your thumbs slide into the groove between the back of your head and upper neck and rub for 30-60 seconds.

You may not want to use your fingers at all. Pick up one of those S-shaped Theracanes and put the knob on the Gall Bladder 20 point. Pull forward with the cane and you can work the point and will not need to reach your hand behind your head at all.

Nose, Eyes and Ears

Most texts cite the benefits of Gall Bladder 20 for nasal congestion and sinus pressure. Acupuncturists even use this point to help the common cold!  In my experience sinus pressure from the common cold may be relieved when pressure is on the point. However, the pressure usually returns quickly once pressure is removed.

Blurriness of vision may clear by pressing this point. Of course, long-term medical eye conditions will not respond. However, with certain clients I find that pressure to the Gall Bladder 20 acupoint lifts what they describe as visual “fogginess.” This same phenomenon I observe when pressing the SJ 16 point in the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

If you have tinnitus, or ringing in your ear, Gall Bladder 20 is one point among others that are used. Personally, I do not often see success with this point for ear ringing. However, results may be better with acupuncture, where needles go deeper into the acupoint than my fingers can. An acupuncture needle would go three-quarters to an inch into the tissue at Gall Bladder 20 acupoint.

Dizziness Relief

The Gall Bladder 20 point is an overlooked treatment for dizziness. You may resolve some of your dizziness with pressure to this point. If this was the case, you would find immediate improvement in dizziness with a lying to sitting movement.  For instance, your dizziness-causing movements such as forward-bending would immediately lessen. However, success depends on the cause of your dizziness, or vertigo.

If you are afflicted with inner ear dysfunction, consider a series of head positional exercises to relieve this dizziness.  Your physical therapist would guide you through these specific motions. These exercises can be highly successful, and generally you would only require several physical therapy sessions to see improvement.

Remember, the underlying causes of dizziness come from many sources. Some of these causes are not amenable to conservative therapy treatment.

First, consult with your doctor to ensure no more serious causes are responsible for your dizziness. Only then, if you are medically cleared for conservative treatment, you can begin acupressure or neck and head positional exercises. In this case, the Gall Bladder 20 point can be part of a treatment package to decrease your dizziness.

Other Uses for Gall Bladder 20

Numerous references mention Gall Bladder 20 as one of the points used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. In addition, acupoints Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4 treat high blood pressure as well. These points were discussed in previous blogs.

Be aware that I have not ever used acupressure points for the purpose of lowering high blood pressure. Realize that high blood pressure is a medical condition you need to be in close consultation with your physician about. However, you or someone you know may have difficulty controlling blood pressure. If this is the case, consider the use acupuncture with your medical doctor.

Powerful Point

Recognize that the Gall Bladder 20 acupressure point is one of the more frequently used acupressure points. Certainly, for a physical therapist treating neck and head conditions, this point stands out.


You understand that if not done properly, some techniques and exercises described in this blog could harm you. Any activities you perform are at your own risk, and you expressly agree to waive any claims against the author for any harm that may arise from your own actions. By reading this blog and conducting these exercises, you accept this risk. This blog provides content related to physical and/or mental health issues. As such, your use of techniques described acts as your acceptance of this disclaimer.

-Consult Chapter 2 in my book, “Calming the Headache Storm” to make sure the headache is not the sign of a more serious problem. The techniques, advice and strategies contained in this blog may not be suitable for every individual and should be abandoned if your headache increases. Seek the advice of your physician.


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