Massage for Headaches

Let’s imagine something for a moment: It’s 3:45pm. You’ve spent all day at work, either on the computer or on your feet. Your head has been slightly aching since lunch, but the pain has steadily increased, beginning from the base of your neck and extending up towards your forehead. You’re stressed to the max and you still must think about everything you have to do when you get home- dinner, your kids’ activities, deadlines, projects… it’s never-ending. No wonder your head hurts!

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Have you ever stopped to think what’s happening? It’s called a “tension headache” and though it feels awful, its actually one of the most common types of headaches (1). In fact, up to 78% of people experience tension headaches (1). Tension headaches often have a slow onset and cause a dull, steady pain on both sides of your head, typically feeling like pressure or squeezing (1). The pain usually starts at the base of the head and neck, extending up towards the front of the head (1). So, what causes them?

Causes of tension headaches

Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches can be caused most often by stress, poor posture, or chaotic days. Have you ever noticed when your workday is stressful that your shoulders creep up towards your ears? Imagine holding that posture for several hours. This causes the muscles to tighten in your shoulders and back of your head and neck. These muscles remain tight, causing the headache. So now what?

Tension headache relief techniques

Tension Headache Relief Techniques

There are a few techniques you can perform at home to get relief, but the absolute best treatment is to receive regularly scheduled massages. Just like a car needs regular maintenance, your body does too, and massage is the perfect mechanic! Not only does massage offer deep relaxation, but it can improve circulation, reduce anxiety, reduce cortisol production, relieve pain, and promote a sense of well-being (2). In fact, regular massage can manage the effects of many chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, carpal tunnel, and chronic headaches (2). With so many benefits, regular massage is the all-in-one solution for every body!

So, what about those at-home techniques? Follow these simple steps from WebMD:

  • Start by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
  • Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along.

Hopefully these techniques have given you a bit of relief, but for ultimate relief, set up regular massage appointments with Liz by clicking here.