Massages for Headache Relief

headache-200pxJune 1-7 is National Headache Awareness Week. Whether it’s from stress, migraines or just everyday tiredness, many of us who experience headaches will often do the same thing to relieve it. Our hands go to our temples or the bridge of the nose in an effort to ease a headache. You probably do this as well, but did you know that this is a form of massage? More than just for relaxation, massage is an effective treatment for aches and pains. And even if you can’t get to a massage therapist, you can still use simple techniques to reap the benefits of massage. Among the basic things to know when treating headaches using massage are the pressure points located in the following parts of your body:

  • In the middle of the forehead, between your eyebrows
  • The corners of the eyes, just behind the bone of the eye socket
  • Under the base of the skull, about an inch away from the spine on both sides (tilt your head back as you press upward during your massage)
  • On the hand, between the thumb and index finger
  • On the top of each foot, between the big toe and the second toe

Once you have found these pressure points, use the following techniques to massage away your headache and migraine. For pressure points on the forehead, the eye corners and the base of the skull:

  1. Use only the pads of your first two fingers.
  2. Breathe deeply during the massage.
  3. Press the area lightly at first, just enough to feel resistance or tension under your fingers. Adjust the pressure if you feel too much pain.
  4. Use tiny circular movements.
  5. Count to 10 as you gradually increase the pressure.
  6. Release the pressure slowly, while maintaining deep breathing.
  7. Repeat the massage as necessary.

For pressure points on the hand and foot:

  1. Use the pads on your thumb and index finger to gently squeeze the pressure points on the opposite hand or the foot.
  2. Breathe deeply and use circular movements.
  3. Apply light pressure at first, gradually increasing as you count to ten.
  4. Release the pressure slowly, while maintaining deep breathing.
  5. Repeat the massage, applying more pressure as necessary.

As with full-body massages, self-massage targeted to treat specific aches are effective because they relax the muscles and increase circulation to the area. Use these techniques properly on the associated pressure points to get relief from headaches and migraines. You can also use them to enhance your concentration and increase energy, as well as facilitate a good night”s sleep. Remember, however, that severe headaches may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Always discuss with your doctor when you have any concerns. Otherwise, continue to enjoy the benefits of massage, whether it’s done by a professional massage therapist or something you do to get headache relief.

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