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Headache Relief

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Headaches can be painful and annoying. Headaches can appear at any time when you’re under pressure, when you’re stressed, when you’re hungry, when the weather changes or for no apparent reason at all.
A headache is a condition of mild to severe pain in the head. It can also appear at our upper back or neck. There are different types of headache, but most of the time headaches are brought on by stress, too long in front of computer, noise and others.

One of the main causes of headache is tension in the muscles of the neck, scalp and jaw.  The most common way people deal with headaches is to take over the counter pain relievers like aspirin, Tylenol, or Aleve. Others who don’t like to take pills will try to sleep, put ice on their neck or put a cool washcloth on their forehead. 

The easiest way to handle headaches is through massage. Massage is the practice of applying pressure or vibration to the soft tissues of the body, to heal injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, improve circulation and relieve tension.

When you suffer from headaches, you can help yourself with self-massage. It’s simple and everybody can do it, either at work or home. There are four regions that you can massage on the face and scalp to heal a headache. Depending upon where the pain resides will determine which region to massage. The four regions are the eyes area, the eye to nose area, neck and scalp.

If a headache is disorienting or hurts worse because of noise, or light you should massage the eye area. To start the massage, close your eyes. Then place your middle fingers gently on your closed eyelids. Massage the eye gently in a circular motion for about a minute. When finished give yourself a few minutes to re-adjust to your surroundings.

    The second type of massage refers to headaches that feel like pressure in your sinus cavities that run along the cheekbone, the eye brow, and forehead. Changes in air pressure, allergies or sinus build up can cause this pressure like headache. Other headaches may cause pain in the forehead along the eyebrows to the bridge of the nose. To start the massage, run your thumb along the underside of the eyebrows towards the nose. Once you feel the brow bone meet the bridge of the nose stop. There should be a small indentation. This is a pressure point where if you can put gentle pressure for about 10 seconds. Repeat this gentle pressure 4 times. You can also rub the area just about the brow bone with your index finger. Rub from the center of your forehead just above the nose outward.

    When a headache forms at the base of your neck or the back of your head then usually the muscles in your neck are tightened which causes pain sensations. The best thing is to massage the muscles in your neck. To start feel the back of your neck right where your hair line starts. Place your thumb and fore finger along both sides of the spine right at the hair line. This area is called your occiput. Put firm pressure on these two points with your fingers for about 10 seconds. Do this as many times as needed. Another way to relieve pressure off of the occiput is to take 2 tennis balls and put them in a sock. Lay on your back and place the tennis balls right on the two spots (previously talked about as your occiput) at the hairline.  It will feel uncomfortable. Lay on the tennis balls for about 5 to 10 minutes. This can relieve your headache by taking pressure off of the occiiput.  Additionally you can massage the neck muscles. Start at the base of the neck where it meets the upper back. Using your thumb and fore finger rub on both sides of the spine up to the hair line. Rub for several minutes vertically along the neck. If necessary also rub the upper back into the shoulders. The muscles in this area are called the trapezius and usually become tight due to daily stress, working at a computer, and incorrect posture. Rubbing these muscles can relieve a lot of stress and tension headaches.

    If you have headaches that encapsulate the entire head then you should massage the scalp. Girls that always where their hair in pony tails or wear their hair in tight braids or hairstyles can cause headaches. Let your hair down for easier access to the scalp. Use the entire hand to massage the scalp for several minutes.

    Doing all of these techniques together or separately will relieve headaches. Self-massage can be a daily regime that will reduce headaches and tension in the muscles. Also use deep breathing exercises throughout your day to keep yourself from getting stressed out. Stretching your shoulders and neck daily can also reduce tension and pain.

Some stretching includes shoulder shrugs ie. lifting your shoulders towards your ears, flexion/extension of the neck ie. Bringing your chin to your chest then lifting your chin to the sky, turning your head laterally to the left and right ie. Bringing your left ear to your left shoulder then the same with the right side, turning your head rotationally to the left and the right ie. Turning your chin and face to the left as far as possible then the same to the right. Also remember to drink lots of water throughout your day. Dehydration can also bring on headaches.

    Use all of these techniques as little or as often as you need to. You will feel better with less and less pain.

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