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Self-Massage Tips for Headache Relief

Massage has numerous benefits that can help with stress, pain, arthritis, anxiety, and headaches. Since headaches can be caused by excessive stress, enjoying a massage can be both a preventive and  palliative treatment for headaches and migraines.

But a massage session with a professional massage therapist may not be possible for many reasons, such as time, location, or a lack of finances. Fortunately, self-massage is available at any time of the day and night, with the only requirements being fifteen to thirty minutes of your time, and a quiet room.

Massage for Tension

Keep in mind that tension in the muscles, especially of the face and scalp, can trigger and increase headaches. Massaging away the tension can considerably lessen the pain, and prevent future attacks.

  • Place your thumbs on each side of your cheekbones, near your ears. Place the pads of your fingers on your temples (the soft spots between your ear and the corner of your eye). Gently apply pressure in small circles.
  • Gradually move your fingers upwards along your hairline, so that they meet in the middle of your forehead. Massage your entire forehead and scalp along the way, while using very firm pressure in circular motions.

Be sure to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, to avoid adding to your headache symptoms.

Massage for Tired Eyes

Eye strain can also trigger headaches, especially during prolonged computer use. A self-massage on the eye area relieves tired eyes, sinus pressure and muscle tension.

  • Assume a comfortable and relaxed sitting position, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
  • Place your thumbs over your eyes, just under your eyebrows and on the inside corner of your eye sockets. Gently press and move your thumbs in circles, working toward the outside of your eyebrows, around your eyes, and back at the bridge of your nose.
  • Repeat as many times as desired. Emphasize pressure on the indentation of the inner eye socket (the place where the bridge of your nose meets the ridge of your eyebrows).

Apply firm, yet gentle, pressure, as the eye area can be sensitive for most people.

While massaging each area, keep your muscles relaxed, so as to ease tension and avoid further pain.

While self-massage can ease your pain from a headache or migraine attack, it is not a substitute for other headache prevention and treatment methods. Medications and lifestyle habits, such as avoiding food triggers, getting enough rest and sleep, and limiting alcohol consumption, are still necessary for a more effective headache management program. Consult with your doctor to learn about the best treatment options for you.

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