Before you start going through a list of head massages to get rid of your headache, it’s important to determine what type of headache you are suffering from to know which massage will help. In some cases, a head massage can make your headache worse. Here are 5 common types of headaches and a complimentary massage to help you find relief.
1. Migraine/ Tension
Though tension headaches and migraines are very different headaches, we recommend trying the same three massages:
- Place thumbs underneath each brow bone against the bridge of your nose (your thumbs should be pointing towards one another). Hold firmly for 15 seconds.
- Place your index and middle finger from both hands in the back of your neck at the base of your skull on either side of your spine. Draw small circles for 30 seconds while slowly tilting head side to side.
- Place your index, middle and ring finger of each hand on each temple. Draw small circles for 30 seconds.
Massage therapy has proven to be an effective measure for reducing both chronic migraines and tension headaches. The massages mentioned above might help to provide immediate relief, but we recommend working with a massage therapist on a regular basis as a preventative treatment.
The best massage for your sinuses depends on where you are feeling the pain. If the pain is around your cheekbone, you will want to try a maxillary sinus massage. If the pain is in the center of your forehead between each eye, try a frontal sinus massage. If the pain is behind your nose and eyes and you are sure it’s your sinuses, try a sphenoid/ethmoid sinus massage. Pain behind your nose and eyes is often caused by a tension headache or migraine, not your sinuses.
Click here to read our sinus massage article and learn how to perform all three of these massages.
Unfortunately there are no known massages that provide relief for cluster headaches. Often the best treatment is preventative medication and pain medication, though acupuncture and chiropractic are growing in popularity in cluster headache treatment. Click here for more information.
Allergy headaches are usually caused by sinus congestion. If your allergies are causing a headache on the top of your head and forehead, try these two massages:
- Place the base of your thumbs on the inner edge of your eyebrows, apply pressure and slowly slide your thumbs downward ending at the base of the nose. Repeat for 30 seconds.
- Place your index and middle finger from both hands in the back of your neck at the base of your skull on either side of your spine. Press upward into the skull for 30 seconds while slowly tilting head side to side.
As mentioned above, we recommend working with a professional on a regular basis, especially for consistent or chronic headaches. If you are in the Centennial or south Denver area, we would be happy to meet with you and help you find headache relief with massage therapy. Contact us or request an appointment today.
We also offer acupuncture and chiropractic for headache relief. Click here for more information.
BY: Dr. Friedman
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