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A Massage Therapist's Advice for Headaches

Worried Young Man

The 7 Step Headache Plan

Many of us suffer from headaches whether it is at the end of a long, exhausting working day, or in times of stress. However, help is at hand… quite literally… Did you know that a simple head ‘self-massage’ could be the easiest, natural way to ease your pain? The best part is that it can be done anywhere and at anytime!

The effect of massage on circulation

Massage helps to stimulate a healthy circulation as the pressure applied facilitates blood flow through congested areas. In addition, massages improve the relaxation of tense muscles and thus reduce the effects of stress. The “release” of the pressure from massage causes new blood to flow to an area, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients. The squeezing and pulling motions of massage also flush lactic acid from the muscles and improve the circulation of the lymphatic system, which carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs.

So massage can have great health benefits through its circulatory stimulation, as well as being immensely relaxing and feeling great. The wider the area massaged, the greater the overall health benefits! However, even localised massage will have great effects. A head massage not only helps to relieve tension headaches, but improves blood circulation to the follicular cells which helps to maintain healthy hair!

Easy steps for a great ‘self- head massage’ 

Step 1 – Start by sitting in a relaxed, comfortable and supported position. Take a few slow deep breaths in and out for about 5 minutes. If you find it hard to practice ‘slow breathing’, you could try the “Saagara” app https://www.saagara.com/apps/breathing/relax for guidance.

Step 2 – You can use coconut oil, hair oil or just your hands! Slowing apply light pressure in a circular clockwise motion for approximately 2-3 minutes over your entire head.

Step 3 – Gently press your fingers on your scalp and hair against the direction of the hair growth making a “gripping claw” motion. Continue by parting a small section of your hair then press with moderate force on the area of tension. Work around your scalp in small circles making sure you cover all areas. Take your time on the points that feel tighter. Don’t forget to massage your ears, as they are sensitive organs that can bring you a good feeling of comfort when relaxed and stimulated.

Step 4 – Place your thumbs underneath your forehead close to the bridge of your nose. Using a firm pressure, push your thumbs towards your forehead.  Take deep breaths while holding this pressure for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Step 5 – Now place your thumb and index fingers near your eyebrows on each side of your nose. Close your eyes and start massaging in a circular motion with light pressure for a minute.

Step 6 – Next put your thumbs high on your cheekbones, by your ears. Then gently apply pressure in a circular motion with your fingertips to your temples. Continue making circles as your move along your hairline, until your fingertips meet in the middle of your forehead.

Step 7 – Lastly, take both hands and pinch your eyebrows holding for 10 seconds. Breathe deeply and go back to step 1 to relax your mind.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water afterwards!

By April Marques

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