Are you one of the over 37 million Americans suffering from regularly occurring headaches? If so, you’re probably less worried about the cause of your headache pain and looking for one thing—relief. The good news is – Massage can help!
In fact, research shows that even a 30-minute massage session with an experienced massage therapist or self-massage at home can greatly diminish headache pain.
However, before you start massage therapy to get rid of your headache, we need to figure out which type of headache you are suffering from. As a result, you’ll be able to determine which massage type or technique will be best. In addition, you’ll know if the wrong technique or head massage can worsen your headache symptoms.
Below you will find 5 common headaches and massage techniques to help you find relief from your specific headache or migraine.
Tension Headaches / Migraines
Tension headaches are extremely common. That is to say, they are usually mild, with pain typically occurring on both sides of the head. In addition, they usually last for 30 minutes to an hour. Many different factors can cause these headaches. For example, muscle tension, bone misalignment, eye strain, and other imbalances.
Migraine headaches are characterized by intense pulsing or throbbing, from deep within your head, usually on one side. However, migraines can last for days. This type of headache can disable you from performing daily activities. Moreover, they can have other symptoms like sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and even vomiting.
While tension and migraine headaches are very different, massage therapy is proven to reduce the pain from both in a similar way effectively. Likewise, massage has been used since ancient times to relieve headache pain. So, if you are experiencing one of these types of headaches – try these self-massage techniques:
Place your thumbs underneath each eyebrow bone near the bridge of your nose with the pads of your thumbs pointing up. You will feel something similar to a crack where the cartilage meets the bone. Push up into both at the same time and hold firmly for 15 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds. Repeat 3-4 times.
After that, place your pointer and middle fingers from both hands on either side of your spine at the back of your neck. Move them up to the base of your skull. Massage both sides simultaneously in small circles for 30 seconds while gently tilting the head from side to side.
Then, place both hands’ pointer and middle fingers on each temple. Massage in small circles for 30 seconds.
These massage techniques may help to provide some immediate relief from these types of headache pain, but we recommend working with an experienced massage therapist on a regular basis for further relief and to help prevent future symptoms hopefully.
When suffering from a sinus headache, you may experience pain in a variety of different areas. The best massage for a sinus headache depends on where the pain is occurring.
Maxillary Sinus Massage
Try a maxillary sinus massage if you are experiencing pain in or around your cheekbones. Place your thumbs on either side of the nose between the cheekbones and the upper jaw. Massage in a circular motion for 30 seconds. Alternate direct pressure toward the back of your head and release 5-10 times.
Frontal Sinus Massage
Pain is in the center of your forehead between each eye; try a frontal sinus massage. Place your pointer and middle fingers on either side of the forehead, just above the eyebrows.
Massage firmly in small circular motions while slowly working your way toward your temples. Repeat 5-10 times.
Sphenoid Sinus Massage
Is the pain behind your nose and eyes, and you are sure it’s not a tension headache or migraine. Place your pointer fingers between your nasal bone and the corner of the eyes. Hold firm pressure for about 15 seconds. Slowly stroke down each side of the bridge of your nose and repeat 5-10 times.
Feel free to combine and repeat these massage techniques until your sinus headache symptoms subside. You can also combine sinus massage with other remedies like warm compresses, steam inhalation, and aromatherapy to enhance the effects.
Still, needing some relief? Narayan Wellness can help you find sinus headache relief:
Unfortunately, there are no known self-massage techniques that can provide relief for cluster headaches. However, many are finding acupuncture, chiropractic, and professional massage therapy effective in treating cluster headaches.
Sinus congestion is the most common cause of allergy headaches. If you are experiencing allergies creating a headache on around the forehead and the top of your head, try these self-massage techniques:
Using your thumbs on the inner edge of your eyebrows, slowly apply pressure and slide your thumbs down to the base of your nose. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Place your pointer and middle fingers on both sides of the back of your neck directly under the base of your skull on either side of your spine. Firmly press upward under the skull for 30 seconds while slowly stretching your head forward and side to side.
As mentioned above, the best way to relieve your headache is by working with a professional massage therapist regularly, especially for regularly occurring or chronic headaches. If you are in Pleasanton, California, or East Bay Area, we would be happy to help you finally find headache relief with massage therapy.