Headaches are a normal occurrence in anyone’s life, a person can go through different types of headaches in a lifetime. Because of the overwhelming pain or just because it is a common action, a headache would call for some OTC pain relievers or for some a trip to the doctor for a stronger concoction to keep the pain away.
Popping a pill at the first sign of a headache is a dangerous, if not a harmful way to cause more damage to the body. Dependence on medication can cause an addiction or could make your body immune to mild pain killers that would be necessary in the future.
Tension headaches are the most common of the types of headaches. These are often mistaken for major pain especially for those with a low threshold for pain. Before reaching for that medication bottle or going out to fill in a prescription, here is what a tension headache is, it’s causes and the symptoms.
Tension Headaches are often felt at the nape or the area between the base of the skull and just above the part where the back starts. The pain is consistent and is caused by the neck muscles contracting for several hours or days (depending on the person’s activities or emotional state). A tension headache is often described as if a patient’s neck and head are held in a very tight vise.
Tension type headaches are often caused by either physical or physiological reasons. Poor posture, bad working facilities, cervical arthritis, abnormalities in muscles/ bones /discs, bad eyesight and even a terrible jaw alignment are the physical causes of a tension headache. These types of headaches can also occur when a person is going through a tough time in life; at home or at work.
Tension headaches can be chronic unless the origin of the pain is removed or a trigger identified and dealt with. For natural relief from the pain and tension, there are massage techniques that can be self-administered.
There are 5 points at the base of the skull and immediately at the top of the neck, these are the pressure points that are important. An application of pressure on these points bring relief at the first sign of tension pain. (see fig 1.1)
For chronic and nagging pain that radiates across the forehead all the way down to the back of the neck, we recommend another set of massages.
With your thumbs at the sides your head, use the fingertips of the remaining fingers to apply pressure from the area above the bridge of your nose going outwards. This removes the tension you feel on your frontalis muscle. (see fig 1.2)
Next, place your palms on each of your temples. With the heels of your hands apply slight pressure in a circular motion (preferably 8 times clockwise and counter clockwise). This relieves the muscle tightness you feel around your head. The application of pressure and the circular motion loosen the tightness of your eye muscles and the ones ate the side of your head. (see fig 1.3)
To further relieve and relax your head and neck muscles, use your thumbs to apply medium pressure on each of the bony region behind your ears. Take a deep breath and apply even pressure for 7 seconds, exhale while you release pressure. let your thumbs keep applying this pressure/release action going all the way down to your skulls’ base. (see fig 1.4)
To complete the relief of your face and neck muscles that are tensed, bend your head forward and support your chin with the space between the thumb and pointer finger of one hand. While the other hand is placed at your nape, inhale and slowly grip the back of your neck for 7 seconds. Exhale as your release the pressure. (see fig 1.5)
Using massage and natural therapeutic techniques to relieve headaches is a safer way to get rid of pain like tension headaches.