In the United States, 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches. Headaches can be debilitating and career ending. Chronic headaches create added stress at work, at home and in everyday life. Massage can be a very important tool for relieving chronic headaches. It can be used proactively to prevent headaches and also retroactively to help relieve a headache that is already in full swing. Let’s look at some ways that massage can help with headaches.
For many people, their jobs now require long hours spent in front of computer screens in offices with no natural lighting. This can cause severe strain on the eyes. Taking time to walk away from the computer can be very beneficial, especially if the eye strain causes frequent headaches. Gently, but firmly applying pressure to the eyes and rubbing for several minutes, can bring circulation to the area, which increases oxygenation to the cells of the eyes and the optic nerve. It can also help to relieve pressure caused by sinus issues.
Self-massage is another great way to relieve tense neck and shoulder muscles that can be causing frequent headaches. Many people hold their stress in their necks and shoulders, which leads to tight muscles and headaches. By gently massaging the temples of the face, the base of the skull and the shoulders, tension headaches can be greatly reduced.
There are also specific acupressure points that are known to be helpful for relieving headaches. Here are just a couple of the most commonly used acupressure points for headaches:
Large Intestine 4 (LI4) – This point is located bilaterally on the back side of the hand, in the webbing between the forefinger and the thumb. When the hand is made into a fist, the point can be located in the center of the mound of flesh that is created. This point is used for relieving pain anywhere in the body.
Yin Tang – Yin Tang is located directly between the inner edges of the eyebrows. It is a reflex point of the pituitary gland. Yin Tang calms the mind and relaxes the body by helping control hormone secretions. Acupuncturists use this point frequently to help relax their patients and you can use it at home too.
Lastly, adding essential oils to your life can be particularly healing. When a headache is in full swing, essential oils can be extremely beneficial. By mixing organic lavender oil, organic peppermint oil and organic defractionated coconut oil, you can massage away the headache and smell good too. Essential oils have been used for centuries to relieve pain. Adding them to a quick acupressure massage or onto the affected area, may give you all the relief you need.