Can a massage help a headache?

In short, yes most definitely.

Most commonly we find that people describe their headache to originate from:

  • Behind the eye socket
  • Temples
  • Top and back of the head

Other uncommon ones include:

  • Feeling hot in the head,
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Feeling like your head is being squashed.

To put it very simply, this is an indication that the muscles in the neck and shoulder region are overworked – this can be holding tension from stress, overstretching your muscles to look at a monitor or poor movement pattern in the shoulder and back, for example.

Getting a massage will help the muscles to release this tension because:

  1. You’re most likely in a relaxed state and breathing deeply; and
  2. Therapists will target the following muscles to decrease the intensity of the headache:
    • SCM and Suboccipital muscles for headaches through the forehead/temples.
    • Traps, Scalene and Splenius Capitis muscles for headaches at the back and top of your head.
    • Erector Spinae muscles: your anti-gravity muscles that hold you upright, that also crosses the neck region.

3 things that you can do at home (or anywhere, really!) to help support your nervous system:

  • Deep breaths: In for 4 seconds and out for 8 seconds.
    • Breathing deeply and mindfully will counteract the feelings of stress and hopefully relieve any tension in the body.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get regular sleep!
    • Adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per day and sleep cannot be made up at a later date.

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