Welcome to our post describing techniques of how to carry out a massage for headaches.
Massage for Headaches
Generally headaches are caused by tension but sometimes they can come about as a reaction to an allergic reaction, to something that you have consumed or as a symptom of an physical problem such as a digestive disorder or sinusitis. Massage in conjunction with an essential oil can provide relief from most headaches.
A tension headache is often experienced as a “tight band” around the head. It is thought that such head pains are due to change in blood pressure, which occurs when the surrounding muscles tense and so restrict the normal flow of blood to the face and head.
The pain is also usually accompanied by a range of muscular tension across a relatively large area of the upper body as well as the scalp, neck and facial muscles surrounding the temples and jaw.
Recommended Oils for Headache Massage
Where the specific cause of a headache is known the following essential oils may bring relief.
Overwork : Marjoram
Anger or worry : Chamomile
Sharp piercing pain : Peppermint, Rosemary
Mild pain : Lemon
Colds and sinusitis : Eucalyptus
Note : All essential oils should be blended with a vegetable carrier oil before use.
How to Release Constricted Muscles
First of all you should focus your massage on the shoulders, neck and below the ridge at the back of the skull.
- Rest one hand on each shoulder for a few moments to make contact and put your partner at ease. Then, anchoring your fingers over the top of the shoulders, begin to roll and squeeze the muscles in a kneading action. Also use the heals of your hands to apply pressure to the back of the shoulders as part of the same movement. Work out from the centre on both shoulders at the same time moving towards the edge of the shoulders and down the arms.
- Place one hand across the forehead and the other across the nape (back) of the neck. Ask the person receiving the massage to drop the weight of their head into the your hand supporting them at the forehead. Also ask them to breathe out and in gently, imagining that they are releasing the tension in their neck and shoulders with each outgoing breath. Gently squeeze the muscles at the back of the neck between the fingers and heel of your hand.
- Still supporting the forehead use the thumb pad of the other hand to press upwards into the hollow of the top of the spine beneath the skull. Apply gentle upward pressure for a steady count of five, then release.
- Loosen the constricted muscle under the base of the skull by massaging beneath the bony ridge. Work from the the top of the spine and massage to the outer edge of the skull. Change hands and ensure you wok the other side of the skull.
- Ease scalp tension by rotating the fingertips of both hands in small circles over the entire head
Stretching the Neck Muscles
Ask your partner to lie down and relax for a few moments, then give them a gentle face massage to ease the headache. Tension can cause the neck muscles to contract as we “shrink” inside ourselves as a protection against stress. Gentle stretching and passive movements, known as myofascial release, help to lengthen and also relax the neck.
- With your partner lying down and you positioned behind their head, slip both hands under your partners shoulders, with your fingers resting at the top of the spine. With your palms securely supporting the back of the neck into your hands, ask your partner to relax her neck into your hands, then pull your hands steadily upwards to stretch and lengthen their neck away from their shoulders. Raise their head slightly as your hands pass under their hairline and up the back of the head.
- Cup the head in your hands with your fingers resting on the neck and your thumbs lying gently against the side of their face. Lift the head slightly, then roll it gently from left to right. Repeat several times and encourage your partner to relax as you do so, so that you have complete control of the movement.