Self massage for tension headache

Well it’s been a while since I’ve blogged but I am starting again. Today I am writing about  a great little acupressure massage that will renew your energy in the middle of the day whether you’ve been sat at a desk for a while or after you have been in the car for too long.

Recently I have seen many people come into the clinic complaining of neck pain. Fortunately in most of these cases there is nothing sinister lurking other than they have been sitting too much, not getting enough movement and exercise or have been putting their bodies at a funny angle to look at their phones or tablets for hours during the week – or in some cases, all three! All of these can contribute to tightness in the neck and shoulders, which for some can lead to headaches.

A simple way to get things back into balance and restore your energy is to give yourself a little TLC. This simple series of movements will help you to unwind and it just takes a few minutes.

1) Whilst sitting in a chair with feet on the floor (legs uncrossed please) gently bend your neck forward with the chin dropping down. Place your middle fingers of both hands in the small indentations at the base of the skull at the sides of your neck vertebrae. No need to apply pressure here, just breathe deeply and notice the contact between your fingers and your neck.

2) After some relaxing breaths you can add a little pressure while at the same time drawing your neck back to a straight position – this will allow you to get a little deeper into the area (see photo).

Massage point at base of the skull
Massage point at base of the skull

3) With slow and regular breaths, draw five small circles with your middle fingers while maintaining the pressure. Then gradually repeat this as you move along the base of the skull towards the ears.

4) Continue these circles and finish at the lowest point on the bone, just behind the ears. By the end you should have drawn roughly 20-25 circles in total. If you repeat this three times in a row you will find your neck feels more relaxed with less tension. Finish by taking several slow and deep breaths while you enjoy a moment of calm renewal.