Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are very common and can happen to anyone at anytime.  Whether you are having a very stressful day at work or at home; general intense worrying; not getting enough sleep; straining your eyes when you need glasses, but trying to read the computer or a book anyway; dehydration; not eating when you should; or that one day when you forgot to have your coffee.


Pressure and muscle tension that is in the forehead, behind the eyes, temples, back of head, & neck

Tension headaches can be described as having mild to moderate pain or pressure behind the eyes, on the side of the head [either on one side or on both], in the front of the head [forehead], and/or on top of the head.  Sometimes it can even be felt on the top half of the sinuses. Additional symptoms may include feeling very tired, irritability, sensitivity to light, and/or having trouble focusing.

So if you go through this, you are probably wondering “what can I do to relieve the pain and pressure; and by the way, I do not want to take pain medication”.

Well, here are some ideal things can do:


The first thing to work on is to try and get ahead of your onsets [or causes].  Know what your triggers are and set yourself up for success. take-you-time-circle

If you tend to miss mealsmake sure you eat on time [meaning before the headache starts].

If you tend to get stressed out at work take some time out in your day and just breath. During your break [-and by the way – if you don’t usually take a break, then make the effort and TAKE A BREAK]; go somewhere quite, go outside, or even at your desk do a little meditation.

Sit in a chair with your feet on the ground and something to support your back.quote-criss-cross-applesauce

In the chair, you want to make sure that your legs are 90 degrees from hip to knees and 90 degrees from knees to ankles. 

Feel the soles of your feet pressed gently on the ground.   [if you are criss csitting-90-degreesrossed, then feel your lower legs gently heavy on the ground]

May your breath be as  light as a gentle breeze


Take notice of your breathing.  If it is shallow [meaning you feel the rise and fall from your breath in your upper chest primarily], then deepen your breath so that your whole torso (front, sides and back) moves with each inhale and exhale.

Notice that when you change the deepness and rhythm of your breath there is a gentleness that happens.


With your breath, create a softness in the center of your body.  As you do this, notice that your body is getting heavier and letting go more and more with each exhale.

Also with the breath, began to feel your mind softening and letting go.  Dare yourself to let all thoughts and concerns fall away. They will be there when you are done, and when you can actually deal with them.  So for now let them go.





       START BY   Noticing where your headache or tension is on the head.

Forehead / Temples 

Bring your four fingers together, and with the two middle fingers (middle and ring) gage the amount of pressure [descriptions below] you can stand on your temples.


Light Pressure – is just touching the skin. When massaging, your pressure is not as deep, but you are still moving the skin around.

Note: using moderate to firmer pressure may bring better results.

Moderate Pressure – slightly more pressure than light pressure, just touching fascia and the top layer of muscles. When massaging, you are moving those layers around.

Firm Pressure – is deeper than moderate, but enough that you can still slide the fingers around.  Be mindful.  You don’t want to go too deep to where you cause a bruise and make your headache worst.

Go nice and slow. Start your massage flow by inhaling as you move your fingers up from go-nice-and-slowthe temples and across to the center of the forehead. [Let the breath flow deep and natural from here]





Once you find your pressure for massaging and your breathing pattern, start at the frontal tip of the temples [feel for the bony area off from the forehead {just on the outer ends of the brows} then move just enough, toward the ears until it feels more fleshy but on the edge of the bones or leveled with the eyebrows].

Slide the fingers [using the pads of the fingers each hand on each side of the head] up from the temples and across the forehead towards each other until the fingers touch in the middle.

Keeping the same pressure, continue to move down the center of the forehead to the bridge of the nose stopping at the center where it is still bony [gently lift the eyebrows as you pass through that area if the skin bunches up].

Come down the sides of the bony area of the nose and out the sides to the front edge of the cheek bones.  Pause at the cheek bones for a half a second  [maybe with a little more pressure here]  and take a deep breath in and out.

~ When you get to the end, reverse your flow ~

As you flow back  up – pass through more of the outside of the nose bridge and around the bony ridge of the eye socket.  Follow the eye socket ridge all the way back to the temples.


Cheek Bone & Jaw Line Flow

1                                                                                                                                                                      Bring moderate to firm pressure to the mid, bottom of the cheek bones [shown below hand 1] bringing the pressure upward with the fingertips and hold that pressure –  while taking deep breaths in & releasing breaths out – until you feel relief.

2points-of-pressure                                                                             Go a little closure to the ears, right to where the jaw begins, but below the cheek bone  in the same area [shown in the image to the right hand 2] and bring pressure straight in and hold.

Take a deep breath, and totally let go on the exhale.

3                                                                     Bring the tops of your thumbs up under your jaw and apply pressure (hand 3). [Do not press in with your nails.  If you have long nails, then use your thumb pads] Press around until you find release.

Another hand position is to caress your face with your four fingers closed while applying pressure with your thumbs.  At the same time you could press your fingers on your cheek bones with moderate pressure. 






So the next time you get a tension headache, try any of these techniques and let me know how they work for you.  


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