Massage for Headaches
The type of massage you use depends on the intensity of the headache and what your partner prefers. You can use very gentle feather stroking or deep firm pressure. It is generally best to start with slow, superficial stroking and then as the pain subsides and your partner relaxes and feels confident of your touch, you can apply firm pressures to key points.
Although every headache is different, I find that I get the best results by following this general pattern. Always use smooth, rhythmic, and compassionate movements.
1. Stroke up the forehead very gently and slowly, then rhythmically stroke the chest and shoulders, and up the back of the neck.
2. Apply circular pressures behind the shoulders, up the back of the neck on either side of the spine, at the base of the skull, and on the scalp.
3. Gently stroke the whole face from the center out to the sides.
4. Press the bridge of the nose, then pinch the eyebrows, and press on the temples.
5. Press in the middle of the cheek, directly under the cheekbone, and then apply a line of pressures up the center of the forehead, from between the eyebrows to the hairline.
6. Circle around the eyes, stroking out along the eyebrows and gliding back gently under the eyes.
7. Stroke rhythmically up the forehead with one hand following the other, as you did at the beginning.
If there is very little time, or I am treating a very severe migraine, I get the best results by imagining that my hands are magnets, drawing out all the tension and pain. Use the feather touch, and stroke the tension away from the head and off the body.
Many other types of massage can help relieve headaches including back, face, neck and shoulder, and hand massage. Shiatsu, reflexology, and aroma therapy may also help.
Self-help for headaches
One of the best ways to relieve your headache is with self-massage. First massage the back of your neck and head, then concentrate on your forehead, around your eyes, and on your temples. Very gentle, light stroking on your forehead also helps relieve even the most stubborn headache.
Shiatsu for headaches
Shiatsu is often very helpful, particularly for severe headaches. Many of my clients have told me that they can control headache pain by massaging acupressure points, particularly those found in the hands, wrists, ankles, and feet. One of the best shiatsu points to press is known as the "Great Eliminator." This is situated between the thumb and the forefinger; press around the area until you find a point that usually feels quite distinctive.
Do not press the "Great Eliminator" point during pregnancy; it's not called that for nothing!