6 Tips to relieve tension headaches
One in five women suffer from tension headaches at least once a week according to a survey carried out by Tiger Balm. The research shows that nearly a third of all women feel like they have to carry on as normal despite suffering from these headaches on a regular basis and over a quarter of respondents admit to losing their temper with a partner, child or other family member while suffering.
If you find yourself suffering from tension headaches like these, help may be at hand. Here are some easy to follow tips to help relieve tension headaches as well as muscular aches and pains.
1. Try massaging your temples to relieve tension in the forehead after a stressful meeting or long day. A quiet space and low lights are recommended. Place the index and middle fingers on the temples. With light pressure, begin to make circles with the pads of the fingers.
With the fingertips of both hands, firmly massage the scalp by making small circles all over the head, focusing on the areas around the ears and at the base of the skull.
2. Stretching: There are many different exercises to stretch different parts of the body. The lower back in this case performs few different actions: flexion, extension and right/left lateral flexion.
For flexion/extension the cat pose is really good:
1. Rest on your hands and knees, with your belly facing the floor
2. Pull in your abdominal muscles, tailbone, and butt
3. Pressing down on your hands, drop your head, press your back towards the ceiling so your spine rounds
4. Hold for a maximum of 20 seconds
5. Then press your back towards the floor and raise your head and hold for a maximum of 20 seconds
6. Repeat a few times
For lateral flexion this exercise can be used:
1. Lie on your back
2. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor
3. Knees together
4. Lean your knees to the one side, then to the other
5. Perform it slowly
6. Repeat 4-5 times each side.
3. Self massage with foam roller: When there’s nobody around to give you a quick massage, self massage can be a good alternative. You can always keep one roller at you work place, and when you start feeling the tension somewhere in the body, simply lie down on the roller and roll your body over it. The pressure increases blood flow to the area, thus the supply of nutrition and oxygen is improved as well as removal of toxins and waste products. Most importantly, you must do this safely.
4. Hot/Cold shower: Switching from hot to cold three times at the end of your shower will encourage blood flow to the surface of your skin pushing toxins out through the skin whilst encouraging circulation. Always finish with cold. This decreases stress levels and invigorates you as well as leaves your head clearer. After heavy sessions of sport, hot/cold showers may help to reduce muscles pain and improve removal of lactic acid.
5. Watch your posture when working: One of the main physiological reasons for tension in the muscles can be poor posture. Remember prevention is always better than cure. Set your timer to remind you about your posture every 30 minutes. Or have a few minutes break every hour for little stretches.
6. Stress can be a major factor leading to tensed muscles. Find your own ways to relax from everyday life – sport, meditation, massage – whatever you like and whatever stops you from thinking. Our brain is a unique and powerful mechanism. Without our brain not even one muscle of our body would work, so the brain is the point where all tension starts. Relax your brain and your muscles can loosen with it.