Headache Self Help

Headaches can be debilitating, if not incapacitating. And there are many angles one can approach in trying to ease the pain. Some of the massage techniques that seem to alleviate pain are as follows.


Everyone knows that making gentle small circles at the corners of the eyes can ease some of the tension that collects around the eyes and brow. Topically using a little neat lavender essential oil while massaging can have an analgesic effect, as well as cooling the area. (Be careful not to get the oil too close to the eyes). Other essential oils that may release tension are chamomilepeppermintrose or rosemary. These latter oils should be mixed with a little carrier oil (like almond, or even olive) before being applied to the temples. These essential oils also can be inhaled as well, either by placing a few drops on a tissue or in an aroma lamp.

By massaging the temples you are gently moving the greater wings of the sphenoid bone in the middle of your head. The sphenoid houses the pituitary gland, so any gentle loosening of this bone positively affects the entire endocrine system. Headaches seem to lock down the sphenoid, creating a whole body discomfort, so this simple movement becomes very important for relief.


There is a really good pressure point at the inside corners of the eyes that seems to help most headaches, but in particular, digestive headaches (cause by digestive indiscretions). By putting firm, but gentle pressure in the corners, aiming the pressure up and towards midline (medial & superior), you can feel an easing up of the frontal plate, so that it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a tight band around your forehead.


This hold also accomplishes the similar effect as pressing at the corners (above). Here you are distracting the frontal plate off the ethmoid bone, giving a sense of more space around the eyes. To do the technique, place one finger just above midline where your brows would meet, and one finger on the top of your nose. With gentle, light pressure, pull your fingers away from each other, and hold the pull until you feel a releasing of tension.


To relax and release the tension that builds up in your forehead, use a scissoring movement across your brow. Start at one side and have the index finger of one hand slide between the two fingers of the other hand, then pull out, gently stretching the tissue (fascia) of the forehead. This helps release that tight banded pressure that builds up the middle of the head.


This hold can bring relief a few different ways. You can first hold either side of each eyebrow simultaneously for a little while, then gently bring them in towards each other, then move the upwards, then out, then down – as if you were making little circles with the eyebrows. This loosens the tissue (fascia) around the eyes and forehead and brings more blood circulation and flow to the area.


By holding the ‘meat’ of the ear (the strongest part of the cartilage) and gently pulling the ear out and back (anterior & lateral), you can affectively distract the temporal bone out from its relationship to the other bones. This releases the membranes under the temporal bones and allows fresh cerebral-spinal fluid to cleanse and nourish the area. The more cerebral spinal fluid one can get flowing in the head, the less intense a normal headache will be.


Either by tying 2 tennis balls tightly in a sock, or by purchasing a sill-point inducer, one can go a long ways in reducing headaches and creating a tonic effect for the body. Lying on your back, place the balls at the back of the head, more or less directly in alignment with the center of the ears. Place them so that the entire weight of your head rests on the two balls. They should be under your skull in a symmetrical position from the midline of your head, in that it should not be at the base of the skull, but rather above the muscle line, which technically is near the top of the occipital bone below the lambdoidal suture.

This technique was inspired by Dr. John Upledger, of the Upledger Institute and this is what his website says about this device.

By applying gentle pressure to the base of your head, you can create a pause in the rhythm of the cranio-sacral system. These still points increase the movement of fluid through your system, which can remove tissue tension and improves your body’s ability to relieve pain and stress naturally.

Simply lying in a relaxed position on the Still Point Inducer for 10 to 20 minutes a day can bring about comforting results:

  • Helps relieve headaches
  • Eases chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • Enhances immune system efficiency
  • Facilitates your body’s self-correcting abilities
  • Provides deep relaxation and helps reduce stress
  • Promotes an overall sense of well-being