African american woman with headache migraine over gray background

6 Tips for the Massaging Out Tension Headaches

March 15, 2017

Tension headaches occur when your neck and/or scalp muscles become tight, restricted in motion, or overly contracted. This video can guide you through the right techniques to relieve tension headaches on your own, so you can bring your body and mind into relaxation. These methods are not to be confused as relief for migraines, brain freezes, cluster or orgasm headaches (yes, they exist!). If you rather come in to be seen to relieve your tension, whether from a headache or another type of muscle ache, you can book a session with me online! Just click here for a list of services and times available.

This video is meant to guide you in the right direction to relieve mild tension headaches on your own. As you follow along, here are some important tips to keep in mind while you practice these movements:

  1. Get Comfortable
    • During this massage, try to be thoughtful about your posture. Maybe you’re at home or at the office, maintaining good posture can help enhance benefits of these techniques. With your feet on the ground and with a straight, but relaxed spine, you’ll be ready to get rid of those tension headaches.
  2. Use Firm Pressure
    • So what does “firm” mean? It depends on you, but it definitely does not mean painful. Firm pressure should still feel good, but is a bit stronger than typical light strokes as felt during a lymphatic massage. Experiment with different pressures to see which one you prefer for relieving your tension headaches.
  3.  Start with Your Temples
    • Don’t know where your temples are? Place your hands on the sides of your head, and position your fingers in the area between your eyes and ears. Clench your teeth, and feel for a muscle that tightens or pops out. There are your temples! Once you find them, make circulation motions going in a forward direction.
  4. Make a Fist
    • When clients first start to these techniques, sometimes they aren’t sure what to do with their hands. Well for muscle tension, it’s great to start with a fist! Your knuckles are useful tools for deliver firm pressure, and a fist helps to keep your fingers from getting tired.
  5. Chill Out Where You Are
    • When you get to the ear-to-shoulder stretch, be sure to take deep breaths. No matter how far your stretch is, breathe before you move deeper so you can avoid muscle spasms or strains. If you’re uncomfortable to stretch further, chill out where you’re at and breathe.
  6. Don’t Forget Your Arms
    • The stress resulting from tension headaches can actually transfer to other parts of your body, including the closest limbs… your arms and hands! To make sure that tension headache isn’t causing more trouble, move your hand down the opposite arm and give each section a good squeeze.

quoteTension headaches occur when your neck and/or scalp muscles become tight…  endquote


If you keep these tips and guidelines in mind, it will be easier to find relief for your tension headaches through the techniques demonstrated. If you find that you are still unable to get the relief you need, please feel free to schedule me for an evaluation or a massage to address your tension.


Happy relieving!

Molina, the PT