Tension headaches are caused by not enough blood going to the head. The forehead will feel cold. Put a heat pack on the neck. Massage brings blood to the head, which relieves the headache. 85% of all headaches are Tension headaches. Tension headache can be helped as follows:

Have client lean head into your stomach with you standing, the client seated. Pull from the back of client’s neck up to the occipital ridge. This can also be done with the client lying on a massage table, or the floor. Pull clients head towards you by the occipital ridge. Move your fingers from center of ridge, pull, move fingers over towards outside of occipital ridge, continue to move fingers and pull head for several minutes.

Massage HOKU point (between thumb and index finger) as well. (DO NOT MASSAGE THIS POINT WHEN PREGNANT)

Massage temples outside of eyebrows. Essential oils can be used – lavender, peppermint

Reflexology will not help a tension headache.

Use a cervical pillow to help prevent headaches.

A 45-minute massage of the head, scalp, and neck will bring relief. Brushing the hair up to 100 strokes both back and with head down brushing up will also bring some relief.

* Information excerpted from Calgary College of Holistic Health Swedish Massage Course