There are a variety of reasons why you might have a headache. Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders that is left unattended will cause a headache. A sinus infection can bring on a terrific headache. People who clench their jaws are prone to headaches. Migraine headaches and cluster stress headaches can be severe and painful. At times eyestrain may bring on a headache.

Massage can help relieve the pain of headaches and sometimes eliminate the cause of headaches. Become aware of your body and understand the warning signs of certain types of headaches. Pay attention to your neck, shoulders, and upper back. If you feel tension and tightness in the muscles in those regions it is time for a massage. Ideally you should keep your body limber and tension free, so you can stay ahead of the aches and pains. A simple routine to relieve or prevent headaches looks like this:

  • Place your hands on either side of your face, thumbs in and fingers resting on your temples, and circle gently over your entire forehead up into the hairline; repeat.

  • Circle with your fingers along your jawline from your chin to your ears, working along the edge and following up with an easy pinching stroke using your thumbs and index fingers.

  • Circle with your fingers on your cheeks, working around the cheekbones up to the sides of your nose; press with your fingertips along the bridge of your nose.

  • Gently pinch along the ridge of your ears from the lobes up to the tops of your ears and back to the lobes again, stroking down the earlobes with your thumbs and index fingers; repeat.

  • Shampoo your head working your entire head from the back of the skull, along the sides to the top of your head; circle in the ridges at the base of your skull.

  • Circle down the back of your neck, feeling the tight muscles under your fingers; then knead along your shoulders as far as you can comfortably reach and feather off.

The more you practice this simple routine on yourself, the more release of tension you will have in these areas. This will also help relieve sinus headaches, although prevention of sinus-related infection involves managing your diet as well.

Some sinus infections involve swelling and the buildup of mucus that constricts sinus pathways or produces a constantly running nose. Research has shown that excessive use of dairy products may produce an overabundance of mucus. Often restricting dairy consumption cuts down or eliminates sinus issues.

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