Do you have a headache at the top of the head, and don’t know what to do about it?
Do you want to know where this pain comes from and what you can do about it?
If you do, then you are able to take care of it yourself.
Headaches are often caused by muscles.
To be more specific, they are often caused by tense muscles. You can remove this tension yourself, thus freeing yourself from pain. How? By doing a self-massage!
That is of course, provided your muscles are the cause of the pain, which they usually are.
On this page I will show you which muscles are involved and how you can massage them yourself.
For this you do not need to be a doctor or therapist—so don’t panic. You can do it!
All you need is your hands and perhaps a small massage wand. The massage wand undeniably facilitates the massage, but it is not absolutely necessary.
Are you sceptical when it comes to self-massage? Don’t be intimidated. With practice you will succeed at doing the massage, and the effects will amaze you.
The two muscles referred to are located at the side and the back of your neck and are called sternocleidomastoid and splenius capitis.
Don’t let these names scare you; you won’t need them for the massage.
Nevertheless, I prefer to mention them for the sake of thoroughness.
Remark: Massage yourself daily until the pain disappears!
Now, let’s get to it!
The massage can and probably will be quite painful. But since you are doing it yourself, you always have full control.
On a pain scale of 0 to 10, 0 means no pain and 10 excruciating pain.
The pain you experience during the massage should be situated between 4 and 7.
If there are Trigger Points in your muscles, then it may be that the massage pressure on the muscles in question can cause or amplify pain that is “specific” to you.
This is a good sign because it shows that you are working in the right place.
This is the thick muscle on the side of your neck, which runs from the sternum and clavicle to the occiput.
Follow the steps below to massage it:
Use the thumb and index finger technique and roll each painful spot back and forth between your fingers for a few times.
Or use the pressure-motion technique. Press on the muscle and move your head very slowly in all possible directions.
Concentrate on painful movements without exacerbating the pain.
It might be too much for you in the beginning, and you might only be able to roll each spot 5 times or move your head a few times.
That’s OK! In the coming days and weeks, the pain will subside and the massage will become more enjoyable.
Carefully examine the entire muscle and make sure you work on all sensitive spots in the subsequent massage sessions.
If you feel your pulse under your fingers during the massage, it means you are touching an artery in the neck.
Let it go and grab the muscle again, but this time without the artery.
Do not massage the artery!
You can also massage the sternocleidomastoid with the Trigger Fairy. To do this, place the head of the Fairy on the upper part of the muscle, behind your ear and under your skull.
From there, execute slow massage strokes and look for painful spots in the muscle.
To stay on the muscle, your massage strokes need to run somewhat diagonally, since the muscle itself runs diagonally, i.e. from behind your ear down to your sternum.
As an alternative to the precise massage strokes, you can also use the pressure-motion technique.