Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rub Your Headache Away

Lately it seems more people have been coming in to the club for massage complaining of headaches. They’ve arrived at the right place!

When a client seeks a massage to treat a headache, the primary areas of focus therapists concentrate on are the muscles of the back, neck and scalp. For example, the upper trapezius are a group of long muscles that attach at the base of the skull and neck vertebrae and run down to the shoulder blade. When they get tense, they can pull on the head and cause pain.

The suboccipitals, a deep muscle group also located along the base of the skull, can be very difficult to stretch out on your own when they become too tight. Through massage, these muscles can be released, providing a lot of pain relief.

Another muscle linked to head and neck pain is located in your jaw and cheek: the masseter. If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night you may be unknowingly tensing up this muscle. Concentrated massaging techniques focusing on the masseter and other facial muscles will help.

Therapists are also aware of the many muscles and corresponding nerve endings in your head that can trigger pain, which is why scalp massage is such a wonderful way to relieve headaches.

With all the stresses of daily life, tension builds up, tightens muscles and creates pain. Schedule a visit to the massage department and let us rub your headache away!

Written by Jennifer Hansen
Licensed Massage Practitioner, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate

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