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Tension headaches - symptoms, treatment

by Jaclynn Fasken, business manager

Hunched over books all night. Eyes feeling a dull pain. Tightness at the back of the head. Sounds like a tension headache. These usually occur when we are under stress and have no time to spare.

According to, a medical Web site, symptoms of a tension headache include pain starting from the back of the head, dull pressure or squeezing pain and soreness in the neck, jaw, and shoulder. Causes for these symptoms can include low blood sugar, sleep deprivation, clenching the jaw, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), sitting in an uncomfortable position, and the biggest of them all, stress.

A simple alternative remedy for a tension headache is self-massage. describes different exercises that are easy and only take a few minutes to perform. The Web site describes where to find two pressure points at the back of the head that, when pressed, relax the whole body. “Put two tennis balls in a sock and tie the end. Lie on your back on the floor and place the sock behind the upper neck, so that the two balls each touch the skull ridge that’s right above the hollow spot” According to, the two pressure points that are pressed during this exercise transmit messages down the spine to relax all muscles.

A pressure point called the third eye is helpful to ease not only tension headaches but eyestrain as well. says the third eye located between the eyebrows, in the dentation between the bridge of the nose and the forehead. Pressing on this point, releasing pressure, then pressing again relieves pain.

The face is a sensitive area where the lightest touch can send a sense of calm throughout the body. says that cupping the face very lightly with hands around the cheeks gives off warmth and immediately relaxes muscles and cognitive tissue.

Since clenching the jaw is a cause of tension headaches massaging certain areas also relieves pain almost immediately. Try pressing the spot where the earlobe connects to the head with the index finger.

Another good medical Web site,, suggests that instead of taking over-the-counter medicine consider herbal remedies. Two drops of lavender and peppermint added to one-cup hot water for a compress applied to the forehead, webmd suggests, may relieve the pain.

Other herbs recommended by the Web site are white willow bark which contains salicin, the pain reliever in aspirin, meadowsweet which relieves pain and eases tension along with ginkgo, which increases blood circulation to the brain. Teas of these herbs can be made of one teaspoon of the herb and a cup of hot water. suggests that a tea made of flowers or leaves be steeped for 5-10 minutes and tea made of roots be steeped 10-20 minutes. If pain persists or if an allergic reaction develops, consult a physician immediately.

Next time you experience a tension headache try these alternative remedies. You will find they not only ease the pain but also rejuvenate the body, giving it an extra boost. Interested in more information about alternative remedies? Visit or




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