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Nearly everyone will suffer from a headache at one time or another. Ranging from mild or moderate tension caused by stress, hunger or fatigue, to stuffy sinus headaches, to the excruciating pain of migraine or cluster headaches, this ailment can be the source of much discomfort.
Many people treat headaches with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. However, The American Headache Society cautions that overuse of certain medications can actually cause headaches to get worse through a phenomenon known as headache progression. Therefore, it may be useful for headache suffers to learn about alternative methods to relieve their pain.
In recent years, massage therapy has grown in popularity as a natural method for treating a variety of symptoms, including pain. One form of massage known as reflexology has been shown to provide relief from headache pain.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a practice centered on the belief that there are pressure points in the hands and feet that correspond to every part of the body. By massaging points specific to the problem, pain is alleviated and improvements in circulation and overall healing of the body takes place as well.
There are several benefits to reflexology, including:
- It is natural so there are no side effects from drugs
- If someone learns how to do it for themselves then the treatment is free
- It can be done anytime that a headache strikes – at home, work, etc.
- In addition to stopping headache pain, it can bring relief to other parts of the body as well
There are classes in which a person can learn reflexology techniques and even become certified in the field. They are available in live and online formats. Or, a simple internet search can provide a wealth of information that will allow someone to learn the basic techniques.
Getting a basic overview of human anatomy and physiology is a good first step in learning reflexology. Understanding the structure of the body helps gives insight into the causes behind different types of headaches. The next step is to study a reflexology chart, which is a diagram of the hands and feet that shows all of the different pressure points and what part of the body they correspond with. The tips of the fingers and toes down to the first joints affect the head and sinuses, so these are the areas to focus on to alleviate headaches.
Learning the proper technique is the third step. Reflexology is not as simple as giving a back massage. For it to be effective the right amount of pressure must be applied and the correct strokes must be used. Diagrams and videos demonstrating the correct motion are widely available on many websites. The use of different essential oils is optional but can be used to create an aromatic experience and heighten the feelings of relaxation and stress relief.
Headaches can cause irritating and even debilitating pain that interferes with daily activities. The use of reflexology can be a powerful, natural remedy that relieves pain and improves overall well being.