Tension Headache—It’s Not All in Your Head

The most common type of headache is known as the tension or stress headache. While this type of headache may be considered garden variety, its causes are not always straightforward and recurrent episodes can be difficult to treat effectively. Tension headaches are considered ‘normal’ as they are not the result of a more serious disease or condition, but their debilitating effects can seriously affect work performance and interfere with one’s lifestyle.

On the surface, the major causes of tension headaches seem easy to define. A heavy workload, long days at the office, anxiety, difficulties in personal or professional relationships, lack of sleep; these are all valid causes, but there are some that may not be as obvious. A sedentary lifestyle can cause an increase in tension headaches, and skipping meals can also be a major contributor.

Massage can be of great benefit to those who suffer from chronic tension headaches and prefer a drug-free alternative. One of the drawbacks of drug therapy is the time it takes for the active ingredient to dissolve and be dispersed throughout the bloodstream. Those who suffer from acute headache pain need relief as soon as possible. Chair massage is an excellent option because it improves circulation and eases tension in the neck and shoulder muscles, which is often a root cause of the headache. These short, concentrated sessions are often performed in a span of fifteen minutes, allowing the client to rest their eyes and experience an immediate reduction in pain.

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