Reflexology for Headaches

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Tension headaches are very common, affecting as many as 40 percent of teenagers and adults. Often brought on by stress, the headache pain is caused by the tightening or contraction of the neck and scalp muscles. These are called cervicogenic headaches because they originate in the cervical spine—the seven vertebrae of the neck. Sufferers can find relief for tension and other types of headaches through reflexology.

How Does Reflexology Treat Headaches?
Foot reflexology can be particularly useful for relieving tension and stress that can cause headaches by releasing tightness in the cervical spine. It is also used to treat migraine, cluster, and sinus headaches. Reflexology can help a person anticipate the onset of a migraine by tapping into subtle symptoms that appear before the headache.

Foot Reflexology for Headaches
The spinal reflex areas are located on the medial or inside edge of the foot. The medial side of the right foot corresponds to the right side of the spine, and the medial side of the left foot corresponds to the left side of the spine. The upper medial edge of the foot corresponds to the cervical spine. Working the spinal reflex can relieve headaches that begin in the neck, as well as pain in lower portions of the spine.

The upper part of the underside of the big toe and the lower part of the toenail of the big toe correspond to the head and brain. The lower portion of the upper side of the big toe corresponds to the neck. When reflexology locates a tender spot on the part of the big toe corresponding to the neck, applying pressure to this spot will relieve the tenderness in the toe and tension in the neck that could be causing headaches.

Hand Reflexology for Headaches
Hand reflexology also can be effective for relieving headaches. Headaches are generally treated on the first joints of each finger and along the sides of the fingers. Working the sides and bottoms of the fingers helps to relax tight neck and shoulder muscles that can cause headaches. Working tender areas on the thumb is also useful. Sinus and allergy headaches may be relieved by rubbing the top joint of each finger, but not the thumb.

A reflexology spot for headaches is also located on the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. Rubbing the tender spot at this location with the other thumb can help relieve a headache. However, this technique should not be practiced on pregnant women.

Cluster headaches—also called suicide headaches because of their severity—may cause the big toe to swell. Practicing reflexology on the toe or thumb may relieve swelling in the appendage and in the neck at the base of the skull and ease the severity and duration of the headache.

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