When a tension headache comes out of nowhere, most people just pop a pill. But did you know that a simple scalp massage is a soothing and easy way to ease a tension headache? Done right, it offers a relaxing way to treat recurring headaches without the need for oral pain relievers.

But while a massage therapist can offer a more comprehensive scalp massage, this type of massage is actually very simple to do at home and more importantly, it’s 100% free.

Selecting the Right Scalp Massage Oil

The most common oils used for scalp massage are essential oils since they help decrease friction on your hair and scalp to avoid causing more pain. Essential oils also release calming scents that you can inhale and take into your body for further relaxation.

Some of the most widely used essential oils for scalp massages include lavender, rosemary and chamomile. It’s vital to combine essential oils with carrier oils like jojoba, olive, coconut, moringa or almond oil so that the essential oil will be diluted prior to applying on the scalp to avoid irritation.

Other great options are are pre-blended herbal oil formulations for the skin, as these are typically gentle enough to be used on the scalp. When picking out oils, it’s best to use high-quality oils to avoid inadvertently putting more toxins on your body.

Basics of a Scalp Massage

First, lightly massage the oil on the person’s scalp, shoulders and neck to allow it to warm up. Make the person you’re massaging lay on his back as you support his head with one hand. Then, start running your fingers from his collarbone and up to his ear using light pressure at first and gradually increasing it with every stroke or pass.

Do this on the upper back and side of the person’s neck as well. You could also make circular motions using your fingertips at the base of his scalp and all around the hairline.

Try Giving It a Stretch

Man giving woman a head massage

If you want to give your scalp massage a boost, you can consider adding in some stretches. Use fingers from both of your hands to pull the base of the person’s neck back gently as you carefully pull his head away from his body.

Just be mindful of your motions and make sure that the person you’re massaging isn’t feeling pain. Done right, this is a great stretch for releasing pent-up tension, and when you release this tension, the headache should be gone or significantly reduced as well.

While a simple scalp massage could work very well for easing tension headaches, refrain from doing it during the height of the person’s headache to avoid making things worse. Wait for it to pass a bit and then do the massage. It’s also vital to drink lots of water before scalp massage to aid in releasing toxins more effectively. In the event that you have recurring tension headaches and scalp massages don’t work for you, it’s best that you consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.