Tips to help with tension headaches

Woman touching pressure points on side of head in pain

By ATMS member: Melinda Maskey from Maskey Massage | Remedial Massage Therapist

All of us sometimes have “those days”. Ones where you have more to do than hours to do it. Where you relate to the song “Under Pressure”. Worst of all, ones where your head feels as if is it caught in a vice.

That vice like feeling is probably caused by a tension headache. It’s the most common form of headache, and it is estimated that around 7 million Australians have experienced them.

You will probably feel a dull aching pain on both sides of the head, and sometimes your neck. Muscles around the area may feel tight, tender or sensitive to touch, and movement may be restricted.

But there are things you can do to help.

Tips to help with tension headaches:

  1. Have a large glass of water. Hydration is important. Fatigue is a side effect of dehydration. Both fatigue and dehydration can cause headaches.
  2. Take a break. Make sure you take a break from your work every 30 to 60 minutes. That means getting up and moving around. The goal is to rest and reset. Look to getting movement through different muscle groups.
  3. Play ball. Grab your massage ball of choice (lacrosse/tennis/spikey), stand up straight and place the ball between your neck or shoulders and the wall. By bending your legs up and down, you can use the ball to gently massage the areas of tension. Just remember, keep those shoulders relaxed, your neck elongated, stand with your feet hip width apart and breathe.
  4. Get a massage: Your qualified massage therapist can target and soothe those muscles that are causing your discomfort.

There are also some steps to take to avoid getting tension headaches in the first place.

  1. Look at your triggers: Stress may not be avoidable, but the way we approach it impacts the way our body responds. If possible, avoid triggering situations. If you can prepare for them, do so by treating your body well.
  2. Sleep: As mentioned above, fatigue is a factor in causing headaches. Make sure you get enough quality sleep.
  3. Make Good Choices: You know the drill… exercise, limit caffeine & alcohol intake and give up smoking.
  4. Check your bedding. If your bed or your pillows aren’t giving you the support you need, it may be time to look to upgrade.

Wishing you all a pain free future.

About the Author

Melinda Maskey is a Remedial Massage Therapist and the Founder of Maskey Massage.

Maskey Massage offers Remedial Massage, Sports Massage, Cupping and Dry Needling. With over 18 years of clinical practice and a strong client outcome focus, all treatments tailored to individual needs.

To find out more visit and connect with Maskey Massage online:


Natural medicine for your health and wellbeing – explained!

Natural Medicine Week Collage

The Australian Traditional-Medicine Society (ATMS) – leader of the natural medicine industry recognises three primary types of complementary medicine: Ingestive, Bodywork & Massage and Chinese Medicine.

But first, WHY choose Natural Medicine?

Natural medicine offers a holistic and integrated approach to your health and wellbeing – it promotes the prevention of disease, rather than trying to treat it after it strikes. Natural medicine offers natural supplements and therapy’s that can assist the body in maintaining a state of health and wellness to promote wellbeing. Understanding modalities, such as Ingestive, Bodywork & Massage and Chinese Medicine, can help people work with their body’s to create an effective approach to their health.

WHAT is Natural Medicine?

Natural medicine refers to healthcare practices and therapies whereby trained natural medicine practitioners treat their patients for illnesses via natural methods and materials.

Clinical practice can be classified by three primary models: Ingestive therapies (including naturopathy and nutrition), Bodywork & Massage and Chinese Medicine, which includes associated techniques like acupuncture.

Ingestive covers any form of medicine consumed by the human body and includes the use of herbs and other plants – including oils and common spices. Many of the therapies have been around for hundreds of years and are often used to balance mind, body and spirit. Depending on the therapy, ingestive medicines may take various forms, including teas, tablets, essential oils, ointments, extracts, sprays and drops.

Ingestive therapies include:

  • Ayurveda
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy
  • Nutrition
  • Tibetan Medicine

Bodywork & Massage encompasses therapeutic techniques involving the body and aims to assess and improve areas of the human physics such as posture, skeletal and connective tissue (fascial) and muscle pain. All massage techniques are considered forms of bodywork and, covering a range of techniques.

Bodywork can take many forms including:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis
  • Counselling
  • Kinesiology
  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Myofascial Release
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Shiatsu
  • Traditional Thai Massage

Chinese Medicine is used to identify, treat, and prevent illness, with the underlying viewing of the human body and the mind as an interconnected energetic system. Chinese Medicine has the longest history of any medical system in the world, originating in ancient China and evolving over thousands of years to become a complete medical system.

Chinese Medicine include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Chinese Massage Therapy

Want to learn more?

Join ATMS for Natural Medicine Week – a week-long celebration including hundreds of events and special offers, hosted by passionate natural medicine practitioners nation-wide. Find out more about the many different types of natural medicine which could improve your health and wellbeing at