You know those moments; the boss drops a last-minute project off on your desk that needs to be done at the same time you’re supposed to be meeting with your rambunctious son’s school teacher to discuss his behavior problems, your in-laws are coming to stay for a week, you get a flat tire and your largest customer calls to complain. As soon as you stop to notice it, you recognize that feeling of tension creeping from your shoulders, up your neck, ready to turn into a full-blown tension headache at any moment.
Stop! You can do a 2 minute, quick-fix anytime, anywhere to relieve tension and hopefully prevent that headache from taking hold.
1. Sit down, straighten out your spine and take a few deep breaths.
2. Interlace your hands on the back of your skull, pads of the thumbs resting on the ridge where your skull meets the neck.
3. Squeeze your hands together 3 times, gently pulling on the back of the head.
4. Rub the base of the palms in big circles (keeping fingers interlaced) 3 times clockwise, then 3 counterclockwise.
5. Press the thumbs into the canyon between the edge of your skull and the neck muscles. Move from the center of the skull on the spine out towards the ears, making circles the whole way. Then circle back to the center of the skull.
7. Move your hands down your neck and rub the neck muscles on either side of the spine.
8. Release arms, close eyes and take a few more deep breaths.
Triage complete, you’ve probably headed off a tension headache, at least temporarily.
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