Relieving tension headaches

HeadachesThere are a number of types of headache:

  • tension headaches
  • sinus headaches
  • cervicogenic headaches (due to compression at the back of the neck)
  • migraines

Tension headaches are episodic and can vary in frequency.

What are you experiencing during a headache?

The brain itself can not feel pain, however there are pain receptors (nocireceptors) in the lining surrounding the brain tissue (pia mater) and the membrane that lines the skull and centrally divides the cortex (dural membrane, shown in blue on the diagram).

Dura mater

For tension headaches, pain registered in the layers of the pia and dura mater can relate to compression and reduced movement of the cranial bones.

The cranial bones are not fixed but instead exhibit micro-movement. These small movements help ensure the natural circulation of the cerebro-spinal and extracellular fluid in our body. In cases where there is asymmetrical movement of the cranial bones, such as at the sphenoid or temporal bones, a build up of pressure and imbalance can be felt. Through light touch the Craniosacral practitioner helps restore the balance, as the body re-regulates to its natural patterns of circulation.


Everyone is Unique

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache experienced in the UK (NHS Choices). Craniosacral Therapy is highly effective in helping lessen the symptoms of tension headaches.

However, we all have wonderfully different bodies, just because someone else has benefited from a therapy does not mean that your body will be the same and vice versa. The most important approach is to try a session directly and see if it works for you. The dynamics of the cranial bones and tension patterns behind the pain vary from person to person.

For those new to Craniosacral Therapy a set of 3 sessions is recommend to allow time for your body to fully respond.

Related Articles:
– Did you know that the cranial bones move?
– Easing Migraine Pain – John Upledger
– Can Craniosacral Therapy help with headaches?

Tension-type Headaches: The International Classification of Headache Disorders
Bashaum (2014) – “If the brain can’t feel pain, why do I get headaches?” – Society for Neuroscience