Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
The following nontraditional therapies may help if you have tension headache pain:
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture may provide temporary relief from chronic headache pain. Acupuncture practitioners treat you using extremely thin, disposable needles that generally cause little pain or discomfort. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture website provides referrals to medical doctors who use acupuncture in their practices.
- Massage. Massage can help reduce stress and relieve tension. It's especially effective for relieving tight, tender muscles in the back of your head, neck and shoulders. For some people, it may also provide relief from headache pain. Gently massage the muscles of your head, neck and shoulders with your fingertips. Or have someone else do the massage for you. The American Massage Therapy Association can provide referrals to licensed practitioners.
- Deep breathing, biofeedback and behavior therapies. A variety of relaxation therapies are useful in coping with tension headache, including deep breathing and biofeedback. If anxiety or depression is an issue, behavior therapy may be helpful for dealing with stress and pain.
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