Do-It-Yourself Massage Therapy: Head

While something as simple as a light fingertip massage of the scalp can be relaxing, the head has many pressure points that can be harnessed for a relaxing self-massage.

Using firm pressure with your fingertips, rub small circular motions along the temples to induce relaxation.

Perhaps one of the most effective pressure points on the head is a pair of points along the occipital ridge. To find the points, feel along the back of your head for the hollow where the spine meets the base of the skull. A bony ridge on the skull just above that hollow is the occipital ridge, and the pressure points are located along that ridge just too either side of the hollow. Massaging this area can induce a deep relaxation over the whole body.

Specialised tools exist to massage the occipital ridge pressure points, but two tennis balls in a sock can work just as well. Simply lay down with the tennis balls on the pressure points and be still for about 20 minutes to allow for full relaxation to take effect. It is recommended not to do this alone, at least for the first few sessions, as the relaxation can be so profound that people have had problems standing up afterward.

Head massage can also be invigorating. A world apart from tugging girls’ ponytails, hair pulling for head massage involves firmly grasping a fistful of hair, keeping the knuckles against the scalp and pulling firmly.