3 Simple Tips to enjoy your holidays without the pain of headaches!
We are in the full throws of the holiday season! Whether your plans include time with family, friends, travel or rest, I hope this is a peaceful and restoritive time for you. While this time of year carries lots of excitement, the stress of the aforementioned items (looking at you family and travel) often act as triggers for headaches and migraines. With that in mind, consider adding a couple of these throughout the season to add in movement, mindfulness and (maybe) a few moments to yourself!
Scapular Retractions:Find a comfortable spot to sit or stand quietly. Begin by engaging in diaphragmatic breathing—inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand. As you exhale slowly through your mouth, initiate scapular retractions by squeezing your shoulder blades together, pulling them back and down. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, focusing on the muscles between your shoulder blades. Release your breath and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. This exercise not only enhances posture but also releases tension, providing a sense of calm amidst the holiday rush.
Isometric Cervical Rotation:Integrate diaphragmatic breathing into isometric cervical rotation for a holistic relaxation experience. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise. As you exhale slowly through your mouth, gently press your head into your hand while resisting with your hand. Hold for 5-10 seconds, focusing on the breath and the gentle stretch in your neck. Switch sides and repeat. This exercise engages neck muscles and promotes relaxation, effectively combating stress-related headaches.
Diaphragmatic Breathing:Diaphragmatic breathing can also be done as a stand alone exercise. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you count to four. Hold your breath for a count of four, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for another count of four, allowing your abdomen to fall. Repeat this diaphragmatic breathing cycle for several minutes, allowing your body and mind to unwind. Incorporate diaphragmatic breathing throughout the day to manage holiday pressures.
Let me know what you think of these. I hope you have a peaceful and headache free holiday season!
Interested in learning more how our headache services can help you enjoy your holidays? Scheudle a complimentary phone consult with Dr. Hillman!
Dr. Corey Hillman is a Physical Therapist and owner of Gate City Physio – a boutique physical therapy clinic in Downtown Greensboro. He specializes in helping individuals suffering from jaw pain, headaches and neck pain regain their freedom and get back to enjoying the little things in life.