By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Tribune Newspapers
October 5, 2011
A common plight of the "office athlete" — whose sport entails sitting for hours staring at a computer — is facial pain brought on by long bouts of reading, screen glare and teeth-grinding.
Left unchecked, facial pain can produce sinus and tension headaches, toothaches, blurred vision and the pressure-cooker feeling that your head might explode, said Cynthia Ribeiro, president-elect of the American Massage Therapy Association and an instructor at the National Holistic Institute, a massage school in California.
Happily, help is literally at your fingertips. At least once a week (ideally, once a day) give yourself a face massage to relieve the muscle tension, Ribeiro said. She shared some techniques for massaging key facial trigger points. Apply light to moderate pressure to avoid aggravating any issue. You should feel a "good" pain; if it hurts too much, back off.
For temporal headaches: Press four fingers against the temporal muscle and move them back and forth, up and down or in a circular motion.
For frontal and sinus headaches: Put three fingers of each hand above the eyebrow line and press left to right, to the hairline, without gliding.
For tension headaches, tired eyes and sinuses: Press your thumbs up against the underside of the brow bone in the eye socket.
For stress and tension throughout the body (if you have time for only one exercise, this is the one to do): Using your three middle fingers arranged in a triangle, apply pressure just above the bridge of your nose, known as the "third eye."
For sinus headaches and allergies: With your index and middle fingers, press along, above and below your cheekbones.