This routine is a lovely one for helping to prevent headaches and relieve stress. You can also use it when you are suffering from a headache to release the tension and reduce the pain.
Just a quick note – this routine isn’t intended to take the place of medical advice or medication. Always speak to your doctor if you are suffering from frequent headaches. But face yoga can be hugely helpful as a part of your toolkit for treating and preventing migraines and headaches.
Always work to your own level with my face yoga routines. Choose a pressure that is comfortable for you and feel free to skip any moves that feel painful. Especially if you have a headache right now, you might want to keep the pressure light.
Before you start
Make sure you have a clean face and clean hands before starting the routine.
You will also need a few drops of a gentle face serum to help your hands move more smoothly over your skin. I recommend my Fusion by Danielle Collins Pro Lift Facial Moisturising Serum.
Made with organic seed oils, it has been specially formulated to complement face yoga and facial massage. It is gentle on your skin and is easily absorbed, without leaving a greasy finish.
Simply smooth a few drops over your skin to make it easier for you to use these face yoga moves to release tension and soothe your headache.
Find a comfortable position. Keep your spine long and your shoulders relaxed away from your ears.
And we are ready to begin the routine.
Face yoga routine to relieve or prevent headaches
We’ll start the routine with our hands in our laps. Bring your attention to your breath – feel free to have your eyes closed here if that feels right for you.
Concentrate on your abdomen, feeling it rise as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out.
As you focus on your breath, see if there is any tension you can let go. Simply taking the time to put aside your day-to-day busy life and concentrate on your breathing is a wonderful way to regain a sense of calm and relieve those headaches that come from stress and worry.
Start to lengthen and deepen your breath. Try to keep it long and deep throughout this face yoga practice.
Move 1: Third-eye point
Bring your index finger to the spot in between your eyebrows. You can open your eyes now or keep them closed if you prefer.
Put a gentle amount of pressure on this spot. If you have a headache right now, you might want to keep it very light. Otherwise, you can press a little more firmly to find a pressure that is comfortable for you.
Don’t forget to concentrate on your breathing here too.
This point, your ‘third-eye’ point, is a wonderful one for releasing stress, headaches, migraines, and eye strain. It is also good for preventing those number 11 lines that sometimes appear between your eyebrows.
After a few breaths, you can start to gently massage the point. Move your finger in small circles, first in one direction and then in the other.
Move 2: Above the eyebrows
Place your index fingers just above the centre of your eyebrows – you should feel a small notch to help you identify where the acupressure point is.
Start with your fingers still, just putting gentle pressure on those two points. Continue to focus on your breathing and relaxing your face.
Try to soften every area of your face, especially your jaw, eye area, and forehead, which often carry a lot of tension.
Now you can move your fingers in a circular motion to massage the points. Go in one direction for a few seconds, then the other direction.
Move 3: The temples
Bring your fingers to your temples. This time we will start the massage straight away.
Use the same circular motion, keeping a steady pressure. Move your fingers in one direction for a few breaths and then go the other way.
We can hold so much tension in our temples. It is an area strongly linked to headaches and stress. But these acupressure points have been used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to unblock stagnant energy and improve our wellbeing.
They have some wonderful aesthetic benefits for our skin, helping to improve the circulation and prevent lines. And they are also so good for combatting stress and promoting our general health and wellness.
Move 4: Chin and jawline
Take two fingers on each hand to either side of your chin indent.
Using your fingers on the top of your jawbone and your thumb underneath, gently pinch along your jawline, working from the chin out towards your ears.
Repeat this motion a few times.
The jaw is a key area for headache prevention and treatment – when we are stressed or concentrating, we build up a lot of tension in this area.
Don’t forget to concentrate on those deep, restorative breaths as you do this.
Move 5: Forehead
Take the tips of all four of the fingers on each hand to your forehead. Tap your fingers over your forehead, moving up and down.
As you do this, concentrate on relaxing your facial muscles as much as you can. And continue to focus on the in and out of your breath as you tap.
Move 6: Head
Next, we will be working directing on our heads. If you have your hair up, you might want to take off any hairbands or headbands for this part so that your hands can move freely.
Keeping your fingers spread wide to cover your full head, stroke them back from where your forehead meets your hairline right over and round to the back of your skull.
Don’t worry about continuing down over your hair. It is the scalp we are concentrating on here.
Keep the pressure comfortable, but firm enough that you can feel your fingers working your scalp.
Repeat the stroking motion several times, then take your fingers to the back of your head and massage your scalp. Keep your fingers spread wide and work in a circular motion – first one way and then the other. You can use your thumb at the base of your skull, just behind your ears.
Keep breathing here – inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
Finishing the routine
Take a few deep breaths, in and out. Then take your palms together and rub them against each other to generate some heat.
Still taking those long, deep breaths, lay your hands over your face. Close your eyes and focus on relaxing and releasing any last bits of tension.
Bring your hands down to your lap – eyes still closed if that feels comfortable. Lengthen your spine and take a few calming breaths.
Open your eyes and finish with one last deep breath in and deep breath out.
That is the end of this routine. It should only take around 7 minutes but is a wonderfully restorative practice which you can do once or twice a day to keep those headaches at bay.
You can also watch this routine through as a video on my YouTube channel.
And if you’d like to learn more about face yoga and how it can help to lift your face, improve your skin, and support your health and wellness, you can find out about my sessions and sign up to my newsletter here.