I was in the shower this morning; washing my hair and giving myself the best head massage. Oh the power of touch! I came across some of points on my head that were a little tender, as i continued to investigate i found that others were a little itchy. I was working on my neurovascular reflex points. These places on our heads that increase circulation and communication with muscles, organs, and glands in our body.
Originally discovered by Terrance Bennett in the 1930’s these points are the basis of my head massage. You know that lovely few moments at the end of a massage; it never seems long enough does it; some of my patients even prefer to start with a head massage. I like to cover all the points on the head when I treat even if it takes a few more minutes.
There is a lot of information about these points. Some people call them a bridge between the meridians and the nervous system. There are even emotional re patterning techniques that use these points while bringing up difficult emotions. Holding the points until the emotions pass.
Lets Jump in! As we touch some of these place remember that you need only a tiny amount of pressure; less is more! Breathing is essential! after all everything starts with the breath. Start this exercise by noticing where you are at. how does your body feel, is there any tension? what places are you feeling? These points are located on both sides of the head ( bilaterally) start by treating all the points on one side of the head and then compare that side of the body to the other.
- This point is on the forehead above the eye. There is a bony prominence you can feel around for it once you have landed there just pause. This is a great point for stress. Bringing the blood into the fore-brain and out of the fight or flight response. Have you ever noticed anyone doing this? This point is also for the small muscles around the base (lumbar spine) near the sacrum. Notice your low back; what sensations do you feel? cool? warm? expanding? These points are also related to the outside of the lower leg (peronials). For me personally i feel a cool fluid flowing down from the just below the lateral knee to the outside of my ankle. How does it feel to you?
- The second point is in line with the first just behind the hair line. You might notice your fingers fall into a divot here. This point is related to the muscles between your shoulder blades (Rhomboids). It is also a great spot to hold if you are experiencing some premenstrual cramps.
- Point #3 is on the side of your head. Follow the cheek bone back toward your ear and fall off just above it. Just in front of the ear and in line with the TMJ joint you will find this muscle. It is related to the top of your shoulders (upper fibre Trapezius) and the front of your chest (pectoral muscles). Using the hand from the opposite side may help you to feel what is going on. Notice how your shoulders feel.
- Point 4 can be found on the jaw (mandible) just above the point of your jaw. The muscles related to this point can be found in the front of the neck travelling from just below your ear to the middle of your collar bone; Sterno-cleido-mastoid (SCM). I feel a lovely warm feeling running down my neck when i touch here. What do you feel?
- Point #5 can by found on the mid-line of the head near the back. Some people have a flat spot in this area, keep in mind it is above the “bump” (external occipital protuberance) in the back of your head. This point is related to the back of your thighs (hamstrings) as well as the middle and lower fibres of the trapezius muscle just below the shoulder blades. What sensations are you feeling? is it warm or cool?
Compare the side you have just treated to the side that did not get touched. Is there a difference between them? repeat the holding or touch on the opposite side.
Play with this exercise. There are many more neurovascular points to be discovered, these are just a few to get you started. If you are not feeling anything as you move from point to point remember that practice makes perfect! and if it all seems a bit much to remember then just indulge in a great head massage either in the shower or the next time you visit your RMT