The most effective Clinical Somatics exercises for relieving tension headaches
If you are interested in learning Clinical Somatics exercises, the best way to start is with the Level One & Two Courses. These online courses teach Clinical Somatics exercises that release chronic tension throughout the body. The exercises are slow, gentle and suitable for people of all ages and physical abilities.
The following exercises from the Level One & Two Courses are the most effective exercises for releasing the tight muscles that can cause tension headaches.
LEVEL ONE COURSE
Arch & Flatten: This exercise allows you to release and regain control of the lower back and abdominal muscles, improving the alignment of the pelvis and lower back.
Back Lift: This exercise is practiced lying on the stomach, allowing you to most effectively pandiculate the muscles on the back side of your body. When first practicing this exercise, the increase in blood flow may cause a temporary mild headache. This will stop occuring as your muscles release and you get accustomed to this exercise. You can skip it if you need do, just do elements of it, or practice it as a micromovement.
Arch & Curl: This exercise releases the abdominal, chest, and neck muscles.
One-Sided Arch & Curl and Diagonal Arch & Curl: Like the Arch & Curl, these exercises release the abdominal, chest, and neck muscles. They focus on one side of your body at a time, allowing you to address imbalances in your muscular patterns.
Iliopsoas Release: This is an important exercise for everyone to do regularly, as most of us hold unnecessary tension in our iliopsoas. Tension in the iliopsoas causes tension in the lower back, which can lead to tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders.
Washcloth: This exercise involves a twisting movement of the shoulder girdle along with rotation of the entire spine; it is a wonderful release for the neck, shoulders, back, and waist muscles. You can practice the upper body part of the exercise on its own to focus on releasing neck and shoulder tension.
Flowering Arch & Curl: This is a bigger, full-body version of the Arch & Curl. It has the added benefit of releasing internal rotation of the shoulders. You can practice the upper body part of the exercise on its own to focus on releasing neck and shoulder tension.
LEVEL TWO COURSE
Head Lifts: This exercise works directly with releasing the muscles that pull the head forward, including the sternocleidomastoid and anterior scalene.
Proprioceptive Exercise 1: This is a seated exercise practiced in front of a mirror, allowing you to retrain your posture and proprioception.
Scapula Scoops 1 & 2: These exercises release the upper and middle trapezius, rhomboids, and pectorals.
Face & Jaw Exercises: These exercises release the muscles of the face and jaw, which are often tight in people who suffer from headaches.