An Eyebrow Massage May Bring You Headache Relief

Headaches are one of the most common body pains, and almost everyone gets them at least sometimes, according to the World Health Organization. Still, that doesn't mean headaches are minor or don't get in the way of everyday life. If you experience headaches often, you might have a headache disorder or chronic migraines, which affect three times as many women as men. And suffering from these conditions is no joke — one study estimated that severe headaches contribute to up to 33 sick days per employee (and a whopping 30 million collective sick days) each year (via Daily Mail).


Despite being such a, um, headache to deal with, standard treatment advice for headaches and migraines is usually limited to "pop an aspirin and rest." But an ancient eyebrow massage might be another tool to add to your anti-headache arsenal — and it could even stop pain before it starts. Here's what experts say about the technique and how to try it yourself.

The connection between your brows and head pain

Next time you get a headache, notice where exactly you feel pain. For many, discomfort can strike right around the eyebrows, and massaging this area could bring natural relief. "Massaging the eyebrows has a multitude of benefits for the head, eyes, sinuses, and skin," Shari Auth, a doctor of Chinese medicine, told Well+Good. "Eyebrow massages are especially important for people who get optical headaches or have tired eyes after too much screen time, as they relax the eye area."


The practice of massaging the eyebrows to alleviate pain originated from acupressure, an ancient Chinese therapy (per WebMD). The traditional theory focuses on applying pressure to meridian points on the body to treat a variety of ailments. According to Medical News Today, the area between the eyebrows and near the head of the brows are among the points associated with headache relief when massaged.

A 2021 study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain also pinpointed a link between the overuse of certain eyebrow muscles and migraines. Though the researchers suggested surgery as one possible treatment, more mild cases could, in theory, benefit from regular massages to ease tension.

How to massage away headache pain

You don't need to be an acupressure expert to naturally get rid of headaches using massage. All you need are your fingers and about 30 to 60 seconds to try the technique. Healthline suggests either firmly pressing on your third eye (the spot right between your eyebrows, above the nose) for one minute or using both index fingers to press on the drilling bamboo points (the curves where your nose bridge meets your eyebrows) repeatedly for 10 seconds at a time.


If your headache stretches along the length of your brows and into your temples, get your whole hands involved, as massage therapist Clinton Kyles recommended to Well+Good: "[I]nterlace the fingers on the forehead and eyebrows and sweep them open into the temples, applying more targeted pressure to the area." To kick it up a notch, try pinching the eyebrows five times for 10 seconds, as Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto advises. Make sure to take big, slow breaths, and stop if the headache pain worsens.