Is your mask contributing to headaches, neck pain or jaw tension?
It’s likely because:
The bands create firm, sustained pressure in a very focal area behind your ears and on your face (our nervous systems hate this!) Think about a time when you were sitting at a desk with poor posture and sustained pressure on various parts…how long did it take before you started feeling tight, tense, irritable and feeling as if you needed to shift your weight around.
Wearing a mask is no different.
Additionally, the snug nature affects controlled breathing, especially when trying to talk while wearing one.
- Before putting your mask on use your fingertips and apply gentle, circular pressure to the parts of your face and jaw that your mask covers. This releases muscle tension. Focal tension heightens sensitivity to our nervous systems, but we can bypass this by increasing the number of touch points and diffusing the sensitivity.
- Mobilize your neck by moving it in all ranges of motion. Tuck your chin to your chest, look up at the ceiling, ear down to each shoulder, and rotate your head side to side. Complete 10 movements in each direction, nice and slow.
- Use a lacrosse ball and roll it over particularly sensitive areas such as the muscles at the base of your skull or upper shoulders.
- Be intentional with your breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Place a drop of peppermint essential oil on the inside of your mask around the part that covers your jawline.