Headaches! Delving Deep into Headaches and Beyond.

Headaches! Delving deep into headaches and beyond.
We have all had them to varying degrees, intensities and frequencies – yes I am talking all things headaches. Types, causes, recognising symptoms, how to avoid them and what to do when you get one so you can be your best again as quickly as possible.

Headaches! Delving Deep into Headaches.

Headache alert Person rubbing forehead to alleviate tension caused by a headache.

Causes, signs & symptoms and self help advice

Headaches! Delving deep into headaches and beyond. Types, causes and cures. Self massage advice to help you at home or in the office.

We have all had them to varying degrees, intensities and frequencies – yes I am talking all things headaches.

I am on a mission to lift the lid on the most common types of headaches for you, signs and symptoms and most importantly how you can deal with them at home or at work or on the road. Along the way you might see an overall improvement in your wellbeing too with just a few simple changes.

My aim is to give you some self help advice so you can start feeling your best again as quickly as possible.

Let’s get started

A headache is one of the most common health complaints and can last from 30 minutes to several hours.

They are generally not serious and can be easily treated at home or at work and usually affect more women than men.

They can be an indicator of an underlying issue or linked to an ongoing health condition so never ignore a bad headache.

Please, always seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your headache.

That goes for a bump to the head as well. Minor or major accidents, whiplash and injuries should be assessed by medical professionals as soon as possible.

What is a headache?

  • A pain originating in the head, face and sometimes the upper neck.
  • Muscles in the shoulders, neck and head can become tired, fatigued or weak and lead to discomfort and pain.
  • Nerves, muscles and blood vessels can swell and tighten causing pressure on other structures which in turn cause pain.

4 Main Types of Headache

  • Tension
  • Migraine
  • Cluster
  • Hormone

Causes of Headaches

Graphic of some causes of headaches. 
with thanks to Co-Kinetic
Causes of Headaches (co-kinetic graphic)
  • Infections – ear ache, sinus pressure, viruses
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Eye strain
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormones
  • Weather
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Hunger
  • Alcohol
  • Accident / injury / whiplash
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Check your mattress and pillows
  • This list is not exhaustive!

Symptoms of Headaches

  • Tight feeling around the head
  • Dull ache around the forehead, nose and eyes
  • Pain around the eyes and sinuses
  • Sharp and or throbbing sensation around the temples
  • Blurred / double or distorted vision
  • Nausea
  • Hypersensitivity to light and noise

Who can be affected?

  • Anyone!
  • Migraines can be hereditary
  • Women can suffer from hormone headaches at certain times during their cycle and during the menopause.

Self help!

  • Hydrate! Probably the most important one. Grab a glass of water as your first line of defence.
  • Hot or cold pack to the affected area for a few minutes. Heat will open the blood vessels improving blood and oxygen flow to the area. Cold will have the opposite effect and reduce blood and oxygen flow. See which one helps you the most. It may depend on the type of headache you have that day.
  • Massage, gentle circles on the temples with your fingertips to reduce tension and improve relaxation.
  • Take some slow deep breaths as you do this too.
  • Firstly, you will slow your heart rate which in turn will lower blood pressure.
  • Secondly, deeper, slower breathing will allow more oxygen into your body and improve feelings of relaxation.
  • Take regular breaks from your screen or laptop. Eye strain can lead to tired eyes and eye muscles leading to headaches.
  • Easiest step to stop looking at your screen! Go for a walk, whether you are at home or in an office. Get up and move away from the screen.
  • Even just closing your eyes will have a similar effect if you can’t leave the screen. Dedicate 5 minutes every hour and see how it helps.
  • Posture when working at a desk. Check if your screen is at the right height. Looking down will cause neck muscles to tire and result in a headache over time.
  • Rest, if you are struggling with a cold, you may need to take extra rest to fight the infection and let your body’s immune system do its job!
  • Hunger. Avoid skipping meals and eat regularly. A drop in blood sugar levels can trigger headaches.

Take a bath

  • A warm relaxing bath can help to reduce the tension in the muscles around the neck and shoulders.
  • Try adding some bath oils with delicate essential oils to really encourage the body to let go.

Sleeping Habits

Good sleep
  • Assess your mattress and pillows. Are they providing you with enough support in the right areas? Is your mattress more than 8 years old? If so, it may time for a change.
  • Room temperature this can affect how well you sleep and if you are waking up with a headache.
  • Check if the room is too hot and stuffy, you may need to lower the temperature or open a window to let some fresh air in.
  • Take a glass of water to bed with you so if you wake up in the middle of the night you can hydrate and prevent a early morning headache.


Kirsty walking her dog in a grassy field
  • Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the frequency of headaches and should be encouraged on a daily basis.
  • Even a short 10 minute walk can have a positive impact on your headache and your overall health and wellbeing.
  • Outdoors is best but if that is not possible even moving around your house or office will have similar benefits.
  • Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi encourage relaxation, mindfulness, meditation and the opportunity for your mind and body to take time out and let go of some of the stresses and pressures of your daily life.

Therapies – get hands on!

Kirsty Wales hands on
Getting hands on during a back treatment
  • Targeted massage can help to reduce muscle tension which can lead to headaches.
  • Products can be used to enhance the calming effects of the treatment. Scents of lavender, sweet almond and coconut oil can help to induce relaxation.
  • A 30 minute session also allows the body to unwind, relax and switch off for a while.
  • Benefits of a treatment include lower blood pressure, more efficient breathing patterns and better sleep.
  • If you nod off during a treatment it is one of the biggest compliments you can give therapist! Go on – let go!
  • Your immune and digestive systems will benefit from a massage as well. Hence the noisy tummy during a massage – it is normal and a good thing!

Eye Health

Eye Test
  • When was your last eye test?
  • It may be over due.
  • An eye test is not just the size of the letters and the distance you can read them.
  • The test should include checks for the the health of your eyes and can be an indicator of future health problems.
  • Consider it an investment in your health!

Over The Counter Medications


  • A common pain killer for aches and pains.
  • Can help to lower your temperature and is a common ingredient in cold and flu medications.
  • It can take up to an hour to work.
  • Paracetamol should NOT be used in conjunction with any other product containing paracetamol.
  • Generally safe for most people to use.
  • Safe to use during pregnancy and breast feeding.


  • Available to buy over the counter.
  • Belongs to the family of NSAIDs – Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
  • Used for general aches and pains
  • Used to reduce inflammation – muscle strains and joint sprains as well as joint conditions like arthritis
  • Also found in common cold and flu medications
  • Can work in 20 -30 minutes
  • Avoid taking on an empty stomach
  • Works by reducing hormones released that cause the pain and swelling
  • It does NOT mix well with other medications

Kirsty’s Klan

Kirsty's Klan logo
Kirsty’s Klan Logo
  • If you are interested in saving money and having regular treatments have a look at the link below for my subscription service.



More resources

Here is a link to a free pdf you can download about tension headaches.

Co-Kinetic leaflet

The NHS have solid information if you want to find out more headaches.


Thank you for taking the time to read this Klog, I’d love to hear how it has helped you or if you would like a specific topic covered in future Klogs.


Check out my website for my other Klogs, services and skin care range.

Website: https://kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/

Are you on my VIP list? Have you missed your regular treatments? My December diary is open and ready for your bookings don’t delay!

Are you on my VIP List yet?
Have you missed your regular treatment? Pick up the phone and I’ll add you to my priority list.

Are you on my VIP waiting list? Have you missed your regular treatment? My December diary is open and ready for your bookings. Don’t delay!

Picture of a calendar and phrase Are you on my VIP waiting list?
Are you on my VIP list?
  • Why should you be on my list?
  • Do you have regular treatments with me?
  • Would you like to be seen as soon as possible post lockdown?
  • Then you should be on my list!

All you need to do is contact me and I will add you to my priority booking list. There a few on it already so don’t delay!! We did this in the summer after the first lockdown and it worked really well. 

As soon as the restrictions are eased and I can come out to you, I will be on the phone booking you in. The same Covid declarations and PPE regulations still apply and I think they will be here to stay for some time.

If you want to research your geographical area for the latest Covid infection rates or other related information there is a link to the government website at the bottom of the page along with a link to my website.

Stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you soon. 🙂

Kirsty's signature

Ways to contact me!

Use the contact us page

Comment in the box below

Email: kirsty@kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

Telephone or text: 07966 292 427

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Chemotherapy means…

What does chemotherapy mean? Drugs, treatment, cancer, often shortened to Chemo….

Chemotherapy means…

Chemotherapy has many forms.

Chemotherapy means…

Everyone imagines different settings and meanings when they hear the word chemotherapy. Treatment, hospital rooms, cancer……..

We have all heard or used the term chemotherapy but what is its origin and what does it actually mean?

What is the definition of chemotherapy?

Working with cancer clients, they come to me at different stages in their journey.

Whether they see me privately in their own home or at the Olive Tree Cancer Support Group where I volunteer my skills once a week. Which is why, I thought it would be interesting to find out its true meaning.

I started to do some research on the internet about it, because I wanted to increase my understanding and knowledge. Happily, I have found a book called ‘Coping with Chemotherapy’ by Dr Terry Priestman.

What have I learnt so far?

Did you know the word ‘Chemotherapy’ was originally used as a term to describe infection medications, like Antibiotics?

However, since the 1960s, cancer drug medications have been included under the umbrella of Chemotherapy. Probably because it was about this time that their efficacy came to light.

Of course nowadays we commonly refer to it as ‘Chemo’.

It is easy to see how the word is put together. ‘Chem’ from chemistry and of course therapy.

Now, chemotherapy relies purely on the use of drugs.

Once in the blood stream they are carried around the body. Helps to explain why the whole body can suffer from the side effects of the treatment and not just the cancer affected area.

Radiotherapy is a completely different type of treatment. Often grouped with chemotherapy but more often confused with it.

There will be more on Radiotherapy another time.

Three Main Types of Cancer Treatment Drugs

Briefly outlined below are the three most commonly used types of cancer chemotherapy drugs.

1. Cytotoxic Drugs: their mission is literally to damage the cancer cells. Sadly, normal cells are affected during the process, hence the hair loss and other negative side effects we have all heard of.

2. Hormonal Treatment: these are commonly used for breast cancer and prostate cancer. They can be very effective at their job. Unfortunately, not so successful with other types of cancer. Good news, generally a client will have less side effects though.

3. Targeted Drug Therapy: Abnormalities in cancer cells are deliberately attacked during this treatment. Which generally means the normal cells are left alone and not damaged. This is a huge step forward and results in fewer side effects as well.


The drugs can be given in tablet form or by infusion into the vein. Both are usually done on as an outpatient.


By being aware and understanding more about chemotherapy, my role in my clients care is even more effective. Helping my clients with their physical aches and pains is not my only role though.

With this extended knowledge, we can discuss their fears and anxieties as they undergo treatment and hopefully put many of them to rest.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their cancer journey the best thing you can do is ask for help from any cancer related group near you. They offer amazing support and have an abundance of experience you can draw on.

Covid19 Update to KWM Operating Protocols August 2020

Covid19 August 2020 Update. Here is the important information you need to know and how it will affect your massage….

Covid19 KWM operating protocols update August 2020.

I have amended my protocols in line with the industry requirements. This comes after the recent Covid19 Government update on Thursday 13th August. Here is the important information you need to be aware of now and how it will affect your treatments. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch.

07966 292 427



What you need to know…

Covid19 Updated with PPE!

Due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, please can I ask that you wear a face mask or face covering for the duration of my visit and your treatment from now on. (I generally have spare masks with me if required and NO, I will not charge you if you need one.)

I can make exceptions of course, based on your needs. For example, if you are lying face down for your treatment, wearing a mask can affect your breathing. You maybe exempt from wearing one for health reasons. I will be record these adjustments in your treatment notes at the time.

Many of you have already seen me in my surgical mask and or face visor, however the new updates require me to wear both a face mask and a visor for all treatments regardless of the location from now onwards. Yes, it is time for Darth Vader Massage!

I apologise now for any heavy breathing over the coming months! I will keep using gloves where possible and all my other ‘normal’ treatment practices will continue.

Rest assured I am complying with all my industry and insurance guidelines. These are based on the government regulations. They are designed to keep us both safe during your treatments.

I will use copious amounts of hand sanitiser before, during and after your treatment!

All my equipment is cleaned including the car which is also ventilated.

Dettol is your new best friend.


Here is a link to the full government document stating the Covid19 Update.


Keep yourselves safe and well, see you soon,

Helping you get out of pain during Covid19, Wave Goodbye to Pain

Using a video link, we will discuss and analyse your symptoms. With this information, I can prescribe exercises and stretches to get you out of pain and moving again at home.

Helping you get out of pain and wave the aches and pains goodbye….

Use a Covid19 Online Appointment to get out of pain

April Calendar for booking appointments
Book your appointment

Kirsty, How will my online consultation work and help get me out of pain?

Helping you get out of pain without leaving home. By using my new software system for online appointments. http://www.rehabmypatient.com

Helping to get you out of pain during lockdown.

First Step

Call me to discuss and triage your symptoms. This is free of charge. There is no obligation to continue after this.

If you chose to book an appointment, it will be confirmed once your payment by bacs has been received.

The normal 24 hours cancellation policy applies.

Prices currently valid until 01/07/2020.

During Your 30 Minute Consultation

Using a video link, we will discuss and analyse your symptoms. With this information, I can prescribe exercises and stretches to get you out of pain and moving again at home.

You will receive a tailored rehab plan by email.

Your PDF document contains all the exercises and stretches with diagrams and instructions on how and when to perform them.

Each one has a link to a YouTube video for you to watch. You can refer to this as much as you need to throughout your rehab.

Getting you out of pain Draft Tailored Rehab Plan
Draft Tailored Rehab Plan

Testimonials April 2020

This new service has been well received.

“Hi Kirsty, your new software is great – very comprehensive – I like that it gives guidance on lifting/icing as well as the exercises” Diane in Cowfold, West Sussex.

“Dear Kirsty, thank you for organising and sending me these exercises specially tailored to my needs. I found the phone call extremely helpful in understanding what I need to do, to help myself.

After my local hospital physiotherapy department discharged me, with a small set of exercises to do as they were closing due to the Covid19 pandemic, I really wanted to keep up my with my physio and do more once I had exhausted the original NHS exercises.

The exercise plan that you provided me, has not only forwarded my recovery but has lifted the pain that my trapped nerve had caused me, helping have a better night’s sleep.

The diagram sheets that you provide along with the video clips are so easy to understand that I manage to do them right every time.

I love the exercise diary, it’s a tick off to remember that you’ve done them list which I have printed out and stuck on my fridge.

This is such a great service you provide in these challenging times and once lockdown is over I can’t wait to book you for therapeutic massage.

Thank you for all your help”. Best wishes, Sophie in Horsham, West Sussex


I am here to help if you have any of the following:

  • Muscle Aches, Pains and Niggles
  • Joint Pain
  • Back Pain
  • New injuries
  • Old Recurring Issues

All you need to do is ring me.

Have a look at my website for more information and testimonials from clients who have already used this new service. www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

I am happy to talk about video appointments with you and answer any questions you may have. Just give me a ring : 07966 292427.


Why is networking important?

Getting out of my comfort zone and attending a networking meeting

Demonstrating the power of touch at a networking lunch
The power of touch at networking

Why is networking important for my business you ask. There is only me in the business, there are only so many clients I can see in a day. So why bother? How is it going to help me? I went once and it didn’t work! If any of these resonate with you, then please read on!

Why is networking important?

I do not find these meetings easy. That is the honest truth. I am way out of my comfort zone, attending a strange venue, not knowing anyone, walking in on my own, not knowing a soul, making small talk; oh the list goes on!

However, I have pushed myself over the last 12 months to commit to networking. It is not enough to just join though. More importantly, I have committed to attend 3 different local network groups. I have found and joined a couple of online ones too.

Reasons to attend

  • Personal development, a much over used phrase these days but, I have improved my self confidence, self belief and mindset by attending.
  • Pushed my comfort zone barriers which has helped me in other areas of running the business.
  • Made good connections within the community so my brand is better known.
  • Worked with people to improve my social media presence, content and skills.
  • Had an article published about my oncology massage in ‘Etc’ magazine.
  • Met local therapists attending the meetings.
  • Showcased my skills.
  • Lastly, gained clients.

So, networking is not all bad! It has given me the opportunity to meet the people who have helped my business grow and get it to where it is today. Social media, marketing, photographers, IT solutions, financial advisors……Each group has such a varied selection of industries you never know who you are going to meet. No, the business has not reached it maximum yet and it is still growing. I will keep attending regularly and contribute to the online groups with helpful advice and information.


If your mindset is that you are there to just ‘sell yourself’ you need to change it. My expectations were completely wrong as I thought that too!

Networking is not just about ‘getting new clients’ it is about building connections in your area and community.

If you meet someone at a meeting and their services are not relevant to you at the time, it might be that you know someone else who could benefit and pass on their details.

If I have inspired you to attend a meeting, heed my advice.

Avoid being boring! Especially, when you introduce yourself and give your 1 minute talk.

Say something memorable and make them laugh. I often refer to my broomstick parked outside and ‘witchy woo’skills, whilst waving my hands about. My hands are the key tool of my job, they help people manage their aches and pains, injuries and side effects of cancer medications and so on. Therefore, rather than saying “Hello, I’m a massage therapist and you must come and see me” (yawn, yawn), engage them as an audience, tell it as a story, give advice, hints, tips or a demonstration.

After all the hand shakes, card swapping and the meeting has finished, they might not remember my name or where I work, but they will probably remember me standing up and waving my arms about like a mad woman and something about being a witch!

In Conclusion

As someone who considered networking as something only bigger business did, the thought of attending a group filled me with horror and brought me out in a cold sweat, let me assure you it is not as bad as you think. Yes, you may need to try a few groups to find the one that suits you best but when you do find it, join and commit to going. Most groups will allow you to attend a meeting free before you pay your subscription.

If you want your business to grow,expand, take over the world or whatever you targets and goals are, search for your local groups and get out there and network. Be you, make an impact and you never know, if we meet each other at a meeting, so please don’t trip over my broomstick on your way out!

I would love to hear your ups and downs of networking, use the comment box below and if you would like to receive my newsletter, you can sign up on the front page.


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