Pain in life By Sophie Xie / May 9, 2016 Secret Trick to Relieve Fatigue and Improve Sleep Quality: Brush Your Hair- From a physical therapist (and I teach this to my patient all this time)Yes! You heard me right. Brush your hair, or a scalp massage.This is the homework I give to all my fibro, neck pain, headache, TMJ or post-brain surgery patients to do at home. It's a trick I learned from my Chinese heritage and adapted as an easy and effective tool for all my patients and friends who need help to improve sleep.Now I am going to share the wonder with you.3 major benefits of Brushing hair at bedtime + 1 bonus 1 Relieve muscle tension, relax headache-inducing muscle spasms After a full day of "you vs the world," your head maybe feeling heavy and numb. There are some muscles under the scalp that could use a loving massage.In the back, the occipitalis muscles connects to neck muscles. It frequently becomes tender when we are experiencing neck stiffness. On the side, the temporalis muscle is a common screamer, especially after prolonged focus and thinking. If you wear glasses, the frame legs maybe squeezing on this muscle, causing more tenderness.In the front, the frontalis muscle on the forehead often tense up with too much reading or focus (frowning). If you brush the scalp in proper the direction, these muscle can relax and let blood flow into the muscle, flushing out any metabolic by-products. 2 Increase blood flow to the scalp and relax the mind, lift fatigue. There is a layer of continuous superficial fascia, connecting from the neck to the face. Just like the dense fascia in your back and legs, this fascia contain small blood vessels and nerve endings. They can become uneven and node up, creating dense spots that seclude floor flow and irritate nerves. The even pressure from brushing your hair stimulates blood flow to the region. You can also massage the fascia and its fibers to relax. This will decrease the heaviness and numbness and clear your mind. 3 Increase body release of serotonine, promote state of happiness and calming. Gentle restorative massage promote our bodies to release serotonin to our brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. It's well known for its role in regulating mood, hunger, sleep and ability to promote a sense of wellbeing and contentment. Low serotonin levels are known to cause sleep disruption and disorder such as insomnia. Common causes for a decrease in serotonin secretion are stress and poor diet.Brushing hair around bedtime is an excellent way to self induce peaceful drowsiness, and prep your body and mind for dreamland. Beauty Bonus: Brushing hair can stimulate blood flow to hair roots, improving hair growth and hair quality. No wonder high-end salons offer scalp massage as part of their service! How to brush your hair properly to receive above the benefitsWhen: After your nightly TV shows, before you are ready to wind down for lights out. During or after hot a shower is preferred.What: Use the correct type of brush. This is very important to prevent damage or irritation to your scalp. If you have thin and damaged hair, choose the soft boar bristle brush. If you have medium to thick hair, you can use the mix nylon and boar bristle brush. Make sure the tip of the bristle are protected by round balls. This is very important to protect your scalp. How: Follow the next 3 steps, using some medium pressure, and adjustfor personal preferenceFirst, brush front to back with long smooth strokes hairline to hairline, ear to ear. Brush through the entire scalp three times to warm up.Starting from one corner, use a circular motion, move across the scalp slowly. You can dwell over sore spots longer. Do circles across your entire scalp 1-2 times .Starting from one side of the temple area, push the bristle down against the skin and shift the brush gently . Focus on tender spots; temple area, top of your head, behind your ears, etc.The entire brushing session should last around 3-5 mins.For addition benefits and perks, you can use your favorite essential oil or lavender to add aromatherapy effects. Recommendation: Take benefit of the immediate effects by going to bed soon after brushing. Preferably by turning off lights and gadgets, and thinking about happy thoughts. Thank you for reading, and I hope you find this post helpful.Like what you just read? Share this post via our social media buttons! They are everywhere on this page!Want to know more about treating your own pain with techniques from a physical therapist?Please subscribe to our newsletter!