Woman with sore temples, temple headache relief, temples hurt.

What Does It Mean If Your Temples Hurt? (Temple Pain, Sore Temples, Temple Headache Relief)

Temples are the flat region on either side of the forehead, behind the eyes. They are one of the most sensitive and delicate parts of the head. Sore temples or temple pain is truly uncomfortable.What does it mean if your temples hurt? Read through for temple headache relief with Ayurveda.

We’ll also cover in this article…

The Importance Of The Head In Ayurveda
The Importance Of The Temple Region
Shankha + Utkshepa Marma: Why They Matter
What Does It Mean If Your Temples Hurt?
Ayurvedic Management For Hurting Temples
Marma Massage For Temple Headache Relief
When To See The Doctor
Injured Marmas In The Temple Region
Shankha Marma: Anatomical Structure
Injury To Shankha Marma

Utkshepa Marma: Anatomical Structure
Injury To Utkshepa Marma

A hurting or throbbing sensation in the temples, on one or both sides of the head is one of the most common complaints with which clients turn to their health care provider.

Injury to the temple region may lead to serious consequences if not treated promptly. If you have an injury to your head go to your doctor immediately.

Here in this article we discuss the importance of the temple region and the most common conditions in which temples hurt, along with their Ayurvedic management. We also share why and how you should take special care of this sensitive region.

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Woman with sore temples. Temples hurt.The Importance Of The Head In Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, the supraclavicular region (Urdhavajatrugata) is an essential part of the body. The head (Shiro) is the most important part, referred to as the best organ (Uttamanga).1 It contains all five intellectual senses and the seat of vital force of energy (Prana vata). There are a total of 37 vital points (Marma) present in the head and neck region. Injury to them can lead to death, damage or deformity. So it is important to know the constituents and position of Marma to protect them from injury.

READ MORE: How Many Marma Points Are In The Body?, Marma Chikitsa: 9 Potential Benefits

The Importance Of The Temple Region

According to Ayurveda, two important marma points correspond to the temple region, Shankha marma and Utkshepa marma. Here is detailed information for both of these marma points.2

Shankha means the shape of a conch shell and Utkshepa means that ‘which is upwards’ or present above the Shankha marma. Stimulation of both of these marma points may be useful when there is pain in the temple or the temple hurts due to dizziness, nausea, mental overexertion, sleep disorder due to anger or strain, nasal congestion, rhinitis or strained eyes.

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Shankha + Utkshepa Marma: Why They Matter

Shankha marma is the region where strenuous thinking takes place. Utkshepa marma is responsible for more lighter awareness. When one bothers about anything, the temple marma points get effected, blood fills the arteries present in the Shankha marma region and Utkshepa marma opens the flow of energy upwards which gives relief.3

Marma points of the temple, for sore temples, temple headache relief, temple pain.

What Does It Mean If Your Temples Hurt?

Here are some common conditions in which the temples hurt.

The temples hurt in headaches. The most common conditions in which the temples hurt or there is pain in the temple region are tension headache, migraine, temporal arteritis and trigeminal neuralgia. Let’s take a look at each of these.

Tension Headache

This is the most common type of primary headache. Tension-type headaches most commonly last from 30 minutes to seven days. They occur due to an increase in stress, lack of sleep or irregular meal timing. The pain is commonly present on both sides of the head (bilateral). The pain is generally mild to moderate and does not get worse with routine physical activity.

In Ayurvedic medicine, the etiology and majority of the symptoms of tension headache show some correlation with headache due to vitiation of Vata dosha (Vatik Shirashool) where pain occurs in the temporal region.4

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Migraine

Migraine is characterized by recurrent headaches that can be moderate to severe and affect half of the head. Pain in a migraine is pulsating or throbbing in nature, and lasts from two to 72 hours. Triggering factors of migraine are fatigue, certain foods and weather.

Temporal Arteritis

When throbbing pain turns into a constant headache, and is accompanied by tenderness in the temples, it may be a sign of temporal arteritis, an inflammatory condition in which the temporal arteries, supplying blood to the head and brain, become inflamed or damaged.

In Ayurveda, migraine can be correlated to the condition called Ardhavabhedaka based on the similarity in etiology and symptoms. It occurs due to vitiation of Vata dosha alone or along with Kapha. The nature of the severity of pain is described as pricking, piercing, excruciating and tearing on half of the head.5

According to the Ayurvedic sage Sushruta, it is episodic and tends to occur fortnightly or monthly.6

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia is defined as a unilateral disorder which is characterized by severe, shooting pain that may feel like an electric shock. It is abrupt in onset and termination.

Generally, pain affects one side of the face at a time. Onset is typically spontaneous, and tends to persist for weeks or months before remitting suddenly. Pain is present in the areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve including the cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips, eye and forehead along with restricted jaw movement.

In Ayurveda, Trigeminal Neuralgia can be correlated with the condition called Anantavata. In this condition due to several etiological factors Vata alone or along with Pitta and Kapha becomes aggravated, and gives rise to intense pain at the carotid artery region (Manya), on the back and at the nape of the neck.

Afterwards the pain becomes constant in the eyes, eyebrow and temple region along with twitching in half of the head, lock jaw and pathology of the eyes.7

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Woman with sore temples. Temples hurt.Ayurvedic Management For Hurting Temples

Tension Headache (Vatik Shirshool)

The principle of management for Vatik Shirshool pertains to pacifying Vata dosha.8 It consists of oleation therapy (Snehana), sudation (Swedana) and nasal instillation (Nasya).

Oleation with its unctuousness (Snigdha Guna) pacifies dryness (Ruksha Guna) of Vata. Sudation and application of a poultice (Upanaha) with hotness (Ushna Guna) pacifies the coldness (Sheeta Guna) of Vata and thus alleviate its vitiation. Nasal instillation (Nasya) by its specific action on the supraclavicular region (Urdhvajatru) not only pacifies Vata but also acts as a rejuvenation therapy (Rasayana) to prevent relapses. For nasal instillation (Nasya), the ancient Ayurvedic sage Charaka advocated a special formulation like Rasnadi oil and Baladi oil, both of which contain Vata pacifying (Vatashamaka) as well as body nourishing (Brimhan) herbs.

A diet which is pacifying for Vata dosha (Vatahara Anna) is encouraged. That includes milk, ghee, meat soups and more.

External therapies include all the Ayurvedic therapies like massage (Abhyanga), the pouring of herbal liquid on the forehead (Shirodhara), keeping a cotton cloth dipped in herbal oil on the head (Shiro Pichu) and pouring herbal oil over the head in a cap like structure (Shirovasti or Shirobasti).

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Migraine (Ardhavabhedaka)

In the Ayurvedic classical text Charaka Samhita, its principle of management is mostly Vata pacifying which comprises of the following therapies.9

  1. Oleation (Snehapana)
  2. Nasal Instillation (Nasya)
  3. Sudation (Nadi sweda, Poultice)
  4. Herbal Enema (Vasti)
  5. Other external therapies which can benefit this condition are massage (Abhyanga) which helps to invigorate sensory pathways and improve blood and lymph flow, pouring of herbal liquid on the forehead (Shirodhara) and pouring of herbal oil over the head in a cap-like structure (Shirovasti or Shirobasti).

Trigeminal Neuralgia (Anantavata)

Ayurvedic management includes Vata pacifying therapies such as the following.10

  1. Internal Oleation (Snehpana)
  2. Massage (Snehana)
  3. Sudation (Swedana, Nadi sweda)
  4. Nasal Instillation (Tarpan Nasya)
  5. Other external therapies which can benefit this condition are massage (Abhyanga), instillation of herbal oil into the ears (Karnapooran), and cotton cloths dipped in herbal oil and kept on the head (Shiropichu).

Marma Massage For Temple Headache Relief

Marma practitioners have noticed that stimulation of Utkshepa and Shankha marma points are useful in the treatment of facial paralysis.11 Massage (Abhyanga) on Shankha and Utkshepa marma points also have shown positive results in relieving hurting temples or headache. Presently many therapists are using these marma points during massage, along with the application of different kinds of Ayurvedic and aromatic oils, according to the symptoms of the client.

Here’s a list of oils which the therapist can use while performing massage on these two marmas of the temple region, according to the requirement of the client’s condition.12

Oils you can use for sore temples, temple headache relief, temple pain and more.

During massage, stimulation of these marma points can provide relief from pain by secreting a number of prostaglandin inhibitors, endorphin-like substances which are helpful in headache. A therapist opines that instant pain relief is possible within no time through this therapy.13

READ MORE: Herbal Oils For Marma Massage, Facial Marma Massage: Herbal Oils + Kansa Wand Sequences, Marma Points For Indigestion And Metabolism

When To See The Doctor

If you are experiencing a sudden, severe headache which is also accompanied by other health conditions like fever, stiffness of the neck, see your doctor immediately. If, in the case of constant temporal region pain along with swelling in the temple region for a long duration of time, then the above management is not enough to give relief. Consult your doctor immediately.

Injured Marmas In The Temple Region

Marma are the vital parts of the body, defined as an anatomical area where arteries, tendons, veins, bones and joints meet.14 They are the location of three doshas along with a subtle form of vital life force (prana) and three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) which are integral components of the mind.15

It is important to have knowledge of these vital points even while performing surgery or a parasurgical procedure. A marma is defined as Maryanteitimarmani which means there can be serious damage to health after injury to these points. A person should always protect these vital areas from injuries. Let’s look at the anatomical structure forming these vital areas for better understanding of marma points.

READ MORE: Marma Points Of The Feet, 29 Marma Points For Pain Relief

Shankha Marma: Anatomical Structure

These are the important anatomical structures which correspond to this marma.

  1. Pterion part of temporal fossa
  2. Anterior branch of the middle meningeal artery
  3. The middle cranial fossa

The pterion part of the temporal fossa is the thinnest part of the skull region where four bones, the frontal, parietal, greater wing of sphenoid and temporal, join together.

The anterior branch of the middle meningeal artery lies deep alongside the pterion. It is a branch of the maxillary artery, one of the terminal branches of the external carotid artery which supplies the dura mater (meninges, the covering of brain).

The middle cranial fossa is a deeper and more remote structure at this site.

Injury To Shankha Marma

The bony pterion is the thinnest part of the skull, and a big artery, the middle meningeal, runs immediately beneath it. A direct injury or even an indirect injury to the pterion region, may cause a fracture to this weak area, along with a rupture of the underlying vessel. In accidental cases, the anterior division of the middle meningeal artery may be ruptured, which results in clot formation between the bone and dura mater or extradural hemorrhage. This can lead to the formation of epidural hematoma, where blood collects in between the outer covering of the brain and the skull and compresses the motor area of the brain, leading to paralysis of the opposite side.16 This condition requires emergency surgery known as a craniotomy to let the blood out to release cerebral pressure.

A deep force at the temporal fossa can cause fracture of the middle cranial fossa which is the most commonly fractured fossa. It leads to bleeding and discharge of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear, colorless body fluid found in the brain and spinal cord. through the ear, bleeding through the nose or mouth and also injury of seventh and eighth cranial bone if the fracture reaches to internal acoustic meatus.

Utkshepa Marma: Anatomical Structure

Here are the important anatomical structures which correspond to this marma.17

  1. Tendon of temporalis muscle
  2. Superficial temporal artery branch of external carotid artery
  3. Emissary vein which connects extra-cranial vein with intracranial venous sinuses

Injury To Utkshepa Marma

Injury to this area can result in infection which may reach the intracranial venous sinuses causing venous thrombosis and ultimately leading to serious consequences if not treated properly.

Pain in the temple region can be a signal that several things are going on in the head along with the body. Most of the time temple pain can be relieved with proper Ayurvedic therapies such as massage or by Ayurvedic management. But if one experiences signs of something more serious going on or in the case of head injury one should visit an expert healthcare practitioner and take his or her immediate assistance.

READ MORE: Essential Oils For Marma Chikitsa (Marma Point Massage) + Infographic, Marma Points For Indigestion + Metabolism, Ayurvedic Bodywork: 12 Popular Therapies From Ayurvedic Medicine

References
1. Kashinath, Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana chapter 17 verse 12, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
2. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sharira sthana, chapter 6. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
3. Dr Ernst Schrott, Dr J. Ramanuja Raju ,Marma Therapy: The Healing Power of Ayurvedic Vital Point Massage page no 100, Jessica Kingsley Publisher, UK.
4. Kashinath , Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana chapter 17 verse 17-21, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
5. Kashinath, Charaka Samhita, Siddhisthana chapter 9 verse 74-78, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
6. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Uttara tantra, chapter 25 verse 15. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
7. Kashinath, Charaka Samhita, Siddhisthana chapter 9 verse 84-86, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
8. Kashinath, Charaka Samhita, Chikitsasthana chapter 26 verse 158, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
9. Kashinath, Charaka Samhita, Siddhisthana chapter 9 verse 74-79, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
10. Kashinath, Charaka Samhita, Siddhisthana chapter 9 verse 87, Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2005.
11. Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi, Marma Therapy in different diseases, Marma Science andPrinciples of Marma Therapy. Vani Publications, New Delhi, First edn, Page 43-49, 2010.
12. Dr David Frawley, Dr Subhash Ranade, Dr. Avinash ‘Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing’ Lotus Press, Twin Lake WI.
13. Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi, Marma science and principles of Marma Therapy, chapter 7: Vani publications, Delhi: Revised edition, 2014; 55.
14. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sutra sthana, chapter 6 verse 16. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
15. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sharira sthana, chapter 6 verse 37. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
16. B. D. Chaurasia, Human Anatomy (Head, Neck and Brain part) volume – 3 osteology of head and neck, CBS publishers and Distribution Pvt. Ltd New Delhi, Fifth Edition 2010. pp3-49.
17. B. D. Chaurasia, Human Anatomy (Head, Neck and Brain part) volume – 3 osteology of head and neck, CBS publishers and Distribution Pvt. Ltd New Delhi, Fifth Edition 2010.

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Mallika Varma, holds a bachelor’s degree, B.A.M.S. from State  Ayurvedic college and Hospital, Lucknow and a postgraduate degree M.S. in Kshara Sutra Avum Anushastra Karma from Sri Venkateswara Ayurvedic College, Tirupathi. She brings more than 7 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda.  She is specialized in Ayurvedic general surgery, parasurgical procedures (Kshara Jalauka, Siravedhyan, Agni Karma) and in the treatment of anorectal disorders. She is also experienced in the treatment of gastro, respiratory, genitourinary, skin and lifestyle disorders through natural herbal medicine, Yoga and Panchkarma. She has participated in many national and international seminars in the field of Ayurveda and has also presented best awarded papers on Ayurveda.

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