Tension pressure headache and meditation

I have a tension pressure headache for 3 or 4 years now. It started as a mild feeling during meditation and grew over the months. I have it now during a meditation and during a day. I have tried to stop meditating for some time but as it not helped, I continue whatever I can.

I am medically checked, they can’t find the cause. I have asked two respected teachers and they advice was to be very kind to myself. I found some information in Ajaan Lee’s book and in Ajahn Brahm and Analayo Bhikku talks but very general.

Is there anything about it in EBT? Or any other sources?

Much metta

Hi Jarek,

I have similar issues at times. I sometimes try to consciously relax the tension during meditation, and this seems to have some positive effect. Also, I sometimes just investigate the feeling - is it static, is it coming from somewhere etc…inevitably I think you find that what you are experiencing is impermanent, and therefore dynamic.

I’d also like to know if there are any good advice we can get from the EBTs on this.

Be well,


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The only thing I can say is that while meditating, you might want to resist the natural inclination to focus and contract your attention around the painful location to “work on it”, since that might make the tension increase. If the pain is in your head, try focusing on your solar plexus, to take just one possible example, and concentrate your attention there. Or expand attention into the entire perceptual space surrounding your body. Maybe that will help other parts of your body relax.

I have chronic muscular neck and should pain, and one pitfall I sometimes experience is that in the initial stage of meditation, I experience a lot of relaxation in those areas, but that tends to draw my attention to the relaxation and I end up bogged down in a futile effort to “massage” the painful areas with my mind, so to speak.

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I had situations when tension built up in my head during meditation, but not pain. It went away shortly after getting up from meditation though. The two times when I decided to push through with meditation despite the tension, at some point it suddenly went away and changed into pleasure.

Apart from that, today I had a strong headache. Observing it I noticed that it really hurt only 1/3 of the time, the other 2/3 being neutral, which helped a bit in coping with the pain.


I don’t do formal sitting meditation on the regular basis as I have a chronic back pain.
I try hard to keep the five precepts and practice Brahmavihara.
In my opinion, this is as good as a good meditation except it last 24 hours.


You can meditate lying down, though, if your back is too sore to sit.


Yes, that is what I actually do.


FYI , trying to do some simple exercise before sitting meditation may helps . If you don’t have hypertension , then you might want to try to take some Chinese herbs .

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What herbs?

You need to see a Chinese Physician first before prescribes medicine for you .

Thank you all for your replies:slight_smile:
I came across different possibilities of the causes: too much ‘concentrating’ (instead of stilling), place of attention (tip of the nose), ‘stucked’ piti, ‘third eye’ opening:) and of course physical problems like bad posture or neck problems (which I have). I have changed my main meditation to ,do nothing’ and metta practice without ‘concentrating’ on any specific place and it feels much better. Too early yet to say for sure but fingers crossed:)

I was wondering if there is anything in EBT about this problem in connection with meditation, or any other health problems.

Thank you

Not from the EBT’s but I find concentrating on the palms of the hands can help to relieve tension.


Thank you, I have tried this and it worked better then my breath for me (unbroken attention). Didn’t help me with my headaches though

FYI , for those who do sitting meditation , throughout history there were many people happen to get
" meditation sicknesses " !
That’s why it’s very important and always good to do some exercise before and after to prevent your self get " caught "
by sickness .

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