Q: I just started meditating. I keep getting a pressure sensation in the middle of my forehead when I’m done. What does that mean?
A: There are several small things that could be contributing to it. This is one of those questions where it needs to be helped in person, or with at least some sort of one on one conversation. Are you working with an instructor or meditation coach at all? Meditation isn’t rocket surgery as they say, but it really does help to have someone experienced to go to with questions like this, especially as a beginner. I’d be happy to help if you are in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, or willing to work via Skype. If that’s not an option, and there are no meditation coaches in your area, you might want to look for a Zen or Ch’an monk or teacher, a classically trained yoga instructor, or if you are following a particular style of meditation like TM, then finding a teacher in that style would be the best option.
Here are some GENERAL ideas. These may or may not apply to you, so use your discretion about using them (see the use at your own risk part of the small print policies page).
- Check your posture. No slouching! A straight but relaxed back is important two ways. First it is important for proper energy flow. If energy is blocked or accumulating at the third eye chakra (more about that later) that may account for the pressure sensation. Second is just plain ordinary muscle tension. There are muscles in the neck and shoulder that connect under the scalp towards the front of the skull…that’s what let’s you look up, like at fireworks or an airplane. Schlumpy posture held for a time as in a meditation session could cause some tension in those muscles that is most felt at the insertion (connection) point giving a forehead sort of ache
- You are trying to hard. Meditation is about a quiet mind. Sometimes that means giving our busy mind something to do, like repeat a mantra or repeat a sequence of numbers.. Sometimes visualizations can help channel busy thoughts into something quieter. For others, the important thing is to release…let the thoughts go, and emotions with them. Don’t stress about meditation…like my favorite phrase. “it is what it is”. If thoughts flood in, that’s ok. If you catch yourself holding on to them instead of letting them go, that’s ok too…at least now you know that you do that. If you are a visualizer now, try a mantra or a more release-type meditation style. No big. Not every style suites every person. That pressure you are feeling just might be pressure you are putting on yourself about meditating, just in a different form.
- Be aware of your body focus. People who need meditation the most are people who tend to “live in their head”…are very thought and mind oriented in the first place. An intense focus on the third eye (the point in middle of your forehead between and just above the eyebrows). Energy goes where your attention goes. Keeping laser focus on one spot, like the forehead could cause tension there. If you ever catch yourself thinking from that spot, or focusing on the spot where the ache tends to start…then stop, take a deep breath, let go of what you were doing, and shift your focus. Look at a spot on the floor a few feet in front of you…but then let it go out of focus. Keep your eyes still, but not focus on anything too clearly.
- Chakras are energy centers in the body, that are believe to help regulate life energy, the subtle esoteric, not-so-hardwired kind of energy the same way that transformers on electric poles adjust electricity from transmission power to household power. If you think there may be a blockage or imbalance within the third eye chakra, then that is definitely something to be handled on a personal, one-to-one basis, customized to your individual needs.
I hope that helps a little. If you have other questions the contact form for free answers is here