Do you often feel dizzy — like the room is spinning? If so, you may be experiencing vertigo.

If left untreated, vertigo can become a serious problem. You’re more likely to injure yourself because of your inability to feel stable and on solid ground. You’re also in danger when driving a car or operating machinery. For these reasons, you’ll want to seek treatment right away.

Luckily, vertigo is something that can be treated. A variety of medications, therapy, and even surgical procedures can help with feelings of dizziness. The right treatment option will depend on your personal situation and your doctor’s recommendations.

But balance therapy, like Cawthorne head exercises, can help reduce sensitivity to motion. These exercises offer a less invasive way to treat vertigo.

Cawthorne exercises — also called Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises — involve moving the head and eyes around to engage control over them. This can help you situate yourself in your environment.

These exercises, a type of vestibular rehabilitation therapy, might also involve coordinating hand-eye motions to regain a sense of balance.

These exercises are easy, free, and only require a little time on your part.

Cawthorne head exercises are generally effective for treating vertigo. You can practice the movements by yourself and in the comfort of your own home.

It’s best to start small. You can increase the intensity and type of movement as you get used to each exercise. For example, start by just moving your eyes and head.

You can wait to try the full-body exercises after you’re comfortable with the head exercises.

Try the below recommended exercises. Just be sure to check with your doctor before you begin.

Eye movement

  1. Without moving your head, move your eyes from side to side, then up and down.
  2. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Start slowly, then try to move faster.

Head movement

  1. Move your head slowly from side to side, as well as up and down. Keep your eyes open.
  2. Repeat 10 to 20 times, moving slowly to begin with, and faster as you feel more comfortable.

Toe touches

  1. Bend over to touch your toes, staying aware of your head movement at all times.
  2. Keep your eyes open and let your head and body follow your fixed gaze.
  3. Do this exercise slowly 5 to 10 times.

Shoulder shrugs

  1. Shrug your shoulders up and down.
  2. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times in a seated position.

Sit to stand

  1. Move from a seated position to a standing position.
  2. Start slowly, with your eyes open. Over time, you can try this exercise with your eyes closed.
  3. Keep your back straight and your head level as you alter your position.
  4. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

When doing Cawthorne head exercises, be sure to keep these tips in mind to maximize their effectiveness and avoid injury:

Go slowly

Don’t rush when practicing these exercises, because it could make your dizziness worse. Instead, move through them slowly and repeat each exercise several times.

Keep practicing to get better at them. Take your time. By going slowly, you’ll have a better chance of relieving vertigo without injuring yourself.

Do the movements regularly and consistently

You won’t get much out of Cawthorne head exercises if you only do them once every few weeks. Instead, try to do the exercises once or twice each day.

Repeat each type of movement several times, and work your way up to a faster pace. It might only take a few minutes here and there, but the benefits will add up over time.

Be aware of your progress

It might feel frustrating to take these exercises at a slow pace. But it’s important to recognize when you’re moving faster without feeling so dizzy.

You’ll know you’re improving when you’re able to repeat the same movements with ease.


Sagan Morrow is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a professional lifestyle blogger. She has a background as a certified holistic nutritionist.