Massage Therapy and Migraines
Migraine headaches can attack at any time and from various causes, such as hormones, hunger, stress, weather changes or medications — to name just a few. The pain associated with such headaches is often described as agonizing. While there are prescription medications that can help in relieving migraines, massage therapy has long been associated as a way to get some relief in a non-invasive way.
How Massage Helps
Massage by a trained therapist can relax tension in the areas associated with migraine pain. Areas of concern include the neck, shoulders and jaw. With a soothing, gentle stroke or light kneading to these specific problem areas, migraine pain can be significantly reduced. Mild pressure along the forehead as well as the back of neck and around the eyes can ease pain along the trigger points.
In a darkened room, a massage provides a comforting, tranquil and soothing environment that aids in the treatment of migraines. Often a short treatment is just enough to assist in pain relief. Avoid any deep treatment, such as a sports massage, during this time as the key is to remain relaxed and focused.
Of course, if the thought of any massage treatment to the scalp during a migraine sounds impossible, then try using cold packs to this area instead and have a relaxing foot or hand massage. The hands and feet, as reflexology can attest, are all inter-connected to the reset of our body, so even when the massage focuses on other areas, you may still experience relief of your migraine pain.
If unable to see your massage therapist, there are certain self- massage techniques you can try yourself. Apply gentle pressure with your fingers along your eyebrow line and underneath the eye area for relief. Try gently massaging your head, face and neck as well stretching the muscles in your shoulder and neck. One idea that many migraine sufferers suggest is to put two tennis balls into a sock and roll against the back of your skull.
Of course, as with anything, stop whatever you are doing if the pain of the migraine increases. You should never feel any sharp pain when receiving a massage, especially with a severe migraine.
Keep massage treatments as a scheduled part of your lifestyle. It can ease many of the symptoms that can cause migraine headaches, and help to prevent them altogether. While it may not bring immediate relief, it can assist with the day-to-day stress that is a huge contributor to migraine headaches.