Massage  for Headache Relief

According to the National Headache Foundation, in the United States alone an estimated 45 million people have chronic headaches, and more than 29 million suffer from migraines. Billions of dollars are spent annually on research and treatment of chronic headaches. Despite this many people still suffer regularly from the pounding temples, noise and light sensitivity, nausea, aching forehead, jaw and neck pain. This is because the underlying cause of the problem is not addressed. Nobody deserves to suffer that kind of pain.

Many of the medications used to treat and prevent headaches while effective cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sedation and gastric bleeding. Frequent use of some of these medications can cause rebound headaches. Thankfully, there are solutions which in the long term are more effective than prescription and over-the-counter medications. Regular therapeutic massage can be a powerful part of the solution.

Headaches often result from problems associated with the muscles of the head, neck, shoulders and back. Massage therapy relieves the pain by relaxing tight muscles, relieving muscle spasms and increasing circulation of oxygen rich blood. Massage therapy also reduces anxiety and stress which can trigger or exacerbate a headache. Regular massage acts as a preventive by reducing overall stress and muscle tension, increasing self-awareness and helping the body remain balanced.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association:

  • A recent study showed that massage therapy recipients exhibited fewer migraines and better sleep quality during the weeks they received massage, and the three weeks following, than did participants that did not receive any massage therapy.
  • Another study demonstrated that in adults with migraines massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches and sleep disturbance.

If you suffer from chronic headaches and haven’t already done so, it is important to get evaluated by your primary care provider. If you have been diagnosed with chronic tension or migraine headaches call me to find out more about how therapeutic massage can help.

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