Massage Therapy and Migriane Headaches : Honest thoughts from a Massage Therapist.
The question itself tells us that many people who have migraine headaches are in the dark about massage.
I am a massage therapist and migraine sufferer, and let me tell you, the answer is yes! Massage therapy may help ease the symptoms and frequency of migraines. For some, massage can even be the primary therapy that helps get rid of their migraines for good.
In general, however, no single therapy works on everyone the same way and at the same time. My clients with migraines use heat, ice naps, OTC drugs, exercise , acupuncture, adjustments, electrical stimulation, vibrating pads, diet, any number of therapies to stop attacks. And that is just fine with me. I would never tell anyone that another therapy doesn’t work, because I know that every person is different, with their own unique causes and their own set of triggers. What works for one person with a migraine might not work for someone else, or an option might work much better after they add one or more other therapies to the mix.
A massage practitioner like me who focuses on your specific headache patterns, triggers and reactions makes the biggest difference in results. Massage therapists study and treat patterns of muscle and connective tissue dysfunction. For a person with migraines, addressing those patterns helps reduce and erase headaches. I like to question people about their patterns and then try to match their symptoms to what I am feeling in my massage. This is why the intake process to my therapy sessions is so detailed, I ask questions about your occupation, exercise habits and diet to get the big picture of what is most likely causing your pain.
Many people with migraines have some history of trauma — car accidents, falls – or they played frequent-injury sports such as football, soccer, gymnastics or cheer. Often these injuries have been forgotten because they did not cause major problems at the time. Over the years, however, clumps of tightened, overstretched muscles experience chronic inflammation and dysfunction. It may be many years of repeated small traumas and tightness before headaches emerge.
Several types of headaches may be happening at once, leading up to full-blown migraines. That pattern gives massage therapists opportunities to reduce frequency by addressing pre-migraine headaches. Addressing the whole body through massage is very important to prevent repeating patterns. I have found clusters of migraine-related muscle dysfunction as far away as the low back and hips. This is why I offer specific migraine massage treatments and whole body migraine prevention treatments, working with he whole body allows me to unravel muscle dysfunction throughout the body that is a cause of the migraines. In many cases I will recommend a whole body theraputic massage as a follow up to a Migriane Relief Treatment, click here to learn more: https://www.migrainereliefspokane.com/pricing-packages
As the patterns unravel, reactions to therapies may change as well. In my own experience, I loved massages and heat, but I would get worse if I had adjustments. As massage reduced my headache frequency, I found could get soft, non-cracking, adjustments.
As someone who struggled with migraines for many years, I say hang in there. If you haven’t tried massages yet, by all means go for it. A good massage, and perhaps most importantly, a focused, persistent therapist will help you find your way!