Treating Migraines with Massage

17 Nov Treating Migraines with Massage

Each year, about 50 million people in the United States suffer from migraines. If you are one of those sufferers, you know the toll these headaches can take on your body and your life.

Pain management is an area that has been widely studied in relation to massage therapy. Massage has been proven to help ease the symptoms of pain from many sources, including migraine headaches.

If you suffer from migraines, consider trying this three-point approach (aromatherapy, massage therapy, and cold therapy) to easing your symptoms and finding relief. This massage treatment works best the day you feel your symptoms coming on – timing is important to fight the migraine before it arrives in full swing.

However, it can be hard to predict when a migraine will happen. If this is the case, work with your massage therapist and try to understand what triggers your migraines. If you have a better sense of what causes them, you can anticipate when you will need to schedule a massage session. Common triggers include stress, food allergies, caffeine addiction, hormone imbalance, and environmental stimulation.

There is no better time to take control of your migraine pain than now.

Aromatherapy

Essential oils are a go-to remedy for a seemingly endless list of concerns, including migraines. Depending on the client and the cause of the migraine, a blend of essential oils can be breathed to relieve the symptoms. Whether the symptoms are a result of stress or an environmental trigger, essential oil blends are a crucial first step for relaxation and relief. Whichever oil you respond to best can then be used in the following massage therapy session.

Massage Therapy

Once an oil is chosen, the next point is receiving a head/scalp/neck massage to further calm and relax tensions. A series of headache point release techniques can be used to release tensions, pressure, and pain. The goal of this massage is to decrease the blood flow to your head (cranial sacral techniques have proven to be beneficial at this point). It is important to avoid stimulating blood flow to the head and neck; many clients may have tight necks and several trigger points. The best thing for a massage therapist to do is leave these areas alone to avoid worsening the migraine pain.

Cold Therapy

Migraines are often caused by an over-abundant blood flow to the head. This is where cold stone therapy can be extremely beneficial – by positioning specifically designed, cooled marble stones to areas of the face and neck, the blood flow will be normalized and the pounding sensation will be reduced or eliminated (and the brain will be able to calm down). Cold stones, cooled to approximately 36 degrees F, can provide quick relief.