By: Jenny Nickerson
Licensed Massage Therapist
Certified Neuromuscular Therapist
What Is a Migraine?
A migraine is marked by moderate to severe pain and throbbing in the head, and can be accompanied by nausea as well as sensitivity to light. In some cases, these painful headaches are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign, such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. Fortunately, management of migraine pain has improved dramatically in the last decade. Although there’s still no cure, medications are now much more effective. Additionally, alternative treatments like massage have been found to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
How Can Massage Help Manage Migraines?
Massage is an effective way to manage stress and relieve tension- two of the main causes of migraine headaches. Research at The Touch Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine found that massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms while increasing serotonin levels in adults with migraine headaches.
What Techniques Will Be Used?
Professional massage therapists integrate a variety of techniques into their work. Depending on the severity of your migraines or tension headaches, modalities used may include Reflexology, Swedish massage, trigger point therapy or other methods that address your specific requests and needs.
Is There Lasting Relief?
Migraines and other types of headaches are one of the most common complaints seen in the doctor’s office today. The Mayo Clinic recommends that patients with migraines spend at least a half-hour each day doing something either relaxing or that involves the relaxation of muscles. Receiving massage prior to or after symptoms occur is particularly helpful for managing migraines. If you have any pressing concerns, please consult your doctor.
Sources: Mayo Clinic the Touch Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine