Horrible Headaches and Migraines
Does massage for headaches work? Absolutely yes. If you are among the 37 million people that suffer from headaches, massage can be beneficial in many ways. Even a thirty-minute massage can provide relief. After all, that’s what you need, right?
Headaches can make even mundane tasks difficult, whether that involves driving, making meals, working at the computer (especially that!) or taking care of children. These things can become downright impossible with a pounding headache.
Now there are different types of headaches, and if you have them regularly you probably know more about that than anyone else. Tension headaches are probably the most common with migraines (known as vascular headaches) being right up there.
Massage for Headaches
While the techniques used vary from client to client, I have the most success with trigger point, deep tissue, and thermal stone therapies. There are several trigger points along the neck and skull that when activated, will cause headaches in different parts. Therefore, a good assessment is imperative when you’re receiving massage for headaches!
Trigger point and deep tissue massages use similar concepts of direct pressure on tight muscles. These techniques release spasms in muscles, albeit in different ways. A combination of both is often most effective. Thermal stone therapy uses directly applied heated stones to soften and relax fascial adhesions that can keep muscles from moving properly.
What can I do for myself?
If you can’t get to your massage therapist for a few days when a headache attacks there are some things you can do for yourself to help ease the pain, at least temporarily. Heat or cold, depending on your preference, can be applied to certain areas such as the back of the head. Follow the directions on whatever heating or cooling device you use.
You can even do self trigger point release. Generally, a purpose built tool will work best for this. I use a product called a Thumbby that is essentially a silicone cone. A tennis ball, racquet ball, or even a golf ball will work in a pinch. Move the item around in the sore area until you find a tender point. Hold the tool there for a least thirty seconds and up to sixty. You may feel some twitching and possibly a loosening or “release.” While this tactic may not completely relieve your headache, it may just be enough to take the edge off so you can function. Either way, make sure you get a massage scheduled right away, as that can be the best relief option out there! I specialize in headaches and TMJ, so if you’re local check me out. You can even book online!
“No single mountain ever came to me...
so I always go to them”