Chronic headaches impact an estimated 45 million Americans, causing pain and making it difficult to focus or enjoy the day. While over-the-counter or prescription medications can relieve pain temporarily, massage can relieve the painful effects of tension headaches, migraines, and more.
May be triggered by muscle spasms, trigger points, TMJ, stress, misalignment in the neck, hormonal changes, anxiety, or dehydration. Tension headaches often feel like a tightening or constriction around the head, pain in the head, neck, shoulders, or arms, muscle spasms, jaw pain, pain the temple, or pain behind the eyes.
The exact source of migraines is unknown. They are believed to come from issues of neck alignment, chemical or hormonal changes, vascular problems, neurological problems, environmental sensitivities, food sensitives, and blood sugar regulation. Migraines cause severe pain that can last for several days. Many migraine sufferers also have sensitivity to light, sound, and may feel nauseous.
Massage therapy both relieves headache symptoms and can help prevent future attacks.
- Promotes circulation: Massage can increase blood flow to help relieve pain.
- Relieves muscle spasms/tension: Massage helps to loosen chronically tensed muscles and can help you maintain proper neck alignment and muscle balance. Loosening muscles at the base of the skull can help to loosen the sensation of tightness associated with tension headaches.
- Decreases pain from trigger points: Trigger points are sensitive tissue that can refer pain to other parts of the body. Relieve pressure in trigger points results in relief of pain both to that trigger point and in connected areas.
- Helps regulate certain hormones: Massage helps to decrease the stress hormone Cortisol and promotes relaxation. Relaxation helps you sleep better which in turn means fewer headaches.
- Consistently relieves migraines: Though the exact source of migraines is difficult to pinpoint, research confirms that massage consistently relieves these painful headaches.