Are you prone to throbbing headaches with tight tension? If you have ever had a migraine you would know first hand how incapacitating it can be. Migraines are all too often triggered by stress, sleep deprivation and lack of good nutrition. Did you know that therapeutic massage can alleviate tension headaches and migraine related symptoms?

How does it work? 

Therapeutic massage works by helping reduce muscle spasms and tension while releasing shortened muscles to improve pain and postural development. Often referred pain from these problem areas can be key causes in tension headaches.

Massage has possibly two roles:

When it comes to treating migraines and tension related headaches massage takes two roles;

In a hands-on role, massage treatments performed on a regular basis helps the body maintain an ideal level of relaxation and anxiety relief.

This approach (for many), reduces the chances of migraine assaults and tension headaches considerably by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points.

In a comfort role, massage is done to ease the pressure brought on during a migraine or tension related headache. By focusing on the neck, shoulders and head, massage can diminish the pain and discomfort.

A recent study showed that massage therapy receivers showed fewer migraines and better sleep. It also increased serotonin levels, believed to play a valuable role in the regulation of sleep, mood and cravings.

4 ways massage can alleviate migraines:

  1. Improved circulation – through massage the circulatory system increases oxygenated blood flow which can alleviate pain
  2. Reduced cortisol, reduced stress response – regular massage encourages endorphin release (happy hormones), while enabling the body to enter a blissful para-sympathetic nervous system state
  3. Muscle tension – therapeutic massage around the shoulder and neck can help lengthen tight and short muscles to provide fast-acting relief
  4.  Hormone regulation – massage plays a pivotal role in hormone regulation and hormone associated headaches

Let’s get hands on

Our remedial therapist Jayne has provided a practical at home approach to help alleviate some of the pain associated with headaches:

Touch behind your head and place your thumbs on either side of the spine, just beneath the bony ridge at the base of your skull. Press firmly as you tilt your head forward and back slowly. When you lean your head back, you’ll feel your thumbs moving deeper.

Do this a few times, next move your thumbs out toward your ears about an inch and repeat, dropping your head forward and backward. Do this until you reach the edge of your skull close to your ears.

In general, no single therapy works on everyone. What can work on one person may not necessarily work on someone else. Working with an Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, Naturopath and functional therapies in combination can be beneficial to uncover underlying causes.

Working with a therapeutic touch practitioner through remedial massage enables you to delve deeper into where the source of pain may be coming from; common questions may be asked – how long does the pain last? What are the associated symptoms? This consultative approach encourages a deep understanding of the ways in which your therapeutic massage therapist can best treat your tension and migraines.

If you experience tension headaches or migraines, chat to our team to find out how you can alleviate discomfort and get a handle on your headaches by contacting our Wellness Hub on 03 9889 8008, or visit our website:

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