How Massage Therapy Can Help With Migraines

Massage therapy is often thought of as a treatment that can help you relax and rejuvenate for the coming weeks ahead. While massage therapy is known for providing relaxation, there are a variety of other healing benefits involved that people may not realize. Since massage techniques are often linked to nerve pathways and other areas that influence head pain, massage therapy can be a way to help alleviate migraines. Learn more about massage therapy and how it can help with migraine symptoms.

What is a Migraine

Those who have never experienced a migraine may confuse migraines as a simple headache, but they’re much more than that. This neurological disease is often identified by a throbbing sensation in the head with symptoms that can last for days at a time.

As opposed to a simple headache, a migraine can be a chronic condition. That means that people will often look for solutions that can help prevent the pain from happening again. A migraine is separated into four phases that start with warning signs and ends with the person feeling exhausted after experiencing the actual migraine. Symptoms of migraines through this process include:

  • Food cravings
  • Neck pain and shoulder pain
  • Changes in vision that might include: tunnel and blurred vision, blind spots, vision loss, or flashes of light
  • Vertigo
  • Throbbing, pulsing, or piercing sensation in head
  • Sensitivity to light, smells, sounds, and sometimes touch
  • Exhaustion or confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations in the arms or legs (may be localized to one side of the body)

There are a variety of ways to combat these symptoms. Massage therapy is a natural option you can use to help people who suffer from migraines.

How Massage Can Help With Migraine Pain

Migraines will often be accompanied by neck and shoulder pain, muscle tension, and other related symptoms. Massage therapy can help alleviate pain in those areas by releasing muscle tension, improving blood flow, and easing muscle spasms. There are a variety of massage techniques that can target these areas to provide relief from migraines and even prevent them in the future.

Not only can massage therapy keep your muscles relaxed, but it can also lower stress levels and help with your overall emotional state. If you find that migraines are a recurring pattern in your life, then stress and anxiety may be a contributing factor. Studies have shown that when people are experiencing a lot of stress, their hormone levels may go up or down and this could trigger a migraine to occur. One of the most well-known health benefits of massage therapy is its ability to lower stress levels. A consistent massage therapy routine can prevent stress and migraines from occurring.

Massage Techniques That Can Help

There are a variety of massage techniques that could help with migraine symptoms. Some of these techniques include:

  • Swedish massage
  • Myofascial trigger point-focused massages
  • Shiatsu
  • Energy techniques

couple getting their head massaged

Pressure point techniques that focus on muscle lines, nerve pathways, and blood vessels are useful for helping with migraine symptoms. These can be a great way for relieving pressure in the face. That’s why Shiatsu and other pressure point techniques are great for alleviating migraine pain.

Migraine attacks can often happen because certain regions of the face become inflamed. The trigeminal nerves in the face and temple and the occipital nerves in the base of the skull are some areas that can become inflamed when someone experiences a migraine. One way to help prevent this inflammation is to place cold stones in these regions. The cool stones against these nerves can help soothe and keep them from getting irritated and inflamed again.

How to Treat People With Migraine Symptoms

Some people are more sensitive when it comes to getting massages and this can be especially important to remember when treating someone with migraine symptoms. Depending on which stage of a migraine they’re experiencing, they may only want a light massage. It’s important that you’re communicating with your client to make sure that what you’re doing isn’t making them more uncomfortable.

Want to Learn More About the Healing Benefits of Massage

If you loved learning about the healing benefits massage can have on migraines, then one of our Massage Therapy programs could be a great option for you! We teach students a variety of skills that can help you know how to deal with clients who have conditions like migraines. Schedule a tour to learn more about our programs and how you can get started.


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