[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Due to the stressful nature of the environment, most people experience headaches all the time. Headaches can be a painful and uncomfortable experience that can affect your work. It can even affect your mood. Plus, when you experience extreme pain, it can affect your entire day.
It is estimated that about 45 million Americans have chronic headaches. Healthcare practitioners state that chronic headache is one of the most common complaints they get from their patients. Obviously, people experiencing this problem are looking for treatment, a way to answer their problems.
Usually, headaches are treated with OTC and prescription meds. These are highly-effective ways to combat the pain. However, they are only temporary solutions to that of a chronic problem.
The good news is, there is an alternative solution to chronic headaches – massage therapy. It has been shown to be potent tool to treat tension headaches and migraine.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Migraine And Tension Headaches: An Overview
A tension headache is caused by neck alignment, dehydration, stress, anxiety, muscle spasms, TMJ dysfunction, trigger points, and hormonal or chemical changes. They usually don’t happen due to nausea or sensitivities such as sensitivity to sound or light. They may show up as the following:
- Constricting or tightening feeling within the head,
- Pain within the head area,
- Referred pain to that of the neck, arms, and shoulders ,
- Muscle pain or spasms,
- Pain on the jaw,
- Pain behind the eyes,
- Pain experienced around the temple area.
Migraines are somewhat mysterious. As opposed to tension headaches, migraines sometimes come with sensitivities such as sensitivity to sound, light, and nausea or vomiting. Some healthcare practitioners believe that they are caused by the following:
- Neck alignment
- Hormonal or chemical changes
- Vascular problems
- Neurological problems
- Food sensitivities
- Environmental irritants
- Regulation of blood sugar
Reasons Why Massage Can Help With Headaches
Both migraines and tension headaches are treated effectively by massage therapy. The said technique can help with headache pain relief. In addition, it helps to prevent occurrence of headaches. The following are reasons why massage is helpful for the said conditions:
1. It Promotes Circulation
Massage helps to enhance blood flow in ischemic areas, sections of the body that lack blood flow circulation. This can lead to pain relief.
2. It Helps Reduce Pain From That Of Trigger Points
Trigger points refer to areas where tissue is hyper-irritable and very tender. These points can also refer pain to that of other sections of the body. Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) or Trigger Point Therapy helps to reduce the pain and pain referral towards the head and neck areas.
3. It Helps To Relieve Muscle Tension And Muscle Spasms
Massage therapy can help to loosen muscles that are chronically tight. In addition, it can loosen taut tissue bands. This can aid in neck alignment and muscle balance.
The muscles attached to the skull’s base (sub-occipitals) are loosened as well. This can lead to tension headache relief especially with those that travel on the back of the head towards the eye. It also leads to relief of constricting headaches a lot of people experience.
4. It Helps To Regulate Some Types Of Hormones
It has been researched that massage therapy reduce the level of cortisol, a stress hormone. The said technique enhances endorphins. It also helps in the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. All of these lead to an enhanced relaxing experience.
Because of its effect on hormones, massage therapy improves a person’s sleep quality. It promotes a positive cycle where a person experiences decreased stress levels, enhanced sleep quality, reduction in the number of headaches, and so on.
5. It Helps Reduce A Person’s Experience With Migraines
The exact reason why massage helps people who suffer from migraines is unclear. However, numerous studies have come to the conclusion that massage therapy decreases the frequency and even duration of a person’s migraines.
To Wrap It All Up
There’s something exciting about the researches done on migraine and tension headaches. Finally, there’s an alternative, non-pharmacological treatment for it. Massage therapy can be a very effective and safe treatment and is not a simply cover up.
However, there are multiple causes of headaches and a lot of factors come into play. Thus, it is a must for you to check with a healthcare professional to ensure that additional treatment is not necessary. Once your doctor approves of massage therapy, you should provide all information you have in hand to that of your massage therapist. In this way, he or she should be able to provide you with the best protocol for your needs.
Finally, if you are in dire need of a massage therapist for your migraine or headache (and have gain the approval of your physician), don’t hesitate to book a massage