Woman having migraine headache is massaging her head

Self-Administered Massage to Relieve Headaches – See below

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Headaches

Studies have shown that more than half of the estimated 45 million Americans who are affected by chronic headaches also suffer from migraines. This debilitating disorder often results from high levels of stress possibly combined with lack of sleep. For persons seeking relief, massage aids in the management and treatment of tension headaches and migraines.

Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches occur as pain around the temple and behind the eyes; referred pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms; tightness or a constricting feeling in the head; muscle spasms or pain; and pain in the jaw. Causes may include:

  • dehydration
  • hormonal and chemical changes
  • muscle spasms
  • neck alignment
  • stress and anxiety
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • trigger points

Causes of Migraines

Migraines are still a mystery to some extent. Often severe, they may last for several days usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting, along with sensitivity to light and sound. Causes may include:

  • blood sugar regulation
  • environmental irritants
  • food sensitivities
  • hormonal and chemical changes
  • neck alignment
  • neurological problems
  • vascular problems

Some of the causes of headaches might be quite serious. Sufferers of acute and chronic headaches should first consult their doctor to ensure there is no need for an additional medical investigation and treatment.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Headaches

Regular massage treatments act in a preventative role to help the body stay relaxed and stress free. Massage significantly reduces the chances of the onset of migraines and tension related headaches by relaxing muscle spasms and releasing trigger points. In the event of the onset of a migraine or tension related headache, massage functions as a relieving treatment to ease the pressure brought on by the conditions.

Massage influences production of certain hormones that play an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite. Studies concluded that persons who receive massage therapy experience fewer headaches, migraines, and distress symptoms. Additionally, they sleep better with fewer disruptions.


Self-Administered Massage to Relieve Headaches

  1.  Rest your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears and use your fingertips to gently rub your temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
  2. Applying very firm pressure in a tiny circular motion, slowly move your fingers up along the hairline until they meet in the center of the forehead.
  3. Slowly massage your entire forehead and scalp.

More and more persons are seeking non-pharmacological remedies as treatment for headaches. Massage is one of the best ways to prevent and alleviate chronic headaches, with benefits that can last for several weeks following regular massage treatments.