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Can Head Massage Help Migraines

What Yoga Poses Will Help Headaches

Massage Technique for Migraine Relief – ModernMom Massage

Personally, I find that doing a slow sequence always helps my headaches. The most important factor is to focus on the breath, go within and relax. But remember that if you have a headache, dont challenge yourself! Choose sequences that you feel comfortable with and that you can practise without creating too much heat in your body.

How Does A Massage For Migraine Work

Migraine massages work by applying specific pressure as a means of pain relief, which comes from the traditional Chinese therapy method of acupressure. Applyingpressure to certain points on the body alters the pain messages your nerves send to your brain, which means you’ll end up feeling less pain than before, per the National Institutes of Health.

So, in theory, Dr. Mafee explains that by using a rubbing motion on certain “pressure points” with your fingers, you’ll find some pain relief in that area. Since migraine pain is often found on one or both sides of the head, you’re going to want to rub that areaaka your temples.

Before you start massaging your head, consider chatting with a neurologist first to see if this technique is right for you and your pain, as you might need a different treatment plan.

Let Cooler Heads Prevailusing Cold Stones

Kelly Lott11 is a massage therapist and educator with 20-plus years of experience. Although Lott does not suffer from migraines, she has made it her mission to assist clients who need help managing migraine pain. Migraine patients yearn for cold, not heat, says Lott.

Lott has observed that active massage therapy can increase blood flow and cause inflammation in some migraine clients. She has developed a set of marble stones designed to be used on the forehead, temples, sinus area and back of the scalp. The stones are refrigerated at 36 degrees Fahrenheit until used.

The placement of the stones includes the area where the trigeminal nerves and the occipital nerves are located. These two sets of nerves are known to cause migraine attacks if they become inflamed. The soothing coolness of the stones can help to calm these nerves. She recommends that cold stone therapy can be used once a week for prevention of migraine attacks or during an active attack.

Lott recommends the following four myofascial trigger points to relieve pressure in the face. This can be performed in conjunction with cold stone therapy or on its own.12

  • Place thumb pads under the orbital ridge close to the bridge of the nose. Press up and inward to the bones, to a comfort level. This exercise tends to provide the fastest relief, say Lott.
  • Using your index fingers, press into the orbital ridge bone , one place at a time, from inside to outside. Hold for 20 seconds.
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    Assessments For Clients With Headaches

    Tension Test. Dr. Benjamin uses a 30-question assessment designed to help him suss out the source of the headache, including questions about tight places in the face. Babil uses similar assessment tools, asking clients when the headache started, what, if anything, made the pain worse and if there is a history of headaches in the family.

    Gait Analysis. Gait analysis, or the study of movement in the human body, is another assessment that can be used to see which body postures or movements trigger headache pain. A lot of times people will develop tension patterns that cause headaches and theyre not even aware of those patterns, Juczak explains, so I usually say, Awareness is the key to change so that posture and alignment are reconsidered. Juczak also says that assessing your clients posture through postural analysis is important so massage therapists can use techniques catered to improving poor ergonomics, if appropriate.

    Types Of Head Massagers

    Best Massage Techniques for Headaches

    There is nothing quite as nourishing as a really good scalp massage on your most tiring day. In the market, there are different and effective ranges of massager for the head. All the massagers provide almost the same and nominal services, so you should be tricky to know which one is the most suitable for you. Lets explain a few of those below.

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    Three Types Of Primary Headaches

    Primary headaches have three general types: Tension and strain-based headaches migraines and related headaches and comingled headaches, which have a combination of both tension and migraine-type elements.

    Tension headaches tend to affect both sides of the head as opposed to migraines, which are usually unilateral. Tension headaches dont usually change in response to increased physical activity, while many types of migraines are worsened by activitywith cluster headaches, related to migraines, being a notable exception, as they sometimes improve with exercise.

    Most importantly, migraines are almost always accompanied by some kind of sensory phenomena, such as extreme sound sensitivity, nausea, or visual disturbances such as blind spots, aura or double vision, to an extent not seen in tension headaches.

    What Are The Best Oils To Use For A Head Massage

    Although you can do a head massage without oil, you may like the aroma and added benefits of using essential oils.

    While you can use any oil of your choice, some essential oils seem to pair better with this relaxing massage.

    We love to use essential oils whenever possible, says Monreal. Two of our favorite essential oils for a head massage are lavender oil and peppermint oil, but you can even opt for coconut oil if you prefer.

    Kathy Sadowski, MS in aromatherapy and registered aromatherapist, says if you want to use oil for a head massage, jojoba or sweet almond are both good choices because they wont clog your pores.

    One word of caution with essential oils is to make sure you dilute the oil before using it on your skin. To avoid irritation, mix a couple of drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil or jojoba oil, before using it on your head.

    Before using essential oils on a large area of skin, its also important to do a patch test to see how your skin will react. Heres how to do one:

  • Wash your forearm with mild, unscented soap, then pat dry.
  • Apply a few drops of diluted essential oil onto a small patch of skin on your forearm.
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    Norlanya Electric Head Massager

    This device is one of the best head massagers to improve sleep disorders. It is an adjustable wearable scalp massager that looks like a little ski helmet. This adjustable device that will help you to get an enjoyable massage in your scalp, upper neck, and your temples. If you dont want to roll a massager on your head then this device is the ideal device for you.

    This device has 4 relaxing programs and you can choose your desired program. Deep massage, vibration, heat, and music are the four specific programs. Additionally, you can choose all four programs at once. On the other hand, this device offers an adjustable diameter of the helmet which will help you to meet 3 adjustable knobs on the massager.

    It will help you to make the device according to your suitable size. You can connect it with your computer by a USB cord. It has attached a USB cord with a power adapter, or 4 AA batteries.


    • Simple and convenient remote control
    • Exclusive heating and air pressing function
    • USB cord with a power adapter
    • Handheld controller
    • Adjustable diameter of the helmet


    • No strong warranty

    Natural Relief For Migraine & Tension Headaches

    My Migraine Headaches and How Massage Helps.

    Massage therapy has proven to be an effective measure for reducing both chronic migraines and tension headaches. Research shows that professional therapeutic massage can decrease pain, tension, duration, intensity, and frequency of headaches. Massage also eases the muscle tension in the neck, jaw, and shoulders, which can cause headaches in the first place.

    Studies have shown that massage reduces the frequency of migraines and even reduced pain in the midst of an active migraine. Scalp massage show particular promise for reducing migraine pain. And when you can barely bring yourself to leave your darkened room, scheduling an in-home massage may be a lifesaver when the alternative is navigating through brightly lit traffic to find some relief.

    For sufferers of tension headaches, massage may not only prevent them but also reduce their frequency. One study found that even just 30 minutes of massage showed significant physical and psychological improvements.

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    Different Forms Of Headaches

    There are many types and causes of headaches. Here are the most common:

    Tension headaches: this type of a headache is caused by tension and knots in muscles, particularly in neck, shoulders and upper back region. The pain level experienced from this headache is varied, often depending on how chronic the tension is. People can describe this type of a headache as a tight band around the head. There can be many causes of tension headaches such as stress, postural problems, sleeping problems and dehydration.

    Migraine: Migraines are a less common type of headache but normally cause more discomfort. Sufferer usually finds that they cannot continue with their daily routine and withdraw to rest. Migraine pain tends to be one-sided but it can spread to the face, neck and jaw. Other symptoms involve nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, fatigue. A migraine lasts at least few hours but in most cases, it prolongs even for several days. Lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, unhealthy diet and certain medications are considered to be common contributing factors. Headache treatment involving massage is particularly effective for the above types.

    Other, rarer, types of a headache include cluster headache , rebound headaches , sinus headaches , hormone headache .

    How Does Massage Therapy Relieve Headaches

    Massage therapy helps to relieve both types of headaches by easing muscle tension, relieving muscle spasms, releasing shortened muscles and relaxing tension held in the muscles of the head, shoulders, and neck. When muscle tension eases, there is less pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that supply them. Oxygen-rich blood circulation improves, which also relieves pain. Massage therapy not only helps the muscles of the body to relax but also effectively reduces the anxiety and mental stress that can cause or exacerbate headaches. Regular, ongoing massage therapy can also help to prevent headaches by helping to reduce overall stress and the muscle tension that can trigger headache pain and by helping to maintain emotional balance.

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    Can A Head Massage Help Stop Hair Loss

    Getting a head massage may be the best part of going to the salon and for good reason. Not only is a good head rub relaxing, it can also alleviate nagging ailments like tension headaches, stress, and chronic sinusitis, and even set you up for a good nights sleep.1 Traditional medicine forms like Ayurveda attach a lot of importance to sirobhyanga or head massage. Since we hold a lot up in our heads , a head massage performed by a qualified professional can help nourish and boost all of our senses.2

    But can a head massage keep your luscious locks intact, too? Experts think so. To prevent hair loss, youll have to address the root of the problem first be it hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle, or haircare-related factors. But a good head massage, which includes rubbing, kneading and applying pressure to the skin of the scalp with the fingers and hands, can be a good complement in protecting your hair.3 It can strengthen the roots of the hair and condition the scalp, making hair less susceptible to breakage. By nourishing and preserving the hair already present, a massage can help reduce the intensity of hair loss.4

    Day After Deep Tissue Massage

    Can A Massage Help Headaches?  HealthLocal

    A deep tissue massage is designed to get deep into your muscles and fascia to break up scar tissue and knots that may be causing you pain or limiting your range of motion. This type of massage may be uncomfortable as the massage therapist uses more pressure than with other types of massage.

    Sore muscles and stiffness are common after a deep tissue massage, according to an advisory from Renaissance College. Your muscles should feel better within a couple of days, but the soreness may contribute to a tension headache after your massage, especially if your massage therapist was focusing on your upper back, neck and shoulders.

    Tension headaches may feel like a vise around your head, and may be worse in your temples the back of your neck. They typically produce a dull, constant pain rather than throbbing pain. Try taking over-the-counter pain relievers to help your symptoms, if approved by your doctor.

    If you frequently experience this type of headache after a deep tissue massage, it is possible that the pressure is too much for you. If the massage gets too painful, be sure to speak up so your massage therapist can adjust the pressure.

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    How To Do A Head Massage

    The beauty of a head massage is that you can do it yourself. All you need are your fingertips. Massage oil is optional.

    If you prefer, you can use a scalp massaging tool instead of your fingertips. These tools come in the form of brushes or handheld rubber massagers. You can work the massaging tool all over your scalp in the same way youd use your fingertips.

    To give yourself a head massage, follow these steps:

  • Sit down in a comfortable chair. If youre using oil, make sure to put a towel around your neck and on the chair to catch any drips.
  • Begin by applying light to medium pressure on your head with your fingertips or massage tool. If youre using oils, dip your fingertips in the oil, then proceed with the massage.
  • Move around your scalp in small circular motions.
  • Massage for a minimum of 5 minutes, making sure to cover your entire head.
  • You can wash the oil out with shampoo.
  • Scalp massages are also a good way to connect with your partner. Try giving each other an at-home head massage with these tips from Monreal:

  • Have your partner lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. If youre using essential oils, start with a small amount. Dip your fingertips in the oil.
  • Focus on delivering slow, gentle strokes on your partners head and work up to light circular motions that go across their head.
  • Use your thumbs to gently massage their neck as well.
  • Massage Therapy To Relieve Headache Pain

    I recently returned back to work after maternity leave. At the end of my second day back, I was sitting at my desk, and I started getting a headache. I would probably classify it as a tension headache, but regardless of what you call itit hurt. I instantly started to massage my neck to try to relax the muscles and give myself some relief. The first thing I thought was that I was lucky I knew what was causing the pain and how to give myself relief. At that point I thought, This should be your next blog post! So many people suffer from headaches and dont know what to do about it.

    Did you know that an estimated 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches? Chronic headaches are one of the most common complaints made to healthcare practitioners every year. These headache sufferers are looking for some answers and treatment. Headaches are most often treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. These treatments are highly effective, but can be a temporary solution for a chronic problem. Massage therapy has shown to be effective in treating migraine and tension headaches.

    Both tension headaches and migraines have been effectively treated by massage therapy. Not only can massage help relieve headache pain, but it can also help to prevent headaches from occurring. Massage is helpful for many reasons:

    If youre interested in learning more about massage therapy, request an appointment at an Athletico near you.

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    So Are Massages Good For Migraines

    The short answer: Yes! While she doesn’t recommend it as your sole treatment plan if you’re suffering from constant migraines, Dr. Mafee explains that massaging your head can still be incredibly helpful in relieving pain. You can do it as soon as you start feeling the pain, smack dab in the middle of the migraine, or even during that awkward time while you’re waiting for your prescription meds to work while curled up in bed.

    Research On Massage Therapy For Migraine

    Massage to help Headaches by Michael Adelaide Massage Therapist

    There is limited research on massage and migraine. However, a few small studies provide promising information.

    One small 2006 study of 47 migraine sufferers randomly assigned participants to receive massage therapy or to a control group. All trial participants completed daily assessments of their sleep activity and migraine attacks. Those who had massages had fewer migraines and slept better during the weeks they had massages and in the three weeks following massages. On average, the massage group had a 34% reduction in migraines during the weeks they received massage therapy and a 30% reduction in the follow-up period, compared to reductions of 7% and 2% in the control group.1,2

    In a study that retrospectively looked at the triggers and relieving factors among people with migraine versus people with tension headaches, massage was used by significantly more people with migraine as a technique to relieve symptoms.3

    Another small randomized study evaluated 26 people with migraine. Half of the participants received massage therapy, focusing on the neck. Those who received massage therapy had significantly less migraine pain compared to the control group. From the first massage to the last, the massage group reported a 71% reduction in pain intensity.2,4

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