We all know the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of a headache. It can restrict your activity and simply ruin your day. For those who suffer from chronic headaches or regular migraines it can be so much more than an occasional annoyance, and interfere with work, family, relationships, sleep, exercise, and more.
Thankfully massage therapy may offer some relief to those who experience frequent headaches. Some people may prefer this natural, non-invasive approach over medication or other therapies – and others may use massage in conjunction with other treatments.
It makes sense that releasing muscle tension and becoming more relaxed would provide headache relief, but this is also backed up by science.
An article from the American Massage Therapy Association explores several studies looking at the relationship between headaches and massage therapy. This research reveals that massage can help reduce depression, anxiety, and anger as well as decreasing the pain and tension from a headache. In addition, massage therapy resulted in less frequent headaches, and a reduction in the intensity and duration of the headaches that did occur.
If you are prone to frequent headaches or migraines be sure to let your massage therapist know before your first session (it’s always a good idea to let your practitioner know about any health issues you have.)
In some cases a headache may be a symptom of a medical condition that should be treated immediately. The Mayo Clinic advises to seek medical care right away in the case of a sudden, severe headache, or one that is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Confusion or trouble understanding speech
- Fever higher than 102 F
- Numbness, weakness, or paralysis
- Stiff neck
- Trouble seeing, speaking, or walking
- Nausea or vomiting (unless clearly related to the flu or other illness)
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