How A Massage Can Help Your Headache

Woman having a head massage

Really? A massage can help cure your headache?

It started with my regular check up with my GP.

“Listen to your body,” she said. 

I was telling her about all the parts of my body that ached and she listened as I rambled on.

Then she sweetly told me to pay attention to my symptoms more.

“Your body may be trying to tell you something”, she said.

Too often me/we just reach for a quick cure via medication. Pop a pill and move on. Medicine has its uses, but for most of us, it isn’t used wisely.

“I have headaches”, I explained.

“They seem to be happening more often lately and I’m not sure why”.

She explained to me that it’s okay to use over-the counter head ache pills sometimes, but that when I get a headache it isn’t because my body is low in medication.

Imagine that.

She then went on to tell me to drink more water, and decrease stress.

But one of her suggestions was really interesting to hear.

“Get a massage for your headache.”

Types Of Headaches A Massage Will Help

Depending on what type of headaches you suffer from, studies have shown that massage therapy could be the answer you’re looking for.

There are different types of headaches,

Relaxation Massage From Ripple

Tension Headaches And Massage

This is the most common of all the types of headache and is the one that is most helped by massage.

Tension headaches usually feel like your head is being squeezed in a vice, with a feeling of pressure inside the head that can last for minutes or weeks.

Not surprisingly, it is caused by stress and anxiety. Often times, medical treatments such as taking headache medication is an easy cover of the symptoms, it will stop you feeling that pain. But medication won’t help fix the underlying cause.

Doctors will often recommend to lead a less stressful lifestyle, do some gentle relaxing exercise like yoga and generally reduce anything that causes tension.

Massage is also highly recommended for tension headaches.

Several studies have shown that massage is a great non medication option for these types of headaches, reducing not only how often they occur, but also how long they go for.

There are several types of massage that are recommended for tension headaches.

Swedish massage and relaxation massages are the most obvious examples of massage styles designed to reduce tension and stress.

These are whole body massages that work on reducing the stress hormone cortisol in the body, unlock muscle knots and reduce any stress that is being held in the body.

Scalp massages also are used to work specifically on the head, neck and shoulders which are the areas that mostly cause tension headaches. Indian head massage is a common form of massage often offered in spas and concentrates directly on just the head and neck.

Office massages are also common as a way to reduce the tension that staff may be feeling at work, help with high stress, high workload periods and generally as a way to help the health and well being of employees.

These seated chair style massages for headaches don’t have to go very long either to help reduce the duration of the massage. One study showed that only 30 minutes of a scalp massage was effective in reducing the duration and intensity of the headache.

Massage For Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are particularly debilitating and are typically intense pain in one or more areas of the head and face. They are often concentrated on one side of the head, start quickly and are excruciating.

During a cluster period, these headaches can last for a couple of minutes to several hours, sometime occurring a couple of times in one day.

They can often happen for a period of time when a client will have a number of these headaches in a short period of time, and then a period where the headaches stop.

Trigger point massage has been shown to be effective in reducing the occurrence and severity of these headaches.

Does Massage Help With Migraines?

Yes it does. A number of university studies have shown that massage can be very effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines.

Migraines are a type of headache that are intense, recur often and are extremely painful. There can be a number of triggers for these types of massage, and for this reason massage can help different triggers in different ways.

These can range from hormonal changes to stress and anxiety, food triggers such as alcohol and coffee to medications, lack of sleep and environmental causes such as a flickering screen.

The way massage can help a migraine then depends on what was the trigger. For example, a range of Swedish and relaxation massages can help migraines caused by stress. They do this by reducing the cortisol in the body and help increase more feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.

Head massage can help with circulation in the region of the headache and this can help with these styles of massage too. Massage can also help with getting into a regular sleep rhythm so this can help with insomnia as a trigger for migraines.

Massage can also help with any muscle spasms that may also be the cause of the migraine.

Also, aromatherapy massage therapists like the ones at Ripple, will also use essential oils that can help with migraines. For example, menthol based aromatherapy oils have been shown to sometimes reduce the severity of a massage, offering a non pharmaceutical option during a migraine attack.

Massage therapist massaging a womans scalp

Specialised Headache Massage Therapists

If you do have regular headaches and would like to explore how massage can help, it is best to book in with qualified, experienced headache massage therapists.

All Ripple massage therapists are fully qualified in scalp massage and are qualified to minimum Certificate IV or Remedial Diploma in Massage.

They are trained in a wide range of massage techniques that will help relieve your headache, including the relevant trigger points and muscle releases.

The best part is that you don’t have to drive anywhere or even leave your house. Some headaches can be highly debilitating, so having an in home massage can be hugely beneficial so someone in the middle of a migraine or cluster headache.

Ripple is a mobile massage and beauty business that brings the day spa to you.

Click here for the full list of spa packages and beauty treatments and pricing

Call on 0438 567 906 or book online now

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