When it comes to migraines, a little massage never hurt. But then again, a little massage never hurt whether you suffer from migraines or not. Seriously though, massage therapy has proven quite helpful in relieving headache pain. In general, you don’t want to rely solely upon massage as the method for relief from your madness, but instead use it in conjunction with other therapies as well as medication and changes in your lifestyle.
How can massage help with migraines? Migraine sufferers generally suffer from stiff, tender muscles in the back of the head, neck, and shoulders. The pressure against these points in the muscle can be the cause of severe pain, pain that is akin to migraine pain. These pressure points are known as trigger points. By massaging the trigger points, one can effectively reduce the pain and tightness in the muscles, which decreases discomfort in some sufferers. Massage therapy is a terrific method for reducing tension in the muscles, not to mention for reducing stress. When beginning a massage program it is best to begin with one or two sessions a week for about a month and a half.
Several studies have been done to determine whether massage therapy really helps relieve migraine pain. The results of these studies have determined that massage therapy at the very least helps migraine sufferers sleep better and at best actually does manage to lessen headache pain. The following are the most helpful methods of massage therapy yet found to deal with migraine headaches.
Reflexology: General massage therapy based upon the pressure and massage of points not on the head, but rather the soles of the feet. Reflexology isn’t so much a therapy as an art; a massage art used to relieve stress and pain throughout the body. The conceptual plan is based on the idea of zones in the feet that correspond to all areas of the body. By manipulating these zones, therapists hope to benefit the corresponding areas throughout the rest of your body.
Craniosacral therapy: Simply lie back and enjoy the sensations of your massage therapist
softly massaging your skull and scalp. This method soothes the nerves and lessens the waves of pain that those nerves send, which is the cause of the actual pain.
Deep-tissue massage therapy: A deep-tissue massage is intended to help with the improvement of circulation while reducing tension within the muscles by focusing on specific body areas thought to relieve pain and stress when manipulated. The deep tissue part of deep tissue massage is in reference to how the therapists uses deep finger pressure and deliberate stroking of the areas of the body that are suffering from muscle tension or aches.
Neuromuscular massage: This therapy, which is also known as trigger-point therapy, is a muscle relaxing treatment that applies moderate pressure to your body’s trigger points (spots in a muscle that, when stimulated by pressure or touch, are painful). Some believe that it can reduce nerve compression and relieve pain in tense or overworked muscles.
Acupressure: Look again, that’s accuPRESSURE, not acuPUNCTURE! Acupressure techniques are employed by applying pressure from the tips of the finger to points on your head, not sticking needles into your skull. The theory is that acupressure helps headache sufferers by calming muscle tension and enhancing blood circulation. You can actually do acupressure on yourself simply by applying moderate and constant fingertip pressure with just two fingers for five minutes tops. The best method is to use one hand on top of your head and the other to apply pressure between your eyes.
When engaging in massage therapy, be aware that even the lightest, gentlest pressure from the most qualified therapist can cause at least mild discomfort, but should the pain become unbearable immediately instruct the therapist to quit massaging. To find a qualified therapist where you live, if your town features a school of massage therapy you can check with them and they will provide you with names and certification information.
Article Taken From: http://www.headacheupdates.com/migraine/headache-relief/headache-relief-therapies/migraine-massage-therapy.htm