June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month.
Can massage actually help with migraines?
In short, yes.
Some triggers for migraines include anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, and hormonal changes in women. This list overlaps quite well with things that massage can help with: relieving stress, improving sleep, and reducing cortisol (stress hormone).
According to the Migraine Relief Center, deep tissue massage seems to be the most effective massage in between migraine attacks to reduce occurance rates, while light massage on the hands and feet might improve blood flow and help out during an attack.
Come in at the first sign of an attack and we’ll do our best to relax you and hopefully stop the migraine before it can take full effect. But, most importantly, get regular massage to reduce stress, improve sleep, and reduce the likelihood of a migraine forming in the first place.
What about tension headaches?
Tension headaches can also be improved via massage. Tension headaches are caused by stress, and sleep disturbances (discussed above), as well as eyestrain and nearby muscle tension in the neck, shoulders or scalp, which radiates and causes pain throughout the head.
Thus, your therapist will likely work on the scalp, shoulders, and neck to relieve contributing muscle tension.
Outside of the spa there are two things your SLOCO massage therapist might recommend to help reduce tension headaches: body mindfulness and pixel eyewear.
Poor posture can result in muscle tension in exactly the places that cause tension headache. The best way to resolve this issue is to regularly ask yourself “Where’s my body right now?” and put yourself back in a relaxed upright position. If this is hard to remember to do, set up a quiet hourly alarm to help remind you. Additionally, be sure to set up proper workplace ergonomics. Check out this helpful youtube video: Laptop Ergonomics – Basic Tips – Adult or Child Laptop Use at Home, Work or School.
Pixel Eyewear is a product we love that reduces eye strain by filtering blue light and improving visual contrast, thus reducing eyestrain and potentially reducing tension headache from eyestrain.
For more even more information about migraines and massage, see references below.