How Massage Can Help Tension Headaches and Migraines

Written by Matrix Massage and Spa , Posted in Articles

Woman receiving a massage for headaches - Matrix Massage & Spa

Intense headaches that can occur on one side of the head or both sides can be very debilitating. When you have tension headaches and migraines, they can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The throbbing and pulsating pain of a migraine or the mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band around the head which is more common with tension headaches can be relieved by massage therapy techniques for headache.

Tension Headache Massage Therapy

Research shows that massage can be an effective therapy to relieve tension headaches, especially when emotional or mental stress are contributing factors. Stress can cause a tightening of the muscles in the scalp, face, neck, and jaw. Maybe your tension headache is being caused by the anxiety of missing a deadline at work, family situations that have caused sleep problems or even being depressed. Life challenges can cause physical reactions like jaw clenching, eyestrain, and muscle tension that can prompt a tension headache.

A tension headache massage has been found to reduce the intensity and the duration of tension headaches by reducing emotional symptoms such as depression or anxiety. If you’re wondering where to massage for a headache that is most likely a tension headache – the perfect spots for treating tension headaches with massage therapy are:

  • Muscles of the neck located at the back of the skull
  • The side of the head and behind the ears
  • The temples and the forehead

Migraine Relief Massage

Massage therapy can be used as an all-natural, alternative treatment to manage the pain of migraine headaches. It has been found that the relaxation of the muscles and the reduction of stress that comes with a plan of regularly scheduled migraine massage can be very helpful. There are many migraine massage techniques that can be used to reduce the pain associated with migraines. You may have to try a few different options to find which type of head massage for headache treatment is right for your situation.

  • Active Massage – using either Deep Tissue Massage or a Swedish Massage for maximum relaxation of body muscles
  • Cold Stones – the coolness can reduce pain and promote healing of injured tissue
  • Shiatsu Massage – Japanese massage technique that uses acupressure to reduce headache pain

Massage uses the principle of “touch” and “pressure” therapy in multiple ways to rub, press, knead, stroke and tap the muscles of the body. These methods have always demonstrated the ability to relieve physical tension and emotional stress, while also improving blood circulation throughout the body. When a migraine headache occurs, it is only natural that the person will become tense and emotional. There is a direct relationship between this muscle tension and the prolonged experience of migraine headache pain.

Your massage therapist will help you to relax which means your blood vessels relax and send more oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. The entire process is natural and can be used in addition to other therapies or treatments prescribed by a medical doctor.

Contact Matrix Massage & Spa for Tension Headaches and Migraines

Visit us at Matrix Massage & Spa in Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Our trained and experienced massage therapists work to release stress in your life and can help you find the right massage therapy to help tension headaches and migraines.

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Massage Therapy FAQ’s

The law always requires that you be appropriately covered with sheets or towels to keep you comfortable and warm. If you start feeling uncomfortable or exposed, speak up. Your therapist will respect your wishes and work with you to make the massage session a comfortable one.
No, only undress as much as you are comfortable with. Some people prefer undressing completely, while others prefer to keep undergarments on. You'll have privacy in your massage room to undress before the session and redress afterwards.
It depends on your massage therapy goals. Some people get a monthly massage to manage stress or to prevent health problems. Others opt for weekly sessions if they need relief from injuries and chronic tension.
Licensing and certification mean that the massage therapist can legally practice massage in your city or state. To get this license, they must have performed several hours of training at an accredited school, past the extensive licensure exam, and have paid any relevant licensing fees.
Every insurance plan works a little differently, so your best bet is to contact your insurer directly. Some plans do cover alternative therapies including chiropractic and massage. You will likely need a doctor's prescription first. If you don't have health insurance, or if it doesn't cover massage therapy, you can find massage therapy coupons and discounts on our site.
How much depends on how pleased you are with the service and how much the massage costs (the full price, not any discounted fees). One easy trick is to think about how you would tip a waiter after a similarly priced restaurant meal. This is often 15-20% or more if you received exceptional service.
Let your massage therapist know before the session if there are areas on your body that you don't want to be touched. They will have the training and experience to give you a therapeutic massage while working around ticklish or sensitive places like your feet or abdomen.
Yes, absolutely. You should always speak up if something is uncomfortable. Secondly, keep the lines of communication open during deep tissue massage or sports injury massages. Your therapist needs the feedback to work on you properly and without aggravating an injury. On the other hand, if you are looking for relaxation, it's often best not to talk unless necessary. This lets your mind as well as your body release tension. With the right mindful breathing technique, you may even achieve a stress relieving meditative state during the massage.
Most likely, unless your doctor says otherwise. Prenatal massage can reduce and relieve common pregnancy issues like lower and upper back pain, sciatic nerve irritation, swelling, tension headaches, heartburn and constipation, and more. Let your massage therapist know that you're pregnant so they can use the right techniques during the session.

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