Does Massage Therapy Help With Migraines?

Intense Headaches Can Be Debilitating!

I’ve suffered from nasal polyps pretty much my whole life. It’s a condition where noncancerous “grape like” growths form along the lining of your nasal passages and sinuses (Source: MayoClinic). As you can imagine, clogged sinuses can result in a plethora of awful side effects.

One such effect are the persistent headaches. They’re especially bad when you have a cold and your sinuses are extra clogged. In this scenario it almost feels like your face is about to explode!

Everyone suffers from headaches at some point in their life. Some of us suffer more than others, but we can all agree that headaches, depending on intensity, can actually be debilitating!

Headaches Can Definitely Impact Your Productivity!
Headaches Can Definitely Impact Your Productivity!

For the unfortunate souls who suffer from cluster headaches and intense migraines, you guys know how one of these episodes can completely ruin whatever you’re doing that day.

The bigger question I hope to answer today: can massage provide some natural relief to migraines and headaches or is this all a myth?

 

Here’s Something I Bet You Didn’t Know?

Just because you might not suffer from migraines doesn’t mean those around you aren’t. Did you know that migraines affect approximately 1 billion people worldwide? (Source: Migraine Research Foundation).

Here’s a few more interesting facts that might shock you. Thanks to Migraine Research Foundation for sharing the data!

    • Migraines are considered the 6th most disabling illness in the world.
    • More than 90% of migraine sufferers are unable to work during a migraine episode.
    • Typically, a migraine episode or attack can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.

Unfortunately, the list of migraine stats gets more and more grim. I’ve only listed a few that I found particularly interesting, but if you want to learn more, I strongly encourage you to check out Migraine Research Foundation.

So next time you encounter someone suffering from a migraine, try to sympathize with what he/she must be going through, and lend them a helping hand!

 

Are Headaches The Same As Migraines?

When most people hear the word “migraine”, they think it’s simply an intense version of a headache. Not saying they’re wrong, but there are very clear distinctions between a headache and a migraine.

I’m not a doctor so I don’t think it’s fair for me to present the differences to you. Also, while I do suffer from frequent headaches from time to time, I never have suffered from a migraine before.

That being said, the following article from Healthline goes into the details as it attempt to provide a distinction between headaches and migraines. It also provides a nifty little road map to help readers determine if what they’re suffering from is a migraine or a headache.

Migraine Or Headache?
Migraine Or Headache?

If you read the article, you’d have learnt that migraines typically exhibit several additional symptoms, (nausea, dizziness, vertigo, flashing lights etc.) not just throbbing head pain. With all these symptoms, one can only imagine how horrible a migraine episode might be to a sufferer!

 

Is There A Specific Massage Therapy That Can Help Migraine Sufferers?

First things first, if you are suffering from some type of headache, the most important thing you must do before you do anything, is to visit a doctor and get it checked out.

Don’t be fooled into thinking Google has all the answers to your physical ailments!

Instead of diagnosing yourself, visit a trained physician and let him/her have a look and make the diagnosis. It may turn out that you’re not even suffering from migraines to begin with. Maybe it’s some form of headache you’re suffering from, or maybe the head pain is as a result of something else. In any case, doctors exist for a reason…..make an appointment!

Book An Appointment!
Do The Right Thing!

Now that we got that outta the way, we can get to the crux of this article. It’s as simple (or as complicated!) as this:

Based on the several credible articles I’ve read, there isn’t much research done that indicates massage can provide relief to sufferers of migraine.

It’s not as grim as it sounds, however. The good news is that a number of migraine suffers have found massage therapy to be extremely useful in helping relieve their condition. There’s several accounts of this you can find online.

Here’s an interesting article I happened to stumble upon. It talks about a simple technique recommended by a neurologist to treat migraines in 60 seconds! The 3 step process itself is pretty simple, and requires peppermint essential oil as well as a carrier oil such as coconut oil. I’ve not tried this technique yet, but I sure as hell will next time my sinuses are clogged up. If you ask me, everyone should give this a shot!

Here’s another 6 step process that could help resolve headaches. It might not be as effective for migraines, but hey it’s worth a shot nonetheless. The cool thing about these techniques is that they can easily be performed on one’s self. In other words, you don’t need to see a therapist. (Video Credit: Sharp HealthCare )

If that doesn’t work, here’s something completely unconventional that’ll leave you dumbstruck…..and it might just cure your migraine! (Video Credit: Kamil’s View)

I don’t know if that will or won’t work for you, but I do know one thing: it will almost certainly lighten your mood. For what it’s worth, you might as well try what Kamil has proposed in his video and see if it works!

If that fails, then you can always see this guy! (Video Credit: Dr Joseph Cipriano DC )

Or you could find a chiropractor in your area that offers a similar service/procedure. Again, the idea with all of these videos is to find something that works at relieving your migraine issue specifically. I don’t think there will ever be a “one size fits all” approach when talking massage for migraines. More so, it’s about finding what works for you and implementing that into a daily routine.

Just because he’s so awesome, here’s another migraine related video from Dr. Joseph Cipriano. This one also shows the Y-Strap adjustment done to lower pressure. (Video Credit: Dr Joseph Cipriano DC)

Last but not least, here’s a simple self massage technique proposed by Rachel Richards (a licensed massage therapist). Again, because it’s pretty simple and only takes a couple minutes, it’s worth trying out! (Video Credit: Rachel Richards Massage)

 

Remember The Keyword Is “Relief” Not “Cure”!

Massage can only provide relief, it cannot cure migraine problems. Curing a migraine issue is something that probably requires a lot more investigation to first determine why the migraine is happening to begin with. To put it very bluntly, if you’re looking for a permanent cure to your migraines, your best bet is to visit your physician and maybe get him/her to recommend you to a specialist.

If you’re looking for relief, then try out some of the techniques discussed in the videos above!

If you ask me, I would much rather take a chance with natural, holistic treatment such as massage therapy, as opposed to popping pills to get some temporary relief.

In the end when it comes down to it, your health is 100% your responsibility. It’s not your doctor’s responsibility, it’s not your spouse’s responsibility, and it sure as hell isn’t mother natures responsibility!

When I say your doctor is not responsible, I don’t mean to say his/her advice is not worth considering. What I mean is don’t think it’s your doctor’s job to cure you of your illness. It’s your body therefore you have to put in some effort!

Your Health, Your Responsibility!
Your Health, Your Responsibility!

When you take your health into your own hands, it’s incredibly liberating because you have the freedom to make the choices you feel will suit your body best.

 

Good Luck & May Those Migraines Perish Forever!

For all my migraine sufferers, stay strong. I can only sympathize with what you all must be going through. Take solace in the fact that some really new and exciting research continues to be done around migraines, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we see some new forms of treatment.

With that I bid you farewell. I hope you enjoyed reading and got some value from this post. If you did, please consider sharing on the social platforms.

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

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