Massage your headache away!

Unfortunately, around 10 million people aged between 15-69 in the UK suffer from migraines, while headaches are amongst the most common neurological reasons for attending Accident and Emergency departments!

Whether the root of the problem is hereditary, environmental, or due to lifestyle factors, when we have a headache, we are all looking for one thing – relief!

The most common type of headache is called a tension headache typically its characteristics are as follows: –

  • Typically lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
  • Pain often occurs on both sides of the head.
  • Can be mild to moderate in intensity.
  • Can be triggered by muscle tension, eye strain and other musculoskeletal damage.

How does massage help with headaches?

Research suggests that even a short massage session of 30 minutes can improve headache pain.  Both tension headaches and migraines have been effectively treated by massage therapy.

Not only can massage help relieve headache pain, but it can also help prevent headaches from occurring in the first place!

Let’s look at four benefits of using massage to combat the pain from headaches: –

  1. Massage promotes circulation – massage can increase blood flow in areas that might be lacking in blood flow (ischemic) and therefor help relieve pain.
  2. Massage relieves muscle spasms/tension – massage can help loosen chronically tight muscles and taught bands or tissue. This helps with muscle balance and neck alignment.  Also loosening the muscles that attach to the base of the skull (sub-occipitals) can relieve the tension headaches that travel up the back of the head and into the eye and also help with that “vice-like” feeling that so many people suffer from.
  3. Massage decreases pain form trigger points – trigger points are areas of hyper-irritable tissue that are very tender and can also refer pain to other areas of the body.
  4. Massage decreases cortisol – massage therapy has shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  It increases endorphins (your “feel-good” hormones) and stimulates the Para-Sympathetic Nervous system, therefore promoting relaxation.  Because of this hormonal effect, massage therapy can improve the quality of your sleep, better sleep – fewer headaches, fewer headaches – less stress!

Two massage techniques that can help with headaches: –

  1. Deep tissue massage – uses firm pressure accompanied with slow strokes to massage deeper muscle layers. Deep tissue massage can relax strained muscles that could be the root cause of the headache.
  2. Trigger point massage – like deep tissue massage, trigger point massage relaxes strained muscles by using direct pressure on the affected muscles.

Not all massage therapists are created equal!

It is important to find a well-trained massage therapist.  Here at Heale’s Chiropractic Clinics, all our massage therapists are highly trained and skilled individuals who are members of the International Council of Holistic Therapists (ICHT) and are therefore bound by their codes of conduct and professionalism.

If you or someone you know is suffering the debilitating pain of headaches, book a massage appointment and let us help you to become pain free!

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or [email address=”luton@healesclinics.com”