Massage and Migraines

Question:

I suffer from migraine headaches and I would like to learn how to help myself with massage therapy.

- Angie


Answer:

The symptoms of migraines differ from person to person, and even in a single individual or during a single episode. Here are some things to consider when adding massage therapy to your approach to migraines:

  • The treatment should limited to 30-45 minutes to avoid exhaustion, and is more of a relaxing massage.
  • The goals of the massage would be to decrease pain, muscle spasm and circulation and to increase relaxation.
  • During the migraine attack the massage should be very light and the areas addressed may be limited to neck, shoulders, head and face while lying in the supine position (on the back).
  • Between migraine attacks you may want to have a deeper treatment addressing muscular tension and you may be able to tolerate lying prone (on the stomach).
  • During a migraine, hydrotherapy can be used as well by applying ice to the neck region to reduce pain.
  • Between migraines, hot baths can help to reduce or even abort future attacks.

If the massage is done properly, the individual may get instant relief or decrease the severity of the symptoms.

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