Headache: Will a Head Massage Actually Help?
Over 45 million Americans are currently suffering from habitual headaches and over half of them experience intense migraines on a regular basis. Anyone who has experienced a headache or migraine knows that it can be a draining experience, which also contributes to high levels of stress and disrupted sleeping patterns. Luckily, massages are one of the best natural ways to dramatically reduce headaches and their associated symptoms.
How Do Massages Help Cure Headaches?
Massage primarily has two major functions for healing headaches and migraines: positivity and comfort. In terms of positivity, regular massage sessions encourage the body to maintain an ideal relaxation level whilst relieving stress. Feeling good and relaxed can significantly lower the likelihood of headaches and migraines by calming pressure points and muscles.
Comfort from massages comes from eased pressure, which is the primary reason that headaches or migraines occur in the first place. Massages that work on the head, neck and shoulders can alleviate pain and aches caused by headaches. They are also known to promote deep and healthy sleeping patterns, which contribute to overall relaxation and decreased stress. Another reason that massages help with headaches is that they help increase the body’s level of serotonin, which is vital for feeling good.
Which Massage Techniques Are Used?
There are various massage techniques that can be used to treat headaches. The selection largely depends on your massage therapist’s decision, though it is quite common to use reflexology or Swedish massage to treat the issue. It is always advisable to talk to your massage therapist before the session begins and let them know what you would like out of the session.
How Often Should I Get a Massage For My Headache?
Regular massage sessions can help to lower, or completely eliminate, the frequency of headaches or migraines. While it is highly likely that you feel better after a single session, it is recommended that you receive regular massages in order to promote relaxation in the body. After a number of consecutive sessions, you can choose to lower the frequency of massages and incorporate other methods of relaxation.
A Quick Fix
If you have a painful headache or migraine and can’t make it to a massage immediately, then try the following procedure for yourself. Apply gentle pressure to both of your temples by using the tips of your fingers. It is easy to find this spot by feeling for the soft area between your ear and eye. Apply strong pressure to the area and create circular movements with your fingertips. You can continue to move your fingertips along your scalp and forehead if that feels comfortable, or simply stay at the temples.
Not everyone enjoys the feeling of direct contact on the head during a headache. If head massages cause stress or discomfort, it is best to massage your feet and hands instead. Many massage therapists choose to stay away from the head and to focus on creating healthy blood circulation between the hands and feet, since this type of circulation also helps alleviate pain and tension.