If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you will probably be able to recall its intensity. This severe type of headache is often accompanied by painful throbbing, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Sufferers usually rely on medications until the migraine passes. However, this is a short-term solution to a chronic problem.
So, if you experience migraines, what else can you do?
Amazingly, massage therapy is one way to prevent- and also remedy- your headaches and migraines. Massage has been shown to decrease the frequency of migraine onsets, and is a restorative type of therapy for you.
Common complaints during migraines include: areas of tension in the head; pain rising through the jaw; and heaviness of the surrounding muscles. Your suboccipital muscles and jaw muscles are known to foster trigger points for tension headaches, as they partially work together to support your head. The suboccipitals are a patch of muscles (in your neck) that keep your head upright. These muscles also control fine motor movement when you move your head. With such a big job to do, these muscles have to work really hard- your head is very heavy in comparison to your neck!
What is reassuring for severe headache sufferers, however, is that massage in the suboccipital region of your body has shown strong links for easing these types of painful headaches. In fact, a massage under the back of the skull (where these muscles lie,) is usually one of the most dramatically therapeutic and deeply satisfying types of massage you can have.
Stress certainly seems to be another cause in the upper body build up to a migraine, and massage is so much more than an indulgent activity to remedy this. Regular massage therapy is actually very much a treatment: it is designed to lower the stress hormones, and soothe areas of tension in your body- with longer term effects. Lots of people who experience migraines have found that turning to massage therapy helps to lessen their stress levels. Studies have proven that levels of cortisol (one of the hormones contributing to stress) drop after the experience of massage. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of severe headaches.
Additionally, ‘hormones’ in general can often take the blame for bringing on headaches and migraines, but massage therapy can actually encourage counter hormones to ease the frequency of your symptoms. Touch promotes the hormone ‘serotonin,’ which is responsible for lifting your mood. For migraine sufferers, serotonin is significant because it’s also the hormone that encourages sleep- which is often why you feel sleepy (or may even ‘nod off’) during a massage!
Many who experience migraines agree that a lack of sleep or a poor night’s sleep can be another trigger.
Regular massage therapy will promote serotonin levels which, in turn, encourages good sleep and therefore decreases the likelihood of headaches and migraines. In fact, it’s been shown that massage is one of the most effective ways to boost your serotonin levels, which strengthens the link between massage as a longer-term therapy for migraines.
There are various forms of massage beneficial to migraine sufferers. Our specialised therapists, here in Norwich, can offer you support and guidance in finding a style of massage that will be effective and restorative for you.
At the time of a migraine, people who turn to massage for their treatment often recommend a softer touch approach. During a migraine, you might feel sensitive to touch, so a softer style can gently smooth out muscular tension and stimulate blood flow.
Between migraine attacks, a deeper tissue massage might be favourable for treating everyday tension that carries up from the shoulders and neck, into the head. The therapies we provide at our Norwich clinic are designed to relieve muscular tension and make you feel incredibly released and relaxed. Studies suggest that a regular massage treatment, such as the deep tissue massage we offer, can reduce the frequency of migraines (something that medications might not provide!)
Our therapies are carried out in a calming clinic environment, to ensure you have a wonderfully restful experience. We are based in the heart of Norwich, where our trained hands can personalise your experience to try and help you address ongoing migraine onsets.
Call (01603) 631900 or email [email protected] to book