Massage and Migraines
All migraines are headaches but not all headaches are migraines. Why? Because taken literally, headaches are an umbrella for when your “head” + “aches”. There’s a continuum of severity in which at some point, the headache will be subclassed as a migraine. Migraine territory means you’re experiencing symptoms such as, but not limited to:
- Sensitivity to light
- Throbbing sensation in the head during physical exertion like climbing stairs or lifting your head off the pillow
From a massage perspective, the amount of relief you’ll get depends on the cause. Possible causes to a migraine can be:
- Posture such as jaw alignment or TMJ
Unless it’s turned into a migraine, getting a remedial massage can eliminate a headache from the first treatment. Treating a headache through massage is usually straight forward. Common trigger points can be found between and along the border of the shoulder blade, up along the back and/or front of neck leading to the base of the skull, surrounding the jaw and various points around the scalp.
Treating a migraine with massage can be trickier. A massage will certainly take the edge off the headache but highly unlikely to resolve it. Most of the time, the migraine stems from a cause (listed above) outside of muscular origins. Having regular massages to treat the migraine may reduce its severity especially if you’re prone to recurring migraines and recognise the symptoms of one coming on.
If you’re already feeling nauseous I wouldn’t recommend booking in for a massage as it may lead to vomiting and the migraine will also carry on for the rest of the night.