We recently talked about how massage therapy can be beneficial for stress relief; today, we’re going to talk about how you can use it to find relief from headaches or migraines.
The American Massage Therapy Association has asserted that massage can be an effective therapy for those who suffer from chronic headaches. And unlike prescription pain relievers, regular massage therapy treatments can provide long-lasting relief and prevention from future headaches with fewer side-effects.
A Few Massage Therapy Benefits
A recent study shows that participants who received massage therapy treatments exhibited fewer migraines, in addition to better sleep quality, during the weeks the received the therapy (and the three weeks following) than the control group who didn’t receive the treatment. Additional studies have found even more benefits, like:
Decreasing the occurrence of headaches, distress symptoms, and sleep disturbances,
Increasing serotonin levels (which regulates mood, appetite, and sleep), and
Reducing muscle spasms and trigger points.
Regular massage therapy treatment also allows you to maintain a level of relaxation and stress-relief, reducing your chances for stress-induced migraines.
Can’t Make it to a Massage Therapist?
Unfortunately, for many, massages are a luxury for which we either don’t have the time or money. Luckily, when it comes to easing migraines and headaches, there are a few massage techniques you can use yourself to get some relief:
Manipulate the Temporalis Muscle
Located on the sides of your head, going up from your upper jaw and over the top your ears then back behind them are the temporalis muscles. When these muscles get tight, you get tension headaches or migraines. To massage them away, follow these steps:
Either sitting or standing, press your index and middle fingertips to the spots above your temple on either side of your head.
Open and close your jaw several times.
Move your fingers around to massage wherever you feel discomfort, continuing to open and close your jaw.
Problems with the temporalis muscle have been linked to TMJ as well, so if you’re experiencing chronic pain, you should talk to your doctor.
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.