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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

Massage and Headaches


Headaches are a common complaint, affecting millions of people around the world. Although there are many medications available to treat headaches, massage therapy is an alternative treatment for headache relief. Massage can help alleviate headaches by reducing muscle tension, improving blood circulation, and providing a sense of relaxation and stress relief. It is an effective and natural way to relieve headaches and tension. Massage therapy can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches, as well as improve general wellbeing.


When it comes to massage and headache relief, the type of massage will depend on the cause of the headache. Usually for treating headaches, a combination of multiple massage styles is used including basic Swedish Massage, some stretching, Myofascial work, and possibly Trigger Point work as well as Lymphatic Drainage could be used. For example, if the headache is caused by tension from sitting at a desk or hunched over a phone all day, then a deeper massage and stretching focused on the neck and shoulders may be needed. If the headache is more general stress and anxiety, a lighter relaxation style of massage including lymphatic drainage in the face, neck, pecs and shoulders may be better. Your massage therapist will use their knowledge and experience to recommend and use the best type of massage for you.


Massage can help reduce muscle tension and spasms, which can be a common cause of headaches. Massage helps to release tension in the muscles, allowing them to relax and also improves circulation. This can reduce pressure on the nerves and blood vessels especially in the neck and head, which can help ease the intensity of a headache.


Massage Therapy can also help relieve stress and anxiety, which can be a contributing factor to headaches. Massage has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. This can result in an overall feeling of relaxation and improved mood. Overall, massage is an effective and natural way to help relieve headaches. It can reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and provide stress relief. If you are suffering from headaches, it is important to speak to your doctor to find out the cause and the best treatment option for you. However, if you don't want to rely only on stronger and stronger medications, massage therapy can be a great addition to your overall health plan, helping you to achieve relief and improved wellbeing.

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