Do you have a persistent headache? Massage therapy may be for you…
My massage therapy clients often don’t volunteer information when they have a headache. Many clients seem to think that it’s not relevant.
However, massage is an effective treatment for tension and migraine headaches.
Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, usually occur in conjunction with or may be caused by muscle tension in the head, neck and shoulders. Along with back pain, this kind of neck/shoulder pain is among the most common conditions that massage therapists see. Yet very rarely do clients tell their massage therapists that they booked their appointment because of a headache.
Because many people find it easier to reach for medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen when they get a headache – they do not feel the need to book a massage. That’s a reasonable response to headache pain that is occasional.
Consider your other options if you are having headaches at least 2-3 month; it may be time to go beyond over-the-counter drug remedies to find a solution that is more long-lasting and helps reduce headache frequency. If your headaches are chronic over time, painkillers will not reduce the frequency of your headaches.
Consider the following questions:
- How often do you have headaches? And for how long?
- Where do you feel the pain and how severe is the pain? What does the pain feel like? (dull, aching, sharp, pounding)
- What kind of work do you do?
- What helps you relieve the pain and what makes it worse?
The answers to these questions are relevant for your massage therapist to know. For many people, massage therapy may prove to be effective means in helping reduce pain and frequency of those headaches – especially if other stresses contribute to the headaches. Don’t forget: less headaches = less medicine usage with less harmful side effects
Share relevant details of your conditions and lifestyle with your massage therapist. As health practitioners, we can give guidance on how to deal with your health concerns and refer as necessary to other specialities (such as chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine).