Massage for Headaches, a Simple Way of Relieving Stress
I ask clients daily, “any headaches?”
To which they reply “not really”.
What I have learned after more direct questions, is that people get used to having them. It has become their normal state.
After further questioning, the majority of my clients answer with “only one or two a week”. This is crazy! That’s far too many!
With some regular body maintenance we can eliminate the pain, improve productivity, creativity and greatly improve our mood by getting on top of the pain cycle and postural deviations that lead to headaches.
So let’s eliminate dehydration. You’ve heard it over and over, drink 2 litres of water – minimum DAILY. No more headaches from dehydration. Problem solved.
Trigger points are invisible points along muscles that are “tight”.
These points do feel tender when touched, usually only touched by your massage therapist (who is hopefully qualified in providing a massage for headaches) after you tell them you have a headache that feels like it is behind your eyes and around your temples.
But your massage therapist isn’t touching your temples or anywhere on your head. They are palpating the big muscles on the side of your neck, that lead down from your jaw. This is actually where your headache is probably being triggered from.
Trigger points are formed and located all over our bodies, but for the purpose of this discussion I’ll focus on points in the muscles of the neck and upper traps.
To relieve and prevent these headaches from returning, a massage for headaches treatment plan is created and focuses around the muscles of the neck and shoulders, primary and secondary, along with the muscles that support these muscle groups.
Trigger points can feel very tender when palpated (touched) and are best to be worked gently and usually over a series of massage for headaches treatments for best, longer lasting results. Part of the process of releasing trigger points can actually trigger the pain (headache) to the pain referral area. Meaning, the treatment will sometimes trigger a headache as it clears. This is usually only after the first treatment as the points are very tight and sensitive. This reaction often subsides with follow up treatments as the points become more relaxed.
Stressed? Try a massage to relax and relieve your headache.
Reduce Pain by Increased Blood Flow
Another factor that causes tension headaches are tight muscles with a reduced blood flow and therefore reduced oxygen supply.
Lifestyle factors such as computer/desk work, commuting (whether driving or public transport), jaw clenching (often unconsciously during the day as well as sleep) or eyestrain can cause the small muscles that cover the head, intrinsic muscles of the cervical spine, the group of muscles that work together to clench the jaw and muscles of the neck to become overused and generally tight. Often with small amounts of inflammation in the tissue due to overuse.
The tension in these small muscles prevent a generous flow of fresh blood and oxygen into these muscles over time and this causes pain in the muscle. These small muscles can become extremely tender to touch and over time become a tension headache.
When headaches are caused by the above factors, they usually require a relatively small amount of regular treatment to eliminate them from your weekly schedule and move your massage treatments into a maintenance phase quite quickly.
Want to Know More a Massage for Headaches?
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