You’ve probably experienced a time in your life where you’ve been stopped in your tracks by a headache. Headaches can be very short-lived or more chronic, causing pain and major disruption to your everyday life. But can something as simple and soothing as a massage actually provide relief? 

What are headaches? 

When we experience a headache, it’s actually us feeling the symptom of pain in the head, face, or neck. This primary pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, persistent pain that lasts for days at a time. 
 
Headaches are usually not a sign of anything serious but can be caused by a variety of factors such as environmental, lifestyle, or pre-existing medical disorders. During a headache, the nerves, blood vessels, and other surrounding soft tissues tighten, sending signals of pain to the brain. There are many different types of headaches, but some of the most common include tension-type headaches and migraines. 

Tension-type headaches 

Probably the most common type of headache, tension-type headaches, also known as muscle contraction headaches, are typically mild and short-lived. They can be treated using over-the-counter medications. However, if the primary cause of tension is not resolved, the headache may return, and over time, secondary musculoskeletal pain may be felt in the back of the head and neck muscles. 
 
This secondary pain is a result of referred pain and muscle tension. Symptoms of tension headaches include pressure on both sides of the head with a dull, aching, persistent pain, along with discomfort around the temples and eyes. 

Migraines or vascular headaches 

Vascular headaches, such as migraines, are usually more severe and longer lasting than tension headaches. Migraines can be characterised by a pounding feeling and are often accompanied by other symptoms such as blurred vision, seeing flashing lights, and nausea. 
 
There are different types of migraines, including classic migraines, migraines without aura, and cluster headaches. Each type presents its own set of symptoms and challenges, but they all share the common characteristic of causing significant pain and discomfort. 

Can massage therapy help with my headaches? 

Both tension headaches and migraines can be effectively managed by regular massage therapy. Focusing on the head, neck, and shoulders, massage therapy offers several benefits: 
 
Relaxation: Massage therapy is incredibly relaxing, helping to alleviate stress and tension in the body. 
 
Increased blood flow: Massage helps to increase blood flow, which can reduce the severity and frequency of headaches. 
 
Loosened muscles: Tight muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders can contribute to headaches. Massage helps to loosen these muscles, providing relief from pain. 
 
Balanced hormones: Massage therapy can help balance hormones, particularly reducing cortisol levels, our stress hormone. 
 
Unlike over the counter or prescribed painkillers, massage therapy offers a non-invasive and non-pharmacological approach to managing headaches. By addressing both the symptoms and underlying causes of headaches, massage therapy can reduce the need for long-term drug use. 

How we can help 

At Fire & Earth, our therapists will have a detailed consultation with you prior to any treatment. This allows us to devise a suitable treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. We can also work with your other health practitioners to provide you with a multi-disciplinary treatment program. 
 
In addition to in-person treatments, we can provide you with tailored exercises and self-massage techniques to help manage your headaches at home. By taking a holistic approach to your health and well-being, we aim to provide you with long-term relief from headaches and improve your overall quality of life. 
 
 
Need help managing your headaches? Contact our team today to book an appointment. 
Tagged as: health, massage, pain
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings