Does Massage Help with Migraines?
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Saturday, October 29, 2016
By Stephanie Kadelbach
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There are many causes for headaches and migraines.  Stress, poor posture, TMJ dysfunction, allergies/intolerances, and hormone imbalances are some known triggers.  But determining what is a headache or migraine trigger can be a very challenging journey. 

First and foremost, massage is not to replace any medical treatment or advice.   Always consult your physician first.  Massage may be used in combination with other treatments.  Massage is helpful in reducing stress and postural imbalances.  It also helps reduce pain and muscle tension. Treatment that includes massage  and other forms of stress management may help prevent or greatly reduce the frequency of headaches. 

Research

There is more and more research done everyday on the effects of massage.  There was a study done by the Touch Research Institute in which migraine suffers “received two 30-minute massages per week for five consecutive weeks. The massage therapy subjects reported fewer distress symptoms, less pain, more headache free days, fewer sleep disturbances, and they showed an increase in serotonin levels.”  http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/AdultMassage.html

Another study was published in the “Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Forty-four people with a history of migraine headaches kept daily journals of their symptoms for 13 weeks; the randomly chosen massage group received a 45-minute massage every week from week five to week ten, but the control group did not. in this study, subjects who received massage “experienced better sleep quality and fewer migraines both during the massage therapy phase and in the three weeks after therapy ended. They also reported slightly lower levels of stress and greater coping abilities”http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/1178/

Other resources

http://www.webmd.com/balance/massage-therapy-styles-and-health-benefits

http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/treating-headaches-yourself

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/1507/Do-You-Need-A-Massage

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/1058/Holding-Headaches-at-Bay



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