How massages help with Headaches and Migraines

Getting a headache massage is one of the best natural headache treatments out there. And chances are, you could use some headache relief every now and then, as research shows that almost everyone has an occasional headache.

What kind of headache do you have?

Believe it or not, there are three different categories of headaches and six different individual types within those categories. They range from common and benign to potentially serious.

Tension-type headaches: Tension-type headaches (TTH) are the most common of all headaches. Although their exact cause is still unknown, TTH is typically characterized by recurring feelings of tension or pressure in the head that last from minutes to weeks. Tension-type headaches are often mistaken for migraines, although the two present very differently.

Vascular Headaches: The group of vascular headaches includes cluster, sinus, and migraine headaches. Cluster headaches, which occur in cyclical patterns or cluster periods, are one of the most painful types of headache. A cluster headache commonly wakes you up in the middle of the night with severe pain in one eye or around one eye on one side of the head. Fortunately, cluster headaches are rare and not life-threatening. With treatment, cluster headache attacks may be shorter and less severe.

Sinus headaches: these are headaches that are perceived as a sinus infection (sinusitis). You can feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks, and forehead. You may feel a throbbing in your head. However, many people who believe they have sinus headaches, even many patients who received that diagnosis, actually have migraines or tension headaches. Migraines are severe headaches on one or both sides of the head, usually accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. They can also be preceded by an "aura," a visual disturbance that can appear as bright lights, fractal lines, or stars. Migraines are up to 3 times more common in women than men, due to hormonal differences.

Inflammatory Traction Headaches: This type of headache is rare but can be serious, with a wide range of possible causes. In this case, the headache is serving as a canary in the coal mine, sounding the alarm about a more serious problem within the body. This type of headache should be treated by your Primary Care Physician as soon as possible to rule out potentially serious causes.

Natural relief for tension headaches and migraines.

Massage therapy has been shown to be an effective measure in reducing both chronic migraines and tension headaches. Research shows that professional therapeutic massage can decrease pain, tension, duration, intensity, and frequency of headaches. Massage also relieves muscle tension in the neck, jaw, and shoulders, which can cause headaches in the first place.

Studies have shown that massage reduces the frequency of migraines and even reduces pain in the middle of an active migraine. Scalp massage is especially promising for reducing migraine pain. And when you can barely get out of your dark room, scheduling a home massage can be a lifesaver when the alternative is navigating through lighted traffic to find some relief.

Do you suffer from regular headaches?

If you live with headaches, a regular massage should be part of your self-care routine. It's easier and more affordable than ever with a Livebetter massage membership. With flexible options, you'll enjoy up to 20% off regular rates, accumulated credits that never expire, and most importantly, the comfort of knowing you'll have a therapeutic massage waiting for you every month.

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