Relief at Last
After more than a decade of chronic headaches, one woman finds
massage works miracles
Before getting a driver's license or graduating from high
school, Erin Knight had already shouldered an adult burden: chronic
headaches. "I started having problems with headaches in high
school," says Knight, 26, who lives in the Seattle area. "I think
all the studying and computer time may have been a trigger for
chronically tight muscles."
For more than 10 years, Knight battled migraines and tension
headaches up to two or three days a week. "I blamed the weather,
hormones, my diet or allergies. I never thought I would be able to
live headache-free," she says.
Her doctor recommended a restrictive diet, but following its
challenging list of foods to avoid didn't bring Knight relief.
Pain medicine wasn't a perfect solution either, since one side
effect was stomach problems. She was able to effectively stop
migraines by taking prescription medication. "But I worried about
its long-term effects," she says.
Knight wanted to do better than treat a headache once it showed
up. She wanted freedom from the disruption of chronic headaches.
"It was just one more thing to worry about on a big day," Knight
says. "It seemed like whenever I had a big test or a job interview,
I would get a headache."
A breakthrough came in fall 2009 when Knight joined Massage Envy
in Beachwood, Ohio, where she was living at the time. "through deep
tissue and trigger point massage, my massage therapist, Carrie,
worked miracles," she says. "Not only do I go months without a
headache, but I sleep better and have better posture. Working
through chronic tension has helped me learn body awareness so I can
correct small imbalances before they turn into bigger
After years of chronic pain, regular massage has changed
Knight's life. "I consider it as important as exercising and eating
well," she says. "I encourage friends to think of massage as a tool
for health management, not a luxurious experience."
- Teresa Caldwell Board