In the United States alone, more than 60% of the 45 million Americans who suffer from chronic headaches suffer from migraines. The disorder can be debilitating and typically results from high stress levels and/or lack of sleep. So it's no wonder why so many people want to know how to relieve tension headaches.
Massage has two roles when it comes to treating migraines and tension related headaches:
In a proactive role, massage treatments are performed on a regular basis to help the body maintain an optimal level of relaxation and stress-relief. This approach reduces the chances of migraine attacks and tension headaches significantly by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points.
In a comfort role, massage is done to ease the pressure brought on during a migraine or tension related headache. By focusing on the neck, shoulders, and head, massage can decrease the pain and discomfort brought on by migraine or tension headaches.
A recent study showed that massage therapy recipients exhibited fewer migraines and better sleep quality during the weeks they received massage, and the three weeks following, than did participants that did not receive massage therapy. Another study found that in adults with migraine headaches, massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms. It also increased serotonin levels, believed to play an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite.
Benefits of Relieving Tension-Related Headaches
- Decreases occurrences of tension headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms
- Allows one to maintain a level of relaxation and stress-relief, reducing the chances of stress induced migraines
- Massage for headaches can also reduce muscle spasms and trigger points