Is the weather causing sinus pressure and headaches?  Over 45 million Americans report they deal with chronic headaches ~ of these 60% say that these headaches are migraines.

Bodywork treatments available to these 45 million Americans. Massage therapy has long been described as a non-invasive way to manage the pain associated with tension headaches & migraines. But what kind of ‘massage’ therapy helps? An integrative approach of bodywork to headaches is key to success.

Swedish massage is not alone going to help. Certainly, most people can’t deal with deep tissue on the head or even around the neck. So, you will need to receive bodywork from someone who has many softer styles of bodywork in their tool box of therapies.

Here’s a great recipe: Blending Myofascial Release with reflexology willl support relief. Add into the recipe some craniosacral therapy and neuromuscular therapy and you have a session that will provide amazing healing results. Too, a therapist who has a table that will elevate your head and shoulders while doing the treatment is crucial (so that your sinus cavities will be drained!)

Myofascial release, a gentle pressure applies slowly along the fascia to elongate this part of the muscle tissue, eliminates pain and restores motion to areas of restriction. This technique done to areas in the neck and at the base of the skull are highly effective for decreasing tension leading to headaches.

Craniosacral therapy has been helpful in decreasing the symptoms of headaches and migraines. This light pressure approach, very simplistically, works by rebalancing the fluid in the dural tube of the spine thus allowing for restrictions to be lifted and they craniosacral system to function optimally.

Facial Reflexology is known for a way to balance hormones and thereby reduce migraines which are induced by imbalanced hormones. This is achieved by balancing the Chinese meridians and using acupressure points on the face. Balancing this system brings back homeostasis to the glands and encourages regular functioning. With this comes relief from the imbalance of hormones associated with migraines.

Neuromuscular therapy also know as Trigger Point therapy can work adhesions that are directly responsible for the muscular tension associated with headaches and migraines. This technique is particularly helpful in working with pain associated with temporal mandibular dysfunction.

Of course, many people will say “I feel great for a day mabybe” so some self care is critical to keeping the relief going along the way. Along with these techniques, stretching can be effective. That is why a bodyworker may incorporate passive movement to your neck and shoulders to create relief in the muscle tissue causing the stress. This type of therapy works adhesions that are directly responsible for the muscular tension associated with headaches and migraines.

Self-Care is also important. A simple relief strategy includes:

  • Starting by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears, and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
  • Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along.

If you are looking for some conclusive evidence see this publication in the American Journal for Public Health.

Many times a Combination of techniques is best to offer the most comprehensive non-pharmaceutical approach to alleviating headaches whatever their cause with bodywork.  If you have any questions about which approach would work best for you or for someone you love, Call our office and we can guide you toward a solution that best fits your needs.

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