When the Weather Triggers Your Migraines: How Massage Can Help
Fall is a favorite season for many, especially since it brings with it cooler weather and favorite holidays. Unfortunately, fall can also mean the sudden, undesirable appearance of migraine headaches and other seasonal allergy symptoms. There are many ways one can mitigate the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of migraine headaches by treating them early on–including through massage.
Migraine Headaches and Massage
Migraine headaches can be triggered by hundreds of different things, not the least of which is changes in barometric pressure or temperature, dry weather, and storms. Obviously, these are changes that one cannot hope to avoid, so one must instead learn how to better prepare for them and protect against or resolve their effects. Luckily, massage therapy can present the ideal solution.
Massage therapy, which consists primarily of pressing, stroking, rubbing, and kneading certain muscles and tissues in the body, is commonly used in order to help relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, ease pain, alleviate sleep disorders, increase mental alertness, improve mood, and much more. Following are just a few of the key reasons why massage can work so well to prevent or resolve migraine headaches:
- Relaxation of muscle spasms and tension. Massage can relax muscle spasms and tension, especially in the neck and shoulder areas, where tension pain tends to travel up to the back of the head and into the eye areas.
- Regulation of hormones. Changes in hormones, especially the stress hormone cortisol, is one of the most common migraine triggers. Massage therapy can help to regulate hormones and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Improve blood flow and circulation. With increased blood flow and circulation, the body experiences greater oxygen levels and reduced pain.
A study by the University of Miami School of Medicine was run in order to determine whether a massage was, in fact, useful in reducing the incidence or at least severity of migraine headaches. Some participants received migraine medication exclusively, while other participants received migraine medication and massage. The participants who received migraine medication and massage were not only migraine headache-free during the course of the study, they also slept better.
There are many different types of massage therapy, but one specific type that seems to work best for preventing migraine headaches is deep tissue massage. That said, deep tissue massage–or indeed anything more than gentle hand or foot massage–may be intolerable while a migraine headache is occurring. Migraine sufferers are often extremely sensitive to touch and tend to experience pain with movement during an attack, which is why deep tissue massage is best delivered between attacks rather than during an attack. With deep tissue massage, the therapist uses a combination of movement, deep finger pressure and stretching on specifically tense areas of the body in order to ease discomfort and promote relaxation.
In addition to deep tissue massage, your massage therapist may also recommend craniosacral therapy to soothe nerve endings in the skull and scalp, reflexology to stimulate zones on the soles of the feet that correspond to specific areas of the body, and neuromuscular massage to reduce nerve compression. The type of massage used depends upon the individual, their preferences, their health condition, and what will most likely bring them the greatest relief.
Botanica Spa provides a variety of spa services, including massage, in Clearwater, Florida. We understand that migraine headaches can crop up quite literally out of nowhere and that these headaches can make it impossible to function normally or well. We use specific massage techniques that are aimed at helping to reduce the causes of these headaches. For the best massage in Clearwater, contact us today.