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Will massage help with my migraine?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

By Carrie Kearns


A migraine is a severe painful headache that is recurring and usually accompanied by other symptoms.

The symptoms can include:

  • a stiff and/or tender neck

  • temporary blindness

  • blurred vision and/or eye pain

  • fatigue

  • light-headedness or dizziness

  • vomiting and/or nausea

  • pain that's worse on one side of your head

  • problems concentrating and trouble speaking

  • light sensitivity, also to sound, and/or strong odors

  • throbbing, pulsating, or intense pressure of the head

You may experience a few or all of these symptoms and everyone is different.

Migraines can last for a couple of hours up to a few days and can be extremely debilitating and disruptive for the sufferer.

It is important to see a doctor to confirm this and to put a treatment plan in place that can include medications and other therapies as well.

There are many different causes of migraines and they are often triggered by something and stress and muscular tension are perfect examples.

Remedial massage through the back, shoulders and neck can help release some of the tension in these areas. Many of these muscles can commonly refer pain up into the head and face. With the use of trigger point therapy and myofascial release among other techniques, some clients can experience some relief immediately and have longer intervals and reduced severity in between attacks.

Relaxation massage can also have an effect on migraines as well. Relaxation massage is extremely effective by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, in turn reducing blood pressure, slowing heart rate and inducing slower, deeper breathing creating a more relaxed state, which can reduce stress.

There may also be an improvement in sleep as well.

Your Mels Massage therapist can also help you by showing you some self-massage techniques to manage your migraines.

Mels Massage therapists are also trained and certified in using the Kinesio-taping method to relieve migraines as well.

The addition of regular massage to your treatment plan is a safe and effective way to manage your pain and possibly reduce the frequency and/or severity of the attacks.

Migraine symptoms. Practical Pain Management site. www.practicalpainmanagement.com/patient/conditions/alternative-treatments-migraines-headaches , Updated 19 November 2015. Accessed 18 August 2016.

Migraine. BUPA site. www.bupa.com.au/health-and-wellness/health-information/az-health-information/migraine , Updated 30 July 2011. Accessed 10 August 2016.


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