How massage therapy can banish your migraines forever

If you get migraines, you know how much of a burden they can be. The headaches are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, fatigue, and dizziness. And for many people with chronic migraines, these symptoms come on at the worst times - After all, no one's ever really in the mood to lay in the dark for hours, waiting for the pain to subside.

If you've managed to find this blog post, you'd probably try almost anything to ease the pain. The good news? Massage therapy might be the answer you've been looking for. 

What causes migraines?

Triggers differ for everyone, with genetics playing a significant role in your likelihood of getting a migraine. However, the most common triggers include stress, poor sleep quality, hormonal imbalances, and caffeine overconsumption.

External causes such as pollen and diet could also trigger migraines. Common diet-related triggers include:  

  • Eating chocolate
  • Eating aged cheese
  • Eating foods with MSG, nitrates, and additives

Plus, if migraines are a recurring evil in your life, you'll want to ensure you're drinking enough water, as dehydration can be one of the worst culprits. 

Can massage therapy help?

The short answer? Yes, massage therapy has been shown to help reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines...Even in those sufferers who don't respond to medical treatment.

Massage has long been known to relieve headaches by reducing stress and anxiety levels, promoting healthy blood flow, improving sleep quality, and reducing the muscle tension behind tension headaches. But the truth is, massage therapy has the potential to do much more to prevent and decrease the severity of headaches and migraines than it's given credit for.

For example, an American study found that migraine pain intensity may be reduced by an incredible 71% in sufferers who receive regular massage therapy. This study's participants reported less pain, more headache-free days, fewer sleep disturbances, and improved mood after receiving just two 30-minute massage therapy sessions every week.

But perhaps even more impressive are the results of a 2006 study published in the Annals of behavioral medicine, which found that massage therapy can reduce migraine frequency and pain levels for up to 3 weeks post-treatment. 

Why does massage therapy help with migraines?

When it comes to migraines, scientists explain that the effectiveness of massage therapy is primarily due to its ability to boost serotonin levels. Massage therapy influences the body in the same way as the most effective drugs for treating vascular headaches, increasing serotonin levels in individuals who suffer from chronic migraines. This reduces your perception of pain.

In fact, massage therapy is known to decrease pain caused by several ailments, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic lower back pain.

Furthermore, massage therapy can improve sleep quality, decrease stress levels, and improve circulation, which might all decrease migraine frequency and intensity.

But it doesn't end there - With its abundance of health benefits, including increased immunity, improved cardiovascular health, and chronic pain relief, massage therapy is truly the holy grail of self-care.

Massage therapy may be more effective than you think. If you suffer from migraines, it's worth a try! And with Bigtoe, we bring the massage to you with our mobile massage program. This saves you valuable time and allows for a zero-fuss approach to massage therapy. Are you interested in learning more? Download the BigToe app to book your next massage session!

Let's begin!