Can Migraine Sufferers Benefit From Massage?

If you have ever suffered from a migraine, you know these are no ordinary headaches. A migraine is often set apart from a traditional headache due to the severe throbbing as well as nausea and light sensitivity that can accompany it. Many consider migraines and tension headaches to be the same. Both are triggered by stress and tension headaches are just as the name implies, triggered by some sort of stress or tension. It could be a rough week at work or just day to day life piling on the tension. Migraines can be almost debilitating to those who experience them. While there have been many medical advances when it comes to treating them, some are looking for a more natural alternative.


One natural alternative that seems to be helping migraine sufferers is regular massage. Tension headaches are triggered by stress, and massage is known to help with that. Massage has been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in the body, which is a feel good hormone that can help you feel much calmer and at ease. When it comes to helping you relax and feel at peace a nice, calming massage is hard to beat. With stress and the headaches that come with it, the muscles that are in your neck and shoulders can be tight.


While there hasn’t been much research done on the effectiveness of massage, there was one study done by the University of Miami School of Medicine. They took two groups of people who suffered from migraines. One group was told to take their medication just as they would as usual with no massage, and the other took their medication and received massage. Those in the massage group did not experience a migraine during the study and also found that they were sleeping better as an added bonus.

A Word of Caution

Those who are sensitive to touch during a migraine may not find a massage during an episode to be beneficial. However, regularly having a massage in between any migraines could help with the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. It seems as though there are many different types of massage can be helpful, but deep tissue massage seems to be quite helpful in between. Reflexology can be great, also.


Yet if you are beginning to experience pain from a migraine, deep tissue work could actually make things much worse and worsen the pain. When it comes to deep tissue massage, it’s also important to keep your comfort in mind. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or tensing up, make sure you speak up. The massage therapist can’t possibly know if you are feeling any discomfort if you don’t let them know.


If you are considering trying massage in order to help with your migraine or tension headaches, we would love to talk! We at Moonstone Massage Therapy can help you determine what the best course of action would be in order to keep your stress levels lower and much more manageable.