What Is A Migraine?
A migraine is a headache which causes moderate to severe pain that reoccurs. It often occurs, pulsating, on one side of the head, with other symptoms accompanying it. A migraine can be chronic if a person has one for more than 15 days out of the month, for 4 hours or greater at a time. Unfortunately, it is not known what causes a Migraine, Genetics can play a role but there are triggers to be aware of, a few examples are…Weather, Stress, Hunger, certain foods, medications, Fatigue, certain scents…it effects about 12% of Americans each year, 18% being women! Common treatment for migraines typically include drugs from your Doctor, but these pills come with ugly side effects, like kidney and liver damage; plus they don’t deal with the root of the problem. Thankfully studies have shown non-drug treatments including Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage and essential oils are beneficial and an effective way of treating chronic Migraine.
How Massage and Essential oils can help
It was shown by Dr. G Norstrom, “Many headaches were actually secondary neuralgia’s, manifesting from chronic inflammatory deposits in the muscles of the neck. Massaging the muscular insertions to the cranium, or fleshy part of the trapezius, the sternocleidomastoid and other muscles of the neck, performed over a span of time was sufficient to remove the inflammatory deposits, causing the neuralgia to disappear.”
A Louisville client of mine who suffered from migraines attributes her relief to her once a week massage. A lot of her treatment is focused on the neck and shoulders. I use heavy traction to the head and neck with a focus on the occipital belly, deep stripping and direct pressure to trapezius and scalene muscles. I also love adding essential oils to her treatment. Studies have shown how positive essential oils can be on migraine headaches so combining massage with the use of essential oils is a perfect pairing. A few I love are… Peppermint- used topically for its ability to inhibit muscle contractions and role in stimulating blood flow in the forehead, plus it gives off a relieving tingling sensation. Lavender, I think is everyone’s go-to and induces relaxation and relieves tension and stress. Eucalyptus helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms and Rosemary because of its stimulating, anti-inflammatory properties. I like to apply essential oils topically, or in a diffuser, I find both are beneficial. Essential oils are also something a client can use on their own for relief.
Migraines can be debilitating, but before you reach for the RX pain killer, I hope you will give some of these alternatives a try.
If you are ready to try a massage we’d love to meet with you in person to discuss how you may benefit from treatment. If you’re ready to talk in person, contact us online. You can also keep reading about some other great benefits of massage in our other blog posts.
Amy Green LMT