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Can Massage Therapy Cure My Headaches?

Massage therapy is an extremely effective course of treatment for headaches. Not only can it

help elevate an existing headache, it can reduce the frequency at which they occur. This is

because tension headaches make up 90% of all headaches people get.

What is a tension headache?

A Tension Headache occurs when muscles of the neck and head become tight. Wether it be

stress related tightness, posture related tightness or simply a bad nights sleep.

What are the symptoms of a tension headache?

  • Pain on both sides of the head

  • Tight pressure around head

  • Soreness in temples, neck and shoulder muscles

  • Pain but not severe

  • Irritability

  • Trouble Focusing

  • Muscle Aches

Where do they hurt?

Generally, Starting at the back of the head and moving towards the eyes.. They usually feature

a tight band around the head as well.

Are there triggers?

There are a few believed triggers for tension related headaches and they are:

  • Not enough rest

  • Poor posture

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Hunger

  • Iron Levels

  • Alcohol

  • Caffine

  • Jaw and Dental Problems

  • Straining of Eyes

  • Dehydratins

  • Smoking

  • Illness

When should I see my doctor about headaches?

See your doctor if you have frequent or severe headaches, or if they get in the way of your daily


When should I see a Massage Therapist for my headaches?

After you’ve seen your doctor and have been diagnosed with tension related headaches.


Anytime before needing to see your doctor. A massage therapist may be able to help reduce the

frequency and severity of the headaches.

How to Prevent Tension Headaches:

  • Biofeedback

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

  • Acupuncture


  • Physical Therapy

  • Deep Breathing

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

Interesting Statistics about Tension Headaches:

  • Chronic tension headaches are much less common. They affect an estimated 3% of adults.

  • Women get tension headaches more often than men.

What Will a Massage Therapist do During My First Treatment for Tension Headaches?

During the first treatment we will go through a few movements of the neck before starting the

massage. Then we may do what is called an orthopaedic test. At this point I will likely have

drawn a pretty good picture of what is going on. During your massage I would focus on the

shoulders, neck, head and the jaw locating any tight or weak muscles.

How long of an appointment do I need and how often should I come?

First appointments I always recommend a full hour. This gives us time to do some testing before

the massage and lots of time for the initial massage. Subsequent appointments for headache

specific treatment only need to be 30 minutes. This gives us the exact amount of time to give a

shoulder and neck massage. If you find the 30 minute treatments rushed or would like the full

one hour back neck and shoulder pampering absolutely book in for the hour.

As for the frequency at which someone comes this varies from person to person. If the headaches are severe I can see someone two or three times in a week while we are working to reduce frequency and intensity... If they are mild, weekly to biweekly. Generally speaking we will see each other more frequently at the beginning and work towards a maintenance routine of monthly to every other month massages.

Almost everyone will suffer from a headache at one point in time. But if you’re one of the ones

who get a headache several times a week you probably don’t have to suffer as frequently as you

are. Book an appointment with me today and see if we can’t get you some relief!

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