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
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
Jaw and Dental Problems
Straining of Eyes
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:
Cognitive behavioural therapy
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!