A migraine headache is a proximal neurological disorder with many signs and symptoms. There are many theories about what causes a migraine but since these clients symptoms are different, it’s hard to determine a universal theory. Symptoms can range from a throbbing or penetrating pain, which can last for a couple of hours to an entire day. You can also experience sensitivity to light and noise or even experience and visual auras such as double vision or tunnel vision.

Typical Symptoms of a Migraine

Pain areas: in the face or neck
Pain types: can be dull
Headache: can be acute, frequent, severe, or throbbing
Whole body: dizziness, lightheadedness, or malaise
Visual: sensitivity to light, distorted vision, or seeing flashes of light
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
Sensory: aura or sensitivity to sound
Also common: irritability, nasal congestion, or scalp tenderness

How to best treat a migraine is still unknown, although thankfully there are lots of options. Different types of medication that can help alleviate some of the pain and decrease the frequency of attacks. Medications aren’t always the best fit for all clients. Some other options could include Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Psychotherapy and massage. Massage has been described as bringing about a degree of relief to those who suffer from headaches and migraines.

Massages have proven to help reduce stress levels, reduce trigger points, improve range of motion, improve flexibility and decrease muscle spasm; which in turn can help reduce the occurrence of those headaches and migraines. If you suffer from migraines it’s important to know when to get a massage. Truthfully you can receive a massage either during an attack or between those attacks. The treatment approach it will just be different. If you are currently experiencing a headache or migraine the approach should be more gentle and the treatment shouldn’t last as long to avoid over stimulating the body. If it is between the attacks, the treatment goals can be more aggressive to help work to prevent future attacks. We have worked with clients who suffer from migraines where we were able to determine the exact amount of time between messages in order to prevent an attack. As long as we kept that client under the same routine, the client was migraine free and even able to reduce the amount of medication. Remember everything is different so make sure you talk with your massage therapist about your symptoms and have them work to put together a treatment plan custom for you.