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Treating Migraines with Massage Therapy

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If you or a loved one suffers from migraines or headaches you know that it can be a very painful and often debilitating experience. Many people are unable to work or remain active when a bad migraine headache sets in. If you are looking for alternative treatments to help you manage your migraines massage therapists can help treat your migraines using massage therapy.

What is a Migraine Headache?
Migraine headaches occur when nerves and blood vessels react to migraine triggers. Triggers can include certain foods, the smell of perfume or other sources of strong fragrance and even exposure to direct or flickering lights. Once exposed to these triggers a very painful unilateral headache will occur. A unilateral headache will affect only one side of the head which is one of the symptoms that separate a migraine from other types of headaches. In hand with the headache there are other symptoms that will affect the autonomic nervous system leading to vomiting, nausea, light sensitivity and sweating. Migraines can last for as long as three days.

How does a Migraine Appear?
Unlike other types of headaches a migraine will appear with warning signs that usually begin with visual disturbances. This is referred to as an “aura”. Once the aura appears the headache will follow and depending on the patient they can also experience nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity. Some patients will also suffer from emotional symptoms such as anger or sadness.

How does Massage Therapy Help?
Massage therapists can use a number of techniques to help treat migraines. Recommended therapy for migraines can vary depending on the patient and the massage therapist who can offer to work on a number of areas to help improve circulation, aid in relaxation and release serotonin to aid in relieving pain. Many different massage techniques can be used and you can work with your massage therapist to find which modalities are the most effective.
You can schedule a massage at the onset of a migraine as well as maintaining a regime of regular massage to help reduce the amount of migraines you experience.

If you are experiencing migraines, massage therapists can provide a treatment plan to help you manage your pain.


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