Headaches can be a real misery and sometimes it can seem as if you’ve tried everything to get rid of them but they just keep on coming back. Painkillers can seem like the obvious choice because yes, they do work – but then the headache will often return. If you’re really unlucky you may also end up with a rebound headache which is common in people who take painkillers regularly. So, what can you do?
If your doctor tells you that medically you’re fine and sends you away with instructions to relax more and get some sleep, it might feel as though you’re not being taken seriously. If just getting more sleep and less stress were the answer we’d have found a way to do it by now, and in any case…life isn’t that simple. And you still have a headache.
Massage therapy might be a way out of the headache hell that doesn’t involve taking drugs that only end up making the problem worse. More Americans complain about headaches than any other medical condition. It’s thought that around 45 million Americans suffer from headaches every year, and of course that’s only the people who report them. Statistically, it’s around one in every six people – with more than eight million Americans going as far as seeing their doctor about it.
How can massage help a headache?
Massage has two main benefits when it comes to beating regular headaches. A massage can help headaches that are caused by trigger points, muscle spasms and general tension. These are thought to be a major cause of headaches and a massage therapist has some great tools to help give you relief from the pain – her hands. Some points on your body, like the back of your skull can bring on a feeling of deep relaxation, and this spot is known to be a great place to massage anyone who has tension headaches.
Regular massage helps to regulate hormones in your body that manage your mood, sleeping patterns and appetite. We all know that if we’re feeling tired, if we have low blood sugar or if we’re just in a bad mood we’re prone to getting headaches, so regulating the hormones responsible can really help decrease the number of headaches you experience.
What else can you do about regular headaches? There are other things that will help banish your regular sore heads, and your massage therapist will be able to give you a bit of advice about what might work for you – as well as providing healing hands. Make sure that you tell her about your work environment, sleeping habits and arrangements and even things like how much coffee you drink because these are all potential triggers for headaches that with a little tweaking could substantially reduce the number of bad heads you suffer from.
With something as common as a headache, often it’s the simple things that can make all the difference. A muscle tension easing massage can potentially relieve headaches caused by bad posture, too many pillows or not getting enough exercise, reducing pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that compound the problem.
So next time you reach to pop another pill, remember that masking the pain with a drugstore remedy will not stop your headaches – so schedule yourself a massage session and give yourself the gift of long term pain relief!