How Can Massage Help to Treat Migraines

Updated on March 4th, 2020
Massage for Migraine

Well, the thing with migraine is that there is no one single reason that could cause it to occur. Right from caffeine and eating chocolates to foods with MSG, there are a lot of reasons that could trigger migraine within seconds.

With a lot of over-the-counter medications, herbal teas, and home remedies, people who suffer from migraine are always on a quest to find the most effective long term treatment to get rid of it.

Of course, massage(1) for migraine is also one of the widely used effective ways to treat. However, there are mostly anecdotal claims rather than study or research on the efficacy of a message on migraine.

[Also Read: Natural Treatments for Migraine]

How Massage for Migraines Work?

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When a migraine hits you, you experience a feeling of someone hitting on your head with a hammer on one particular point. Now, acupressure and acupuncture on that specific point help to release stress and pain. Massage techniques for migraines also is a safe and natural way to reduce migraine or any other headache.

Studies and Researches to Support This Claim?

In a study, they looked at the triggers and relieving factors among people

who were suffering from migraine and other types of headache issues. Out of all, migraine relief massage was found to be a significantly helpful technique that helped relieve its symptoms.

There was another small study which had 26 participants who had a migraine. Half of the participants took neck massage therapy. And participants who took massages had less migraine pain when compared to the other half participants who hadn’t. Every member of the massage group reported more than 70 percent reduction in migraine pain.

[Also Read: Popular Teas for Migraine]

How to Do a Massage?

Take two drops of your favorite essential oil, such as peppermint oil or lavender oil and mix it with a carrier oil (Almond oil or coconut oil). Now, using your fingers, slowly rub the oil on your forehead temples or neck (Wherever your pressure points are) in circulatory motion. Do this for five minutes. You can repeat this whenever you feel stressed or anxious.

Different Types of Massages to Treat Migraine

Depending on the type of migraine(2) and which side on the head you have pain, you çan apply pressure on various body parts to relieve stress and anxiety.

  1. Shiatsu
  2. Sports massage
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Lymphatic massage
  5. Swedish massage
  6. Rolfing
  7. Deep tissue massage
  8. Reflexology

Side Effects of Massage  Therapy for Migraine

Massages are usually considered as a safe and effective way to treat migraines and other types of headaches when done by a professional, and a licensed massage therapist. So make sure your therapist is a professional and not a layman as most of the time side effects that are associated with messages are often caused when unprofessional and non-specialists conduct messages.

Who should not take messages to treat migraine?

Whether it is head massage for migraine, scalp massage for migraines, or foot massage for migraine, massages are not suitable for people under certain health conditions. Here’s the list of health conditions wherein you should avoid massages or at least consult a doctor or physician before getting a massage done.

  1. Cold or flu
  2. Recently injured
  3. Surgery or fractures
  4. Skin rashes or other similar problems
  5. Pregnancy

Migraines and other types of headaches are the most common problems that are people around the globe. While there aren’t any particular treatments for the long term, people who suffer from migraine often should consider relaxing at least 30 minutes every day to release stress and anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see what’s the best treatment for you in the long term.


1. Can senior citizen people have a message?

Sure, they can. Just consult your doctor or physician first. Because there are certain medications during which people are not suggested to take messages.

2. Can a message have a lasting relief?

Not exactly. Massages are an effective way to reduce migraine pain and stress levels instantly. Depending on the person and the type of headache, massages can be taken often to get relief from migraine.

3. What can trigger a migraine?

From foods that contain MSG to chocolates, various things could trigger a migraine. For some people, too much stress and anxiety levels could give them a migraine.

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