Massage for Headaches
Raleigh Medial Massage
From time to time, we all experience headaches. Some people experience them more than others. They can range from a nagging feeling of discomfort to a more serious pain that can make us lose focus at work and at home, become more irritable, and just simply put us in a bad mood. And for those afflicted with migraine headaches, the pain can be completely debilitating. For many of us, the solution to a headache has been to reach for ibuprofen or other painkillers. This can sometimes relieve the pain, but the underlying problem still exists. Luckily, the number of headaches you experience can be greatly reduced with a few easy stretches, some healthy habits, and a little pampering.
One of the best ways to get to the root of your headaches is to reduce the tension that’s causing them. A build up of tension in the muscles of the neck, shoulders and head often triggers tension headaches. Massage therapy can bring relief by decreasing pain, reducing this tension and increasing circulation.
Massage loosens the trigger points and blockages that are brought on by the muscle tension, cause headaches to occur and to come back again and again. Metabolic waste builds up in our muscle fibers from overuse and strain, which hardens and stiffens them and decreases the healthy flow of fluid from tight and inflamed muscles. A trained massage therapist will access the muscles that may be causing headaches and treat them by breaking down, loosening, and removing this buildup.
That’s the science behind the benefits of massage. But what you care about most is that massage can decrease the pain you feel from headaches, reduce depression and anxiety, decrease the overall tension you feel, and reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches. But massage alone isn’t the only cure.
Between massage visits it is important to relax. With busy schedules and hectic lives this is easier said than done. But even simply reducing the amount of time you spend in front of a computer or looking at screens can increase relaxation and decrease your stress and tension levels.
Another tip is to heat or cool your head and neck. The choice of heating or cooling is up to you and what your body needs. Improving the ergonomic conditions of your workspace can also be helpful. Wearing a headset if you spend a great deal of time on the phone reduces shoulder strain. Simply repositioning your computer monitor can make you feel better. Many people sit too close to the monitor, or too low in their chairs which causes us to lean our heads forward adding unwanted tension on muscles and joints.
It’s also imperative that we stay hydrated. Many people do not drink enough water on a daily basis, and drinks with caffeine and sugar that give us energy are often dehydrating us and causing our headaches. A good rule of thumb for how much water we need is to divide our body weight in half and drink that number in ounces of water each day. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds should be drinking at least 75 fluid ounces of water on a daily basis. This can be adjusted depending on exercise and exposure to heat.
And finally, remember to stay mobile. Taking a break from work each hour to stretch reduces tension and increases circulation. You want long, slow stretches, holding for 8-10 seconds. Use this time to get up, fill your water bottle, or walk around and shake it out.
Following some of these easy tips can reduce the frequency of your headaches. If you want to really get relief from the pain and annoyance that headaches cause, or to identify the root of the problem, spending some time with a skilled massage therapist could be the answer. Absolute Body Balance has qualified, trained massage therapists and offers a new client discount for your first massage; $55 one-hour massage. Call 919-841-9344 or visit http://www.absolutebodybalance.com to schedule.