Getting a massage for your headache is one of the best natural headache treatments available.
Research shows that nearly everyone gets occasional headaches.
There are three different categories of headaches and six different individual types within those categories. They range from common and benign to potentially serious.
Tension-Type Headaches: Tension-type headaches (TTH) are the most common of all headaches. Though their exact cause is still unknown, TTH is typically characterized by recurring feelings of tightening or pressure in the head that lasts from minutes to weeks. Tension-type headaches are often mistaken for migraines, although the two present very differently.
Vascular Headaches: The umbrella of vascular headaches includes four different subtypes of headaches, including cluster, sinus, and migraine headaches. Migraines are intense headaches on one or both sides of the head, usually accompanied by nausea, and light or sound sensitivity. They may also be preceded by an “aura,” a visual disturbance that may appear as shimmering lights, fractal lines, or stars. Migraines are up to 3 times more common in women than in men, due to hormonal differences.
Traction-Inflammatory Headaches: This type of headache is rare but can be serious, with a wide range of possible causes. In this case, the headache is serving as the canary in the coal mine, sounding the alarm about a more serious issue within the body. This type of headache should be treated by your healthcare provider as soon as possible to rule out potentially serious causes.
Massage therapy has proven to be an effective measure to reduce both chronic migraines and tension headaches. Research shows that professional therapeutic massage can decrease pain, tension, duration, intensity, and frequency of headaches. Massage also eases muscle tension in the neck, jaw, and shoulders, which can cause headaches in the first place.
Studies have shown that massage reduces the frequency of migraines and even reduced pain in the midst of an active migraine. Scalp massage shows particular promise for reducing migraine pain.