Let's talk about headaches....
- Crawl into a dark and quiet room until it subsides? That’s the lonely option.
- Pop a pill and simply wait? It’ll block the pain but you may be back in that dark room once it wears off.
Then what should I do? Simple! Address the underlying cause.
Stress, anxiety, tight neck/shoulder/jaw muscles, having your body in an awkward position for an extended length of time (think an unusual sleeping position or holding the phone between your shoulder and ear). Certain foods can trigger a headache if you’re sensitive to them, that includes chocolate, MSG and caffeine if you don’t consume your normal amount.
Now, if your underlying cause has to do with muscle tension, caused by an awkward position and/or stress your massage therapist is your new best friend.
Your massage therapist (MT) will address the contracted, tight, sometimes tender and painful muscles that are the culprits of your particular headache. She will help coach you on your body positioning and different ways to alter your habits. For example, the addition of a Bluetooth headset or using speaker phone instead of your shoulder. Next your MT will balance your body and help strengthen the weaker muscles so that it’ll be harder for your body to slip back into old habits. Suffers of chronic tension-type headaches had a marked reduction in the frequency of headaches after receiving only four weeks of massage therapy.
The next time you have a headache. Stop. Think. Remember what your MT can do for you.
Quinnc, Chandler C Moraska A: Massage therapy and frequency of chronic tension headaches, Am J Public Health 92:1657-1661, 2002.