Self-massage techniques can be an effective way to relieve headaches. The LI-4 pressure point, also known as Hegu (her-goo), is located on the back of the hand between the base of the thumb and the index finger. Applying pressure to this point may help reduce pain and headaches.
Massage therapyhas also been shown to be an effective non-pharmacological treatment for chronic tension headaches.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that massage therapy was effective in reducing the frequency and duration of headaches, although the sample size was small. Scalp massage is a Swedish technique that can be used to relieve tension headaches. The nerve endings on the scalp are sensitive and, when touched lightly, can transmit a relaxing sensation to the muscles and dense tissue above the skull. Although massage therapy was effective, the massage regimen used may not be realistic for most patients, and therapeutic massage procedures were not clearly described.
When you can't see a massage therapist, you can still reap many of the benefits of this age-old healing practice with your own hands. WebMD consulted several massage experts to find simple self-massage techniques that incorporate the best relaxing massages and pressure point applications offered by massage therapists. Head massages have also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve circulation and promote hair growth. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that 15- and 25-minute head massages could lower blood pressure in female participants.
Few sensual experiences can compare to a full body massage in terms of pleasure and stress relief. Patients with chronic tension headache received structured massage treatment aimed at the neck and shoulder muscles. As for migraines, Chamness states that migraines tend to be caused by a chemical or hormonal imbalance in the body, so self-massage wouldn't necessarily help with the condition itself. The daily headache form was used to record the number of headaches, the intensity of the most severe headache, and the duration of the longest headache each day. Compared to baseline values, the frequency of headache was significantly reduced during the first week of the massage protocol. Massage therapy can be an effective way to relieve headaches and other forms of pain.
It is important to consult a qualified massage therapist if you are considering using massage therapy as a treatment for your headaches.