Migraines are a very common complaint however they have many causes and finding this in each individual can be tricky.
It is mainly known as throbbing pain in the head that is often confined to one side (initially at least) associated with or without an aura and provoked by certain factors.
These auras can be flashing lights, hallucinations, double vision, nausea, vomiting etc
The associated factors can be preserved foods, citrus fruits, fermented, pickled and marinated foods, caffeine, chocolate, yoghurt, avocados to name a few….
Changes in weather and pressure can cause an episode. Hormonal changes in women can cause an attack as well any family history of migraines. Stress is also a big factor.
Migraine has been associated with dilation and constriction of arteries inside and outside the skull. This is a good thing to point out as some people tend to use heat/ice packs if they are suffering however this will prompt the circulataion to the area potentially increasing pain. Cold compresses or gel packs are more beneficial to use on the face scalp eyes wrist and feet. This will calm the circulation during an attack.
Massage therapy is known for helping migraine and headaches using many techniques and working on a treatment plan for each individual. The idea behind the massage for migraine is to calm the body therefore preventing symptoms and by using regular treatment to interfere with regular pain patterns
If you feel a migraine coming, a relaxation full body massage is best again to promote calm of the body and circulation. Other benefits of massage are deep breathing exercises done during treatment or in your own time, helps reduce medication consumption, helps sleeplessness and relieves pain.
Other types of headache can be greatly helped with trigger point therapy, clinical massage techniques on specific muscles and advised stretches.
In short try to find what is causing your attacks. Chat to a nutritionist to see if you are intolerant to any foods that may be a trigger. Make sure you are well hydrated, try to balance your stress levels. Its often all about prevention so if we work on the aspects we can control and listen to our bodies we are well on our way to better health!
Clare Corcoran LMT