For the most part people will get 1-2 headaches a month. The bad news is that for 14 million Americans they will have chronic daily headache . When these headaches attack, the majority of the headache sufferers can not work while the migraine is present. There are several accompanying symptoms that go along with migraine headaches. It is not unusual for nausea, vomiting, and dizziness to occur with the headache. Additional symptoms include visual disturbances and extreme sensitivity to sound, light, and smell along with tingling in the face and arms. A bad migraine can last for up to 72 hours. For these people the world stops right there for up to three long days. The overall effect on their lives is one of diminished quality of life as it impacts their daily activities.
What do you propose we do about it? Medication does not seem to prevent a migraine from happening. They may help speed the recovery. As much as we know about migraines there is so much more that we don’t know. We do know that the muscles in the head and neck constrict to almost vise like proportions. With this in mind a relaxing massage could provide a needed preemptive strike for the migraine sufferer.
Consider this, a relaxing massage will take tension out of the body. Does it make sense that if the person is more relaxed they would be less likely to trigger a headache? Stop it before the kettle boils over. The state of relaxation that is induced when being massaged occurs when the brain drifts off into an Alpha state. The Alpha state produces brain waves that are relaxing and calming. The migraine fuse can be extinguish before it goes off if the migraine sufferer has less tension in their body. Longer states of Alpha waves produces a more relaxed individual better equipped to deal with a migraine perhaps making them less severe.
The other added benefit of massage therapy for migraine headache relief is that the simple act of being touched triggers warmth that actually stimulates healing. There are many books on the subject of healing through touch. Touch is a part of massage but the psychological benefit of being touched by another human being offers deeper levels of relaxation and calmness that can stave off a headache. What I am suggesting here is that a therapeutic massage should be part of treatment regimen for migraine sufferers across the board. The cost of a massage is far less then the cost of missing a day or two from work due to a headache.
We should also consider that a massage does not have any negative side effects. A massage will not interfere with any medications they might be on. If anything a relaxing massage may actually enhance the therapeutic effect of medication on the headache. Massage can not hurt a migraine it can only help. You would think that it would be covered by insurance but it is not. The insurance companies feel that they would be inundated with requests for massage if they were to open the door for coverage of massage services. That is too short sighted in my opinion. How much less missed time from work would the migraine population realize. This would be a cost saving event. Could the migraine sufferer go with less medication? There would be additional saving benefit to the insurance company. I do not think it will change any time soon. I think it should be considered in the future.
Let’s sum it all up. Migraine headaches are a huge problem for many Americans. 90% of migraine sufferers find that the headaches interfere with their education, careers and social activities. They are more likely to suffer from depression and will experience difficulty sleeping. These people can be helped with a safe non-toxic treatment that contributes to an overall sense of well being. If you have to dig into your own pocket to pay for a massage it is up to you if you are worth the investment. Your body and mind will thank you for doing so. Less headaches, better sleep, calmer existence seems like a good investment to me. Time for you to decide.