Woman getting massage
Despite being the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated 1 in 7 of us affected by migraines, the understanding of how debilitating they can be is very low. We go in-depth to explain what a migraine is, and how massage can help. 

What’s a migraine? 

Migraine is a severe and painful long-term health condition. If you have migraines, you’ll have migraine attacks, which can be a whole-body experience. 
Common symptoms of an attack can include: 
head pain. 
problems with your sight such as seeing flashing lights. 
being very sensitive to light, sounds, and smells. 
feeling sick and/or being sick. 
Different people get different symptoms, and attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours and the symptoms may change with each attack. Some symptoms may start about 24 hours before you get head pain, and end about 24 hours after you stop having head pain. Imagine trying to go about your daily life when this happens! 
The most common types of migraine fall into two categories: 
migraine with aura 
migraine without aura 
Migraine with aura covers some of the rarer forms of migraine where symptoms such as loss of balance, double vision, or fainting can occur. These have added neurological symptoms. Migraine without aura is the most common with 70-90% of people experiencing this type. 

What causes a migraine? 

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, although they're thought to be the result of temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Around half of all people who experience migraines also have a close relative with the condition, suggesting that genes may play a role. 
A few of the migraine clients that we treat find that light, lack of food or sleep and drinking alcohol can bring on an attack. Once you have identified your triggers, you can try to manage them, so you reduce your chance of an attack happening. 

Is it a headache or a migraine? 

In 1988 the International Headache Society produced a classification system for migraine and headaches. Updates have been made since then and it's been adopted by the World Health Organisation for defining all the types of headaches you can get. 
It can be hard to work out what type of headache you are experiencing so keeping a diary of what the symptoms are and how often they happen can be really helpful in trying to work out what’s going on. 

So how do we treat it? 

As it’s a complex condition and symptoms vary so much, the treatment options can vary. The options are: 
Conventional medicines. 
Herbal remedies. 
Most migraine sufferers take some form of medication to help reduce or slow the attacks but only a few realise massage can be a form of preventative treatment. Deep tissue massage can help relieve muscle spasms, improve blood flow and relieve tension
We’ve seen for ourselves the great results you can get with massage, some clients have gone from frequent headaches to either none or considerably less over the course of 6 sessions. Deep tissue massage seems to be the most effective, working on releasing tense tissues and removing trigger points. These massages must be done between migraines as the body is far too sensitive to touch during an attack. 
Regular deep tissue massage is definitely worth a try to prevent migraines or headaches, it’s a natural remedy that will potentially result in you taking less medication, and having the bonus effect of reducing stress levels. Not only this, but regular deep-tissue massage may prevent further postural issues than contribute to headaches. 
Sound like something you'd like to try? Book online today to help get rid of your headaches or migraines. 
Sound like something you'd like to try? Book online today to help get rid of your headaches or migraine. 
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