Headache Massage Therapy

Headache Massage Therapy is used to relieve tension and headaches. Gradually glide your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along, using firm pressure and a slight circular motion.
Headache Massage

Massage techniques for headache relief include:

Migraines and headaches:

Nowadays, headaches are highly popular. A headache is something that almost everyone has experienced. Pain in the head, face, or upper neck can be caused by headaches. Its frequency and severity can change.
A migraine is a headache with very high intensity and frequency. It is a severe primary headache disease that is frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. It could linger for hours or even days.

Migraine is thought to be caused by a combination of factors including neck alignment, chemical/hormonal changes, neurological issues, vascular issues, environmental irritants, food sensitivities, and/or blood sugar management.

When they occur frequently or for an extended period of time, they might have a negative impact on our daily lives. Massage is a natural alternative to allopathic treatment for headache relief. They don’t have any of the negative side effects that come with prescription and over-the-counter headache treatments.

Headache and massage therapies:

According to one study, more than 37 million people in the United States suffer from headaches on a regular basis. Whatever the cause of the headache, whether it is hereditary, environmental, or lifestyle-related, it must be addressed.
The client is only looking for one thing, and it’s a sense of relaxation. Massage therapists are individuals who assist their clients in this situation. According to studies, a 30-minute massage can help relieve headache pain.

Neck pain is linked to a lot of tension headaches and migraine headaches. Massage and other manual therapies can help with headache pain and symptoms.

Various types of headaches/massage:

Massage therapy can help to relax stiff muscles, ease muscular spasms, promote blood circulation, and aid in relaxation. The massage therapists can help you with both stress and vascular headache discomfort.

Tension-type headaches:

The most frequent type of headache is tension headache.

Tension headaches affect both sides of the neck and are fairly prevalent. They’re usually minor and treatable with over-the-counter drugs.
Tension headaches can be classified into three categories:

• episodic in nature: occurs once or twice a month.

• frequent episodic: occurs more than once each month but fewer than 15 times.

Muscle tension, bone derangement, eye strain, and other musculoskeletal changes all contribute to this type of headache.

Vascular headache:

Avascular headache is more severe than a tension headache, which is frequently characterized by a “pounding” sensation. The pain can persist anywhere between three and four hours to three days. Changes such as • swelling or constriction of the nerves • blood vessels can occasionally be an onset of headaches, although the specific cause is uncertain.

The vascular form of headache is divided into four subcategories: classic migraine, aura-less common migraine, cluster headache, and sinus headache.

Massage style:

Deep tissue massage:

This type of massage can help to relax tense muscles. They are the primary cause of headaches. To massage the deepest layers of the muscles, massage therapists use strong pressure and slow strokes. This therapy also includes deep gliding motions with the knuckles or thumbs. The compression that occurs with the hard pressure helps with the discomfort that is predominantly affecting certain sections of the head, and the deep tissue massage works the facial muscles properly.

Trigger point massage:

Trigger point massage uses direct pressure to ease tense muscles, similar to deep massage. The pressure exerted to a specific place, such as the trapezius muscles and the sternocleidomastoid muscles, stops the nerve signals since they are forming the trigger points that induce headache sensations.
The goal and purpose of this therapy are to alleviate pain and re-educate the patient. They achieve this because they adopt healthy stances and postures that do not cause pain.

Pressure points to relieve headache:

There are a few other identified pressure sites in the body that can be used to relieve headaches, including:

Valley of Union:

These locations can be found on the web between the index and thumb fingers. Pinch this portion lightly with the opposite hand’s thumb and index finger for 10 seconds. Then, with your thumb, draw little circles in both directions for 10 seconds in each direction. Also, do the same thing with your opposite hand. The therapist’s treatment is said to ease discomfort and stress in the head and neck.

Drilling Bamboo:

These spots can be found at the dips on either side of the dot where your nasal bridge crosses your brow ridge. Apply gentle pressure to both spots with your index fingers at the same time. Retrace your steps back to the beginning. They can help with headaches caused by:

• Eyestrain

• Sinusitis

• Pressure

Third eye point:

The third eye point is located between your two brows, where your nose bridge meets your forehead.

Apply hard pressure to this area with one hand’s index finger for 1 minute.

Eye strain and sinus pressure, which are common causes of headaches, are supposed to be relieved by applying firm pressure to the third eye pressure point.

The shoulder well is midway between your shoulder point and the base of your neck, near the border of your shoulder. To take advantage of this pressure point, follow these steps:

Apply hard, circular pressure to this point with the thumb of one hand for 1 minute.

Then switch sides and repeat the process on the opposite side.

Firm pressure applied to the shoulder well pressure point can help ease neck and shoulder stiffness, as well as neck discomfort and headaches.


Massage treatment can help chronic tension headache sufferers reduce the number of headaches they get each week. Within one week of massage treatment, headache frequency was reduced compared to baseline levels.

Difference between massage and massage therapy:

“What is the difference between massage and massage therapy?” was the most often requested question. A massage is a form of integrative therapy that involves manipulating your body’s soft tissues with your hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or a massage device.

Massage therapy involves the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body by a trained, registered medical practitioner (massage therapist). Muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and skin are also manipulated.

While a spa massage may temporarily relax and ease tension, medical massage treatment has a specific aim, and your message will be part of a wider treatment plan based on your health needs and goals.

Headache massage

Massage and Headache Relief:

More than 37 million Americans are said to suffer from headaches on a regular basis. Whether the cause of their headaches is hereditary, environmental, or lifestyle-related, your headache patients are asking for one thing: relief. Massage therapists are well-positioned to assist.

According to research, even a 30-minute massage session might help relieve headache discomfort. 1 Following that, you’ll find everything you need to know about working with clients who have headache pain, from the various types of headaches you might encounter for both you and your clients, the most effective massage techniques to self-care regimes targeted at lowering both headache discomfort and frequency

Types of Headaches

Tension-type Headaches:

Tension headaches are a form of headache that occurs when muscles are tense. Tension headaches are quite frequent, usually minor, and treatable with over-the-counter drugs. The discomfort usually lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, and it usually affects both sides of the head.

Infrequent episodic headaches, which occur once or fewer times per month; frequent episodic headaches, which occur more than once but less than 15 times per month; and chronic headaches, which occur more than 15 times per month, are the three main forms of tension-type headaches. Muscle tension, bone misalignment, eye strain, and other musculoskeletal abnormalities are all potential triggers for tension-type headaches.

Vascular Headaches:

Headaches are caused by blood vessels. The sensation of a “pounding” headache is typical with vascular headaches. Vascular headaches are frequently more severe and stay longer than tension headaches, ranging from three to four hours to three days.

While the actual cause of these headaches is unknown, alterations in the nerves or blood vessels, such as enlargement or constriction, can occasionally be an onset. Vascular headaches are divided into four categories:

Classic migraine

Migraine in its most basic form. This form of vascular headache, often known as a “migraine with aura,” accounts for around a quarter of all migraines and is characterized by pain that is preceded by impaired vision, a feeling of flashing lights, or auras.
Auditory hallucinations, as well as numbness, trouble speaking, and muscle weakness, may develop. Auras usually appear within an hour after the onset of head pain and last for less than 60 minutes. Migraine aura might also occur without causing a headache.

A migraine with aura can be induced by many of the same things that trigger migraines in general: stress, strong lights, certain foods and drugs, and too much or too little sleep.

Aura-less common migraine

Migraine without aura is a regular occurrence. Migraines without an aura can include throbbing pain on one side of the head, as well as light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. This form of migraine may also cause discomfort in the eyes and nose on one side of the head. Pre-symptoms do not exist, unlike migraines with auras. The duration of pain can range from a few hours to several days.

Cluster headache:

Cluster headaches are a type of headache. Cluster headaches are more common in men than in women, and they are less well understood than migraines. Cluster headaches are more prone to strike at night, and they usually strike without notice.
Cluster headaches can last anywhere from six to twelve weeks, and they can occur seasonally, such as in the spring or fall. Excruciating pain, which usually begins in or around one eye but can spread to the head, neck, and shoulders, is one of the most common symptoms.

The affected eyelid may also droop, and there may be redness in the eye. Swelling of the face or perspiration on one side of the body is a possible side effect. Headaches occur every day, often many times a day, during a cluster period, with a single episode lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours. Notably, headaches tend to happen at the same time every day, and the discomfort normally fades as quickly as it began.

Headache Sinus:

The air-filled cavities in your forehead, cheekbones, and nose are known as sinuses. Sinus edema, which can be caused by an allergic reaction or an infection, can hinder mucus from draining normally. These headaches are thought to be caused by too much fluid in the sinus area of the skull, which leads to pressure build-up and pain.
Pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or nose is a common symptom. You may also experience sinus symptoms such as a runny nose, ringing in the ears, fever, or face puffiness at the same time.

Traction-inflammatory Headaches:

While uncommon, this type of headache could indicate a bacterial or viral infection. Slurred speech, numbness throughout the body, and difficulty with motor control are also possible symptoms. Meningitis, stroke, or a tumor are all possible causes of this sort of headache.

Massage Techniques to Relieve Headache Pain:

Dr. Ben Benjamin, Ph.D., founder of the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, emphasizes the need for massage therapists to understand the origin of the client’s headache in order to provide successful treatment. . “It is crucial to treat both the migraine and the neck injury with massage to minimize headache discomfort if [the client] has an injury that is causing the headache, such as a neck injury,” he explains.

When working with individuals who suffer from headache discomfort, these massage techniques show genuine promise:

Deep Tissue Massage:

Deep Tissue Massage is a type of massage that targets the deeper layers the Deep-tissue massage can relax tense muscles that may be the source of headache pain because it uses strong pressure and slow strokes to massage deeper muscle layers. Use your knuckles or thumbs to make deep, flowing motions.
According to Babil, this type of massage focuses on the facial muscles, and the compression that occurs with hard pressure helps with the discomfort that affects specific areas of the head.

Deep-tissue massage to the head may also help to relieve headaches, according to research. Applying a deep and progressive gliding movement to the head with the fingertips released suboccipital muscular spasms, which can contribute to headache discomfort, according to a recent study on the efficacy of manual therapy in patients with tension-type headaches2.

Massage of the Trigger Points.

Trigger point therapy, like deep-tissue massage, uses direct pressure to ease stressed muscles. “It doesn’t matter where the primary block is,” Dr. Benjamin explains. “Because migraines can occur in the upper portion of the head, such as around the eyes or at the temples, I find that applying pressure to the head and neck region for a very brief second throughout the therapy is really effective.”

Neuromuscular massage, which pinpoints and relaxes stiff muscles or trigger points, can also assist massage therapists to go directly to the cause of headache discomfort, according to Susan Jurczak, a massage therapist in North Carolina. However, she cautions that utilizing the appropriate amount of pressure is critical. “It’s also necessary to work on one side of the head at a time,” she continues, “so that each muscle gets treated.”

Massage Therapists and Clients with Headaches: Self-Care:

Receive a massage.

Jurczak recommends getting a massage every four to six weeks to ease muscle stress in the body, especially for massage therapists who suffer from headaches.

Make a choice that you enjoy:

Because stress can cause headaches, taking some time out of your day to do something relaxing will help relieve some of that stress. When looking for solutions to alleviate the stress that causes headaches, Babil says that clients should ask themselves, “How can I calm down and retain my center?”

Remember to keep your body in mind:

When working with clients, remembering your own body, according to Babil, is one self-care suggestion to keep in mind. This can be accomplished by employing your fingertips more frequently and maintaining good posture.

You may also keep your body in mind by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly, as well as drinking enough water. “A key source of headaches is dehydration,” Jurczak explains. According to Mayo Clinic, it’s critical to drink enough water each day to maintain normal brain function and energy levels (about 3.7 liters for males and 2.7 liters for women).

Massage your own body:

It’s also a good idea to give individuals who suffer headaches on a regular basis some exercises they may practice at home. For instance, Dr. Benjamin gives his headache patients a regimen of massage exercises for their eyes, nose, mouth, and jaw.
He claims that by doing so, you can prevent headaches from occurring in the first place. Jurczak also suggests using acupressure for self-care, claiming that certain pressure areas on the hands can be utilized to ease headache discomfort.

Name of the Generic: Name of the Brand Use
Naproxen Aleve Tension headache prevention; hormone headaches Migraine treatments
Diclofenac Cambia, , Zipsor, Zorvolex Migraines, and tension headaches are treated.
Ketorolac Tension headache treatment
Nabumetone Migraines and the prevention of tension headaches

Frequently Asked Questions:

The following are some of the most often asked questions about this topic by various people:

Q1: What is the best massage for a headache?

Which Massage is the Most Effective for Tension Headaches? Both deep tissue and Swedish massage can help with tension headaches. Special techniques, such as trigger point therapy and face massage, can be used in conjunction with any therapeutic massage.

Q2: What massage might help you get rid of a headache quickly?

Begin by pinching this area firmly — but not uncomfortably — with the thumb and index finger of your opposite hand for 10 seconds. Then, on this location, form tiny circles with your thumb in one direction and then the other for 10 seconds each. On your opposing hand, repeat the technique on the Union Valley point.

Q3: Is massage therapy effective in the treatment of headaches?

Massage can not only ease headache pain, but it can also assist to prevent headaches from arising in the first place. Massage is beneficial for a variety of reasons: Massage encourages blood circulation: Massage can help reduce pain by increasing blood flow in places that are ischemic (lack of blood flow).

Q4: Is a head massage beneficial to the brain?

It aids with memory enhancement.

The tiny muscles that surround the head are typically massaged. Sensory nerves in these muscles give messages to the brain. This improves brain function by stimulating it. As a result, boosting attention span, memory, and cognitive abilities.

Q5: How can you let go of mental tension?

The following can also help to ease a stress headache:

  • Apply a heating pad or an ice pack to your head for 5 to 10 minutes many times a day.
  • Make improvements to your posture.
  • To avoid eye strain, take frequent computer breaks.

Q6: Is it possible to massage a migraine away?

Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto has successfully treated both tension headaches and migraines. Massage can help ease headache discomfort and prevent headaches from happening in the first place. Trigger Point Therapy and Neuromuscular Therapy can help reduce neck and head discomfort and referrals.

Q7: Is it possible for massage to trigger a migraine?

There’s too much pressure.

The massage may be too intense for a specific person’s body. If the therapist uses too much pressure during a deep tissue massage, it might result in aching muscles, muscle bruising, and increased blood circulation, which can lead to a headache.

Q8: How often should your head be massaged?

Massaging your scalp with your fingertips two times a day (without oil) is recommended if you wish to boost your hair growth or thickness. You can just massage your scalp whenever you want to relax and relieve stress.

Q9: What part of your body do you massage for migraines?

Make little deep circles into the muscles on either side of your spine with your fingertips as you massage your neck from your shoulders to the base of your skull. Interlace the fingers of both hands on the back of your skull.

Q10: What is the definition of a Swedish relaxation massage?

A Swedish massage aims to calm the entire body by stroking the muscles with long, flowing strokes back to the heart. The benefits of Swedish massage, on the other hand, go beyond relaxation. It can assist improve circulation and flexibility by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood.


More than 37 million Americans have headaches on a regular basis, according to reports. Your headache patients are looking for relief, regardless of whether the cause is inherited, environmental, or lifestyle-related. Massage therapists are uniquely qualified to assist. Even a 30-minute massage treatment, according to research, can help with headache symptoms.

“Massage therapy is being used for a lot more than just relaxation,” says Mary Beth Braun, President of the American Massage Therapy Association. “Massage treatment can help with a variety of ailments, including arthritis, lower back discomfort, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, circulation problems, and sports injury rehabilitation,” says the author.

Related Articles:

foot massage

What is Massage?

What is Rolfing Massage?