There are over 45 million headache sufferers in the United States alone. Of that, 60% suffer from migraines as well. It seems that everyone is looking for ways to deal with chronic tension headaches. Numerous studies have shown that massage is an effective non pharmaceutical way to reduce tension headaches. Massage can help reduce the onset of tension headaches two ways. First, with consistent bodywork, creating feelings of calmness and relaxation can stave off stress inducing headache pain. Secondly, massage can support the client in a comfort roll. By incorporating special techniques focusing on relieving tension in the neck, shoulders, and head tension and migraine discomfort can be reduced.
In one study conducted by Moraska and Chandler, subjects who had chronic headaches received massage 2 times a week over 12 week. At the end of the 12 week period headaches were significantly decreased, as well as a reduction in anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
"A recent study showed that massage therapy recipients exhibited fewer migraines and better sleep quality during the weeks they received massage, and the three weeks following, than did participants that did not receive massage therapy. Another study found that in adults with migraine headaches, massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms. It also increased serotonin levels, believed to play an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite".ME