A migraine is a vascular type headache that is characterized by, sharp, pounding, throbbing pain, especially on 1 side of the head (hemi-crania).
Initiation of an episode of migraine occurs due to the accumulation of stressors over a period of time. (Common migraine triggers are – work stress, emotional tumult, dietary errors, food allergies, and hormonal changes).
These factors affect the serotonin metabolism, which stimulates a cascade of events, resulting in a headache. Stressors release various chemicals, such as, – histamine, serotonin, and tyramine, that change the way, blood vessels dilate and contract.
As per the Massage Therapy Association Of America, a recent study showed that individuals who receive regular massage had fewer migraines and better quality of sleep compared to their counterparts. It has been found that regular massage therapy reduces the occurrence of headache, reduces sleep disturbances and aids in reducing stress and anxiety levels. All these benefits are attributed to the increase in serotonin, due to massage, which in turn regulates appetite, sleep and mood.
Benefits Of Massage For Migraine
Massage therapy tends to play two beneficial roles in the management of migraines. Firstly, in a preventive role, regular massage therapy aids in relaxation and manages stress levels, which reduces the chances of attacks of migraine or headache.In a curative role, massage reduces the muscular spasms and thereby contributes to management of migraine or tension headache.
Cold Stone Massage For Migraines
Experts have advised that use of cold stone therapy for treatment of migraines is highly effective, when used in congruence with hot stone treatment.
- Hot stones should be used below the shoulder blades and on the upper chest muscles, as it aids in loosening the muscles in these areas. However, getting heat closer to the head or the neck could actually aggravate tension headaches and migraines. Instead cold stone therapy can be used for the head and the neck, to manage migraine.
- Using cold stones with ice can aid in soothing the nerves in the head. Cold stones can be placed on the forehead, the anterior part of the neck, just about the Adam’s apple and on the nape of the neck on the posterior aspect.