Will Massage Help With My Migraine?

Male Therapist Doing Massage

A migraine is a severe painful headache that is recurring and usually accompanied by other symptoms.

  • A stiff and/or tender neck.
  • Temporary blindness.
  • Blurred vision and/or eye pain.
  • Fatigue.
  • Light-headedness or dizziness.
  • Vomiting and/or nausea.
  • Pain that’s worse on one side of your head.
  • Problems concentrating and trouble speaking.
  • Light sensitivity, also to sound, and/or strong odours.
  • Throbbing, pulsating, or intense pressure of the head.

You may experience a few, or all of these symptoms, but everyone is different.

Migraines can last for a couple of hours, or even up to a few days, and can be extremely debilitating and disruptive for the sufferer.

It is important to see a doctor to confirm the condition and to get a treatment plan in place that may include medications and other therapies as well.


There are many different causes of migraines. Often they are triggered by factors external to the muscles around the head such as stress, muscular tension, dietary items, and even different lighting situations or movements.

How Can Massage Help With Migraines?
Remedial Massage

Remedial massage through muscles in the back, shoulders and neck can help release some of the tension in these areas. Many of these muscles can commonly refer pain up into the head and face. With the use of trigger point therapy and myofascial release among other techniques, some clients can experience immediate relief and can have longer intervals and reduced severity in between attacks.

Relaxation Massage

Relaxation massage can also effect migraines. It can be very effective by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing blood pressure, slowing the heart rate and inducing slower, deeper breathing to create a more relaxed state. This can reduce stress and anxiety and facilitate a better healing state for the client. It can also improve sleep.

Your Mels Massage therapist can also help you by showing you some self-massage techniques to manage your migraines.

Mels Massage therapists are also trained and certified in using the Kinesio-taping method to relieve migraines as well.

The addition of regular massage to your treatment plan is a safe and effective way to manage your pain and possibly reduce the frequency and/or severity of the attacks.


Migraine Symptoms. Practical Pain Management site. Available at: www.practicalpainmanagement.com/patient/conditions/alternative-treatments-migraines-headaches , Updated 19 November 2015. [Accessed 18 August 2016].

Migraine. BUPA site. Available at: www.bupa.com.au/health-and-wellness/health-information/az-health-information/migraine, Updated 30 July 2011. [Accessed 10 August 2016].