VAMT offers massage and acupuncture for headaches. Read below to learn more about each specific therapy. Call us today to schedule an appointment! We’d love to see you | 651-756-8525

Massage

Massage will help increase blood flow, loosen tight muscles and relax the entire body. All beneficial in patients who suffer from headaches. The following is an excerpt from an article published by AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) and gives more information on what types of massage offer relief from headaches. Here is the link to the full article: AMTA-Massage and headache relief.

“Deep Tissue Massage. Because you are using firm pressure accompanied with slow strokes to massage deeper muscle layers, deep-tissue massage can relax strained muscles that may be the root cause of headache pain. Here, think deep, gliding motions using the knuckles or thumbs. According to Babil, this kind of massage works the facial muscles in a focused way and the compression that comes with the firm pressure helps with pain that is primarily affecting specific areas of the head. Research also suggests that applying deep-tissue massage to the head alleviates head pain. In a recent study on the efficacy of manual therapy in patients with tension-type headaches2, applying a deep and progressive gliding movement to the head using the fingertips released suboccipital muscle spasms, which can contribute to headache pain.

Trigger Point Massage. Like deep-tissue massage, trigger point relaxes strained muscles by using direct pressure. wherever the primary block is,” Dr. Benjamin says. “Sometimes, the migraine could occur in the upper region of the head, such as around the eyes or at the temple, so I find applying pressure for a very brief second throughout the treatment to the head and neck region to be very beneficial.”

Lymph drainage is also a good idea if your headache is from a cold or stuffy sinuses.

Acupuncture

In Chinese Medicine, there are many reasons someone gets a headache. We have some awesome names to describe different patterns like wind-cold, liver fire or blood deficiency to name a few. Once we come up with your pathology, we use needles, herbs and a few other tricks up our sleeves to bring balance back to the body. I’ll break down a few pathologies, below. For a more in-depth look, check out yinyang.com: Acupuncture for headaches.

Wind-cold or wind-heat aka headache with a cold/flu

This describes being sick, like catching a cold or the flu. Distending/pulling sensation in the head? Chills? Stuffy nose? Aches and pains especially in the neck and shoulders? Wind-cold is the culprit. Have a distending or “splitting” headache, more fever than chills, thirst, red tongue, face and sore throat? That’s wind-heat.

Some common points for this condition are GB 20 (gallbladder 20), right at the base of your skull, Lu 7 (lung 7), about an inch above the wrist on the radius and TW 5 (triple warmer 5), on the forearm a few inches above the wrist between the two bones the radius and the ulna and LI 4 (large intestine 4), in the web between your thumb and first finger.

Liver fire aka headache with a red face and strong anger

Chinese medicine pays close attention to emotions. We tie them to everything. As with this case-a headache under the category of liver fire. This looks like someone who becomes angry, and fast. They usually exhibit a red face, they are generally irritable and they may even shout at people because of the anger.

Some common points for this pathology are Liv 2 (liver 2), between your big toe and the second toe, GB 20 (same as above) and Sp 6 (spleen 6), a few inches above your ankle on the inside of your calf, right along the bone (tibia).

Qi and/or blood deficiency aka constant, dull headache worse with exertion

This headache is accompanied by possible poor appetite, fatigue, gets better with rest and the patient may have a pale complexion or pale tongue. In women, this headache is common after their period.

Some common points for this pathology are St 36 (stomach 36), a few inches bellow the knee cap on the boarder of the bone (tibia), UB 17 (urinary bladder 17), a few inches down from your neck on either side of your spine (level with T7) and Sp 6 (same as above).

Has massage or acupuncture helped you with your headaches? We’d love to hear from you! Please email Rachel at rachel@villageacupunctureandmassage.com.

Until next time!
Rachel Kristyniak, Licensed Acupuncturist
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