The Best Massages For Headaches & Migraines

Headaches and migraines can be debilitating, but there is hope. Massage therapy offers an effective way to reduce pain and discomfort associated with these conditions. Whether you’re looking for relief from chronic headaches or the occasional migraine, massage can help.

We’ll explore the differences between a headache and a migraine, why you might be experiencing chronic symptoms, and which types of massages are most beneficial for each condition.

If you’re suffering from a headache or migraine attack, read on to learn more about how massage could provide some much-needed relief!

The Difference Between a Headache and a Migraine

Headaches and migraines are two distinct types of pain that both affect the head but have different underlying causes. While headaches typically involve mild to moderate pain and pressure around the forehead, temples, or back of the neck, migraine pain is often more intense and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound.

man holding his head as he is experiencing a headache

Why You Might Be Experiencing Chronic Headaches or Migraines

Headaches and migraines can be caused by a number of different things, ranging from physical triggers such as stress, fatigue, eyestrain, or alcohol consumption to medical conditions such as sinusitis or hypertension. Additionally, many people suffer from chronic headaches or migraines because of emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In some cases, allergies can also be a contributing factor to chronic headaches and migraines. Pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and cigarette smoke are all potential triggers for these types of pain. Even certain foods can cause a reaction that leads to headaches or migraine symptoms. Some common dietary culprits include aged cheeses and processed meats as well as MSG and other food additives.

Hormones can play an important role in the development of chronic headaches and migraines too. An imbalance in hormones may cause increased inflammation in the body which could lead to more frequent bouts of pain. Additionally, women may notice an increase in headache or migraine symptoms around the time of their menstrual period due to fluctuations in hormone levels during this time.

Finally, many people suffer from chronic headaches or migraines because of poor posture or incorrect ergonomics when using electronic devices like computers and cell phones. Poor neck alignment can result in tension and strain on the muscles which can then lead to pain symptoms.

Knowing the underlying cause of your chronic headaches and migraines is important when it comes to seeking appropriate treatment options. If you suspect that any of the above factors might be causing your discomfort then it’s best to speak with your doctor first before pursuing any self-care measures such as massage therapy.

How Massage Can Help Treat Headaches and Migraines

Massage therapy is an effective way to reduce symptoms associated with headaches and migraines. Specific massage techniques can be used to target the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders which are often responsible for tension-type headaches, as well as migraine pain.

Massage can also help reduce the stress that may trigger headaches or migraine episodes by helping to relax tense muscles and calming the nervous system.

The Best Massage for Each Type of Headache

When seeking relief from headaches or migraines it’s important to note that different massage techniques may work better for different individuals depending on their specific circumstances.

The Standard Headache

When it comes to headache relief, trigger point therapy can help relieve tension in trigger points throughout the head, neck, and shoulders.

Trigger points are specific areas where tight bands of muscle fibers have formed due to chronic tension or injury, and when massaged, can help reduce pain. By targeting these trigger points a massage therapist can help alleviate symptoms such as pain, pressure, and tightness around the forehead or temples.


The best massage for migraine specifically is deep tissue massage which has been shown to be highly useful in reducing both acute and chronic pain episodes. Studies have found that regular massage sessions can decrease the frequency of migraine attacks as well as the intensity of symptoms.

In addition to helping reduce physical discomfort associated with migraines; massage has also been found to be beneficial in alleviating stress-related triggers that often accompany these types of headaches such as anxiety or depression.

Tension Headaches

Swedish massage is often recommended for those suffering from tension-type headaches due to its gentle technique which focuses on relaxation through long strokes along the body’s muscles.

Research has shown that regular Swedish massage treatments can lead to a significant reduction in headache intensity as well as frequency for those suffering from chronic tension headaches or migraines.

One study found that participants who received weekly Swedish massage treatments reported a decrease in headache intensity of over 70% after six weeks of treatment compared to those who received no treatment at all.

Sinus and Allergy Headaches

A lymphatic massage or sinus pressure massage are specialized forms of massage that can be effective in treating sinus and allergy headaches. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing excess fluid, toxins, and other metabolic waste from the tissues.

A lymphatic massage is a gentle, non-invasive form of massage therapy that works to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system to remove those wastes from your tissues.

A sinus pressure massage is a type of massage therapy designed to reduce the symptoms of sinus infections such as headaches, congestion, and facial pain. This massage technique involves applying gentle but firm pressure to key areas around your face and neck in order to help clear the airways of mucus and improve circulation.

Hypnic Headaches

Hypnic headaches, also known as alarm clock headaches, are a type of headache characterized by a throbbing or dull pain that usually occurs at the same time every night.

This type of headache typically lasts from 15 minutes to several hours and usually occurs after an individual has gone to sleep or is about to drift off. While it’s not yet fully understood what causes hypnic headaches, some studies suggest that they may be related to changes in hormone levels during the evening.

Fortunately, there are massage therapy modalities that can be used to treat hypnic headaches. Cupping therapy, sometimes referred to as Myofascial decompression therapy, is a massage technique commonly used to treat chronic pain conditions experienced with hypnic headaches.

Deep tissue massage can also help alleviate symptoms associated with hypnic headaches as it helps release tension in tight muscles around the neck, head, and shoulders which can often contribute to this type of condition.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are a type of headache characterized by sharp, intense pain on one side of the head or face. They often occur in clusters or cyclical patterns and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. These types of headaches are often accompanied by symptoms such as redness in the eyes, nasal congestion, and a runny nose.

Deep tissue massage has been found to be one of the most effective forms of massage therapy for treating cluster headaches. Studies have shown that regular deep tissue massage treatments can lead to a significant reduction in pain intensity and frequency over time.

The Best Time to Get a Massage for a Headache

The best time to get a massage for a headache can depend on the type of headache and the severity of the symptoms. Generally, it is recommended to wait until symptoms have subsided before scheduling an appointment.

Furthermore, scheduling routine, ongoing massage therapy sessions is recommended for managing and preventing headache and migraine symptoms from occurring.

Experience Real Relief From Headaches & Migraines at DEEP Relief in Austin, Texas

At DEEP Relief, we understand that everyone’s needs are different, and our therapists will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific concerns. Whether you’re looking for relief from chronic headaches and migraines, or simply want to reduce tension and improve overall relaxation, our team is here to help.

So why wait? If you’re ready to find relief from chronic headaches and migraines, book an appointment with DEEP Relief today. Our team of skilled therapists is ready to help you find the relief you’ve been looking for.