Using Massage and Bodywork to Relieve Headaches
If you suffer from headaches, massage therapy could be a big help for you. Headaches can often be triggered by emotional stress and tension in the body, especially in the neck and shoulder area. That neck and shoulder tension can creep up into your cranial muscles and make your head really start pounding. I know, this is often how I get headaches! Scheduling regular massages to help relieve stress and tension can help reduce these types of headaches.
Sometimes headaches are caused by tension in the cranial muscles themselves, and misalignment with the bones of the skull. Did you know that your skull bones keep moving all throughout your life? Scientists and doctors used to think that the bones of our cranium (our skull) fused together by the time we were an adult. More recent research has shown this is not true, and that there is a minute amount of space between the cranial bones, at the place where we would see the “suture” type markings on the bones. I think of our cranial bones as being like the tectonic plates of the Earth, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle but with small amounts of space in between that allow for very small amounts of movement. Now we know what happens when one of Earth’s plates moves too much and bumps into another plate, earthquakes! (I wonder if earthquakes are like Earth’s headaches?)
Cranial bones being misaligned can be a headache problem, but also bones being stuck can be a problem. While we certainly don’t want these bones bumping into each other, we also don’t want them to be stuck. What’s best is when they are loose and have a kind of “floaty” feeling. This helps to reduce tension in the head and can help reduce those headaches.
So how do we get that “floaty” feeling in our cranial bones? A type of bodywork called Craniosacral Therapy can assist with this. Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a very, very light pressure type massage that helps to reduce tension in the cranial bones and muscles, and
also helps to regulate the flow of our craniosacral fluid. This fluid runs up and down our spine from our skull to our sacrum and is vital to the health of our Central Nervous System, and from there the health of our internal organs, brain, and overall body.
Now when I talk about “cranial bones”, don’t forget this also includes the bones of the jaw. Many people suffer from TMJ, and this can be a big contributor to headaches as well. CST has been shown to be very helpful for people suffering from TMJ pain and related headaches.
If you suffer from headaches that are related to the issues mentioned above, try scheduling a session to see how these relaxing therapeutic techniques could help you. A Craniosacral Therapy session or regular Massage Therapy appointment could help you reduce or eliminate headaches. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.