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Indian Head Massge for Migraine Prevention
Having recently enjoyed an Indian Head Massage, using a Christmas gift voucher from my son, I asked holistic therapist, Pauline McKittrick, for her thoughts on how Indian Head Massage could help migraine sufferers. Read her comments below. (And as a personal aside, I can vouch for the fact that my massage was an absolutely blissful experience!!)
Pauline says: I wanted to tell readers how one of the therapies I regularly use with clients (Indian head massage) can support the prevention of migraines.
The Hindi word for head massage is champi or champisage, which is where the word "shampoo" comes from.
In India champi has been used for more than 4,000 by barbers, and in the home. The massage, normally taking half to three-quarters of an hour, works on your arms, shoulders, upper back, neck, scalp, eyes, ears and face. A good therapist will tailor it to the client's preference.
Clients are left with a sense of utter well-being, with tensions in the upper body, neck and head alleviated and a clear, calm frame of mind.
For migraine sufferers the main benefits are in the prevention of attacks.
Often migraine attacks are related to upper body tension, worries, poor blood flow to the brain, and sleep disturbances - all of which can be alleviated by Indian head massage.
During clinical trials it was found that migraine sufferers had higher levels of serotonin after a massage. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that is important in reducing pain. So it seems that a relaxing massage can reduce the number of migraines suffered, and the pain felt.
Tension often reduces blood flow to the brain, which can cause neck muscles to tighten. Massage combats this, promoting blood flow and relaxing the neck. Massage also releases natural endorphins that reduce pain and promote a feel-good factor. The pulse is also lowered and breathing slows during massage, calming the body and mind.
It's not recommended to try and alleviate migraine symptoms during the attack, because the massage is so deep. Perhaps some gentle self massage may feel beneficial instead - using acupressure with thumbs gently in the hollows between the neck muscles below the base of the skull. Another approach would be lean your head backwards and, taking deep breaths, press between the thumb and forefinger of one hand with the index finger and thumb of the other hand for a minute. Then repeat with the other hand.
Drinking lots of water is important after massage treatments and also avoid tea and coffee for the rest of the day. This is often a trigger for migraine sufferers anyway.
Migraine prevention is, of course, better than cure. A complaint as severe as migraine cannot be cured by massage - but it can provide welcome relief from the symptoms of anxiety, tension, depression, sleep problems and stress, as well as back pain, headache, muscle pain and some forms of chronic pain.
If, on reflection, you are feeling routinely stressed and think that this is triggering your migraine attacks perhaps it would be helpful for you to find out more about stress management techniques or stress coaching, in order to change the situation that's causing the stress in the long-term.
I hope you found my comments interesting and useful and that if you use any of my migraine relief tips they will help reduce your migraine suffering.
Indian Head Massage- the long sequence
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