Best Massage Techniques for Tension Headaches and Migraines

While medication is the first approach people take to prevent migraines, massage therapy is an equally helpful alternative, especially if you’re reluctant to take the prescribed medications.

Not only that but massage therapy is also known to appease common migraine triggers like sleep problems and stress, making it a suitable remedy for migraine treatment.

If you’ve tried every possible solution in the book, but your headaches persist, it’s time to give massage therapy a go. Keep reading to find out the best massage techniques known to relieve tension headaches and migraines.

Massage Techniques for Tackling Tension Headaches and Migraines

When it comes to massage therapy, the technique that may work for someone else may or may not work for you. The most suitable type of massage depends on your triggers, preferences, and whether it’s helping you in any way.
Here is a list of scientifically supported massage strategies you can try to find the one that gives you the utmost comfort. So let’s get started!

Aromatherapy and Traditional Massage

Traditional massage is known to soothe anxiety and stimulate relaxation. If you combine it with aromatherapy, where essential oils are included in the session, the results may be even better.

According to research, lavender essential oil is an excellent option that not only mitigates stress and eases migraine symptoms but also promotes the quality of sleep.

While essential oils are largely sustainable and safe to use, they can sometimes trigger headaches among people who are smell-sensitive.

Trigger Point Massage

If there are problems with your skeletal muscles, it may push the pain toward your head. When you relax those muscles through head and neck trigger point massage, the headache starts easing up.

Trigger point massage loosens and softens knots in the muscles to reduce pain, stiffness, and tension. This type of massage is remarkable for unwinding the neck and shoulder knots created by stress, sitting all day, poor posture, or poor workplace infrastructure.

It’s vital to understand that knots may not always be found in your neck and shoulder area. In some instances, they may be on your feet. Leave it to your massage therapist to determine this point and stretch the affected area.


  • Greater relaxation
  • Lower stress
  • Better sleep
  • Decreased pain
  • Thai Massage

    Unlike most other Western massages, where the core focus is to provide a soothing feeling, Thai massage is largely active. It involves muscle compression, pulling, stretching, and rocking.

    Moreover, it’s also linked to alleviating the extent of pain experienced during migraines. Think of it as part of an exhaustive self-care approach to treating migraines, but don’t hesitate to speak up if the process becomes uncomfortable.

    Hot or Cold Stone Therapy

    Hot and cold therapy makes use of cooled or heated ultra-smooth stones. Heat prompts relaxation, which is a pivotal component of hot stone massage: a process where warm stones are utilized together with the masseuse’s hands.

    Studies suggest that hot stone massage can lead to better sleep a long time after you’ve left the massage room.

    In contrast, cold stone therapy employs cool, lightweight stones that are placed on your neck and face. While no scientific claims are supporting this technique, it has still generated positive results for people struggling with migraines.

    When is the Right Time to Get a Massage for Migraines?

    There is no specific time for when you should opt for a massage to combat migraine pains. However, it’s important to remember that the best results occur when you regularly schedule these massages.

    Consistent massage therapy is beneficial for:

    • Keeping muscle pains and tension away
    • Keeping your mind and body relaxed
    • Boosting sleep quality

    Before trying massage therapy for tension headaches and migraines, it’s essential to understand that different approaches work for different people. Hence, it’s always best to experiment with several types of massages and their intensities to find the ideal fit for you.

    Furthermore, when it comes to migraines, relying solely on massage therapies won’t get you anywhere. It’s integral to ensure that you’re also eating healthy, exercising, staying away from stress, and following your doctor’s instructions to diminish your migraines.

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