Do you find that your body’s response to stressful events is to get a headache? 59% of our adult population in Canada report that they suffer from some type of headache on a consistent basis. 33% of people suffer from tension-headaches that generally pass on a short-term basis, while 17% suffer from a spectrum of migraines that can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

Types of migraines

While headaches may cause a temporary disturbance, migraines can really interfere with a person’s life. Migraines typically fall under two categories: The aura migraine (classical) or non-aura migraine (common). The aura refers to the perceptual disturbance that lasts for 20 minutes before the onset of the headache. It usually manifests itself visually as a strange light, an unpleasant smell or confusion. The cause of the aura is still up for debate. Many believe it is secondary to metabolic or electrical changes that affect an ischemic change in the cerebral cortex.


Pain is an inflammatory response to these unwanted changes in the brain. The inflammatory response pulsates through our blood vessels affecting our face, scalp, and intracranial vessels to form what we know as the headache. This pain mostly occurs after we experience prolonged stress, or after missing sleep and from not eating enough. Pain can also occur from a triggered acute attack such as bright and flashing lights.

How a massage can help

Massage therapy targets trigger points that cause tension headaches and migraines. Under the back of the skull, there are several neck muscles including the sub-occipital group that mediate the fine movements of your neck and your head. These muscles are also constantly working to keep the head balanced and in line with the spine.

Jaw muscles also behave in a push-and-pull relationship with your sub-occipital muscles. The muscle pain or tension caused by this can routinely trigger tension points that can cause headaches and migraines.

Massage therapy releases this built-up tension. Overall, it aims to soothe the nervous system and remove the stress that manifests into headaches to begin with. With a series of therapeutic massage sessions, you will see a huge improvement in your headaches and with the right maintenance, it’s completely possible to say goodbye to them in the long run. Book an appointment today!