How massage helps migraine symptoms—a question that’s asked since migraines are such a debilitating experience. The intense throbbing head, sensitivity to light, and nausea are not easy ailments for any to deal with. Thankfully, there are a few key ways to stop the pain and prevent future migraines from occurring, mainly centring around massages.


A massage is a popular treatment to rid pain, promote relaxation, and aid in physical health. Massages are also great for treating migraines, with plenty of research to support the claim. The pain from a migraine can dissipate through various massage techniques, allowing our body to focus on the pathways that lead to it.


These issues center around trigger points in the body and blood circulation, which a massage can address. Regardless, below will discuss how massages aid these symptoms, trigger points, circulation, and calming the body. We’ll also highlight similar information, such as migraine types, causes, symptoms, and risks. Let’s take a look!

massage for migraine

Don’t let your migraine give you a bad day. Relax and destress with a head massage.

How Massage Helps Migraine Symptoms

Research shows that a massage can significantly mitigate the symptoms tied to headaches. Migraine symptoms vary depending on the person, but head pain, nausea, and overall achiness are the most common examples. Migraines can linger, causing many to feel hopeless about their overall quality of life.


More broadly, massage therapy is excellent at reducing pain for many illnesses, including head issues. Many massage techniques are great at releasing pain-easing chemicals in the body that help reduce physical pain.


Many massage therapists teach their patients how to do at-home massages in between visits. At-home head massages are done by placing your thumbs under your forehead. Press your hands firmly up towards your forehead, breath, and hold the pressure for ten seconds. Repeat it five times, and run circular motions throughout your head after.

Targets Trigger Points

Trigger points are spots throughout our muscles that can cause pain or weakness in the body. Head or neck trigger points often cause headaches and jaw pain, being a leading cause of migraines. 


A massage targets trigger points, helping reduce the severity of the trigger point, especially when dealing with migraines. Every migraine varies symptom-wise, which can cause other issues in the body. Trigger point targeting aims at aiding points of the body that are causing discomfort.


Most migraines are due to neck pain, with a study finding that over half of the patients experiencing neck pain during their migraine stages. The study demonstrates that highlighting trigger points with a massage can significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Promotes Circulation

Poor circulation can significantly impact the entire body, ranging from fatigue to headaches. Applying pressure on the body can help improve the body’s circulation, promoting positive blood flow throughout and eliminating pain.


When a migraine occurs, chemicals release to the brain’s outer layer, causing blood vessels to inflame. The inflammation causes pain throughout the head, neck, and sinuses. Blood flow can help lower inflammation and open up the body, treating the symptoms at hand.

Calms Body and Eases Mind

A massage is most commonly tied to calming the body and easing the mind. Massages stimulate receptors in our mind that output sensory signals to our central nervous system. In return, it lowers tension in the body, promoting a feeling of relaxation and calmness.


A massage helps release endorphins, allowing the body to reduce pain and rid tension. Just about every person has a stressful life to a certain degree. Stress can take a toll on the body, and every person deserves a solution to help themselves.


Migraine Types

Classical Migraine – Classical headaches repeatedly occur after or simultaneously as an aura (an unusual sensation or feeling).

Common Migraine – A headache without the warning symptom of an aura. Similar symptoms to a classical migraine without the initial sign.

Chronic – Chronic headaches happen at least 15 days per month.

Hemiplegic – Hemiplegic migraines feature temporary numbness and severe weakness on one side of the body. Other symptoms include a tingling sensation, a loss of consciousness, dizziness, and vision changes.

Silent Migraine – Silent migraines include the aura symptom but not the following headache.


Migraine Causes

Drinks – Negative health drinks such as alcohol and too much caffeine can cause severe migraines.

Foods – Aged cheeses and processed foods might trigger migraines, varying depending on a person’s diet and sensitivity.

Hormonal Changes – Changes such as menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger headaches in women.

Hormonal Medications – Oral contraceptives can worsen migraines, while some find the medication reduces their migraines.

Medications – Certain contraceptives and medications can aggravate migraines as a side effect.

Physical Factors – Intense physical exertion such as exercising or playing a sport can provoke migraines.

Stress – Repeated stress at work or home can cause significant migraines.

Sensory Stimuli – Bright or flashing lights can produce migraines, including from loud sounds. 

Smells — Dominating smells such as perfume or smoke can trigger migraines in some people.

Sleep Changes – Missing your sleep schedule or getting too much sleep can trigger migraines in many people.

Weather Changes – Sudden weather changes or barometric stress can prompt a migraine.


Migraine Symptoms

A migraine typically lasts four to 72 hours if untreated. However, migraines vary depending on the person, with age, health, and treatment significantly affecting the migraine severity. Some people rarely experience migraines, while others deal with them several times a week or month.


Common Migraine Symptoms

  • Pain in Head
  • Pain that Throbs or Pulses
  • Sensitivity to Light, Sound, Smell, or Touch
  • Nausea or Vomiting


Other Symptoms

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes
  • Food Cravings
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Increased Urination
  • Frequent Yawning
  • Aura
  • Visual Phenomena
  • Vision loss
  • Pins and Needles Sensations in an Arm or Leg
  • Weakness or Numbness in the Face or Body
  • Difficulty Speaking


Migraine Risk Factors

Similar to any other health issue, migraines carry several risk factors. For example, a person with a family history of migraines is more likely to develop a migraine than someone without a family history.


Migraines can occur at any age, but someone prone to them typically experiences them very young. Women are three times more than likely to have migraines, primarily due to hormonal changes because of menstruation and menopause.

Want to Learn More On How Massage Helps Migraine Symptoms? Visit Soul 2 Sole!

You asked how massage helps migraine symptoms—an area worth discussing regardless of how severe your migraines are. Massages can do good, especially to rid physical ailments. Nevertheless, here at Soul 2 Sole, we offer traditional and Thai head massages!


For a list of our complete massage services, please view them here and book your appointment today with our booking app. We look forward to hearing from you!