Indian Head Massage for Migraines

Migraine is the name given to a type of headache that usually affects one half of the head and is most intense just above, or centred on, the eye on the painful side. Symptoms are severe and include nausea, disturbed vision and sensitivity to light. Sufferers often need to lie down in a darkened room. A bout of migraine can last for several days.

A study led by doctors in London and Shrewsbury (2006) has associated migraine with a tiny hole in the heart, known technically as a patent foramen ovale (PFO). This is a minor defect in the wall separating the two upper chambers of the heart. It is quite common and in most cases causes no health problems, but it is thought that failure to completely filter the blood of impurities in the normal way may result in migraines. Scientists found that surgical repair of the defect cut the severity of migraine attacks by 37 per cent.

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The American Academy of Family Physicians (1996) suggests that changes in serotonin levels within the brain may play a part in the onset of migraines. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict; when levels fall, vessels dilate, causing swelling and pain. Serotonin levels are also linked to changes in the levels of blood sugar and oestrogen.

Tension is responsible for a high percentage of migraine and other headaches, but allergic reaction to certain foods or additives can also provoke headaches. The following substances can produce headaches in some individuals: chocolate, cheese and dairy products, fruit (particularly citrus), alcohol, fried and fatty foods, certain vegetables, tea and coffee, meat (especially pork), seafood.

Note – Indian Head Massage can be highly effective in relieving headaches and reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. The pain of some headaches, particularly migraines, can be made worse by physical activity, so massage is not recommended or not usually desired during an attack, but can be done if the headache is mild. Encourage clients who suffer from chronic or recurrent headaches to seek medical advice as it is important to identify the

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