Thursday, February 7, 2008

M&M: Massage and Migraines

An article in the Sacramento Bee discusses the benefits massage can have on migraines. Click here to read the full article.

Since professional massage is expensive, the article lists three things you can do at home:

Hand reflexology: By pinching your fingers together, apply pressure to the web between your pointer finger and thumb and work the tenderness out for three to five minutes on each hand. This should take down the headache a few notches. Feel around this area for little curves under the skin, indicators of dehydration.

Foot reflexology: Sit down and put your bare foot on a tennis ball. Apply pressure while moving your foot around on the ball. Focus for 10 to 15 seconds on sore spots, then switch feet.

Light traction on the spine: Consult a professional to learn how to do this properly, then ask a family member or friend to try this method on you. Lying on your back, have them place a soft rolled terrycloth towel on the base of your skull before applying gentle traction from the C7 vertebra (the most protruding vertebra in the neck) up to the skull. Use 30-second traction intervals for five minutes total.

My comments:

Hand reflexology - lots of people, including my former chiropractor, shared this technique with me. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked for me, but maybe it works for some people.

Foot reflexology - can anyone say "Charlie horse?" That would most definitely give me a Charlie horse which would be worse than my headache.

Spine traction - my chiropractor tried this on me; didn't work.

Something that MIGHT work, though, is a head massage. I went to get my hair cut at a new place last weekend and the stylist massaged my entire scalp during and even a few minutes after washing my hair (and I was also in a massage chair). It felt so good and I think that would work on a tension headache. I'm either going to have to get frequent hair cuts or teach my hubby to do this.

On a different note, I went to my dentist yesterday and the girl who cleans my teeth (who is in her 20s like me) gets migraines so we always update each other on our progress (or lack thereof). She had been taking Topamax but it didn't work all the time and made her lose her appetite. Yesterday she told me a new side effect it had on her - kidney stones! She said they were more painful than the migraines, and her neurologist wanted to up her dose of the Topamax. Thank goodness she said no, and she stopped taking the Topamax. Now she is not taking anything, but she still had migraines with the Topamax so not much has changed. That's pretty scary; I think she was on the Topamax for only a few years.