Skip to content

Massage for Headaches

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines? 40% of women ages 18-44 in the US experience a headache once every 3 days. You may have often wondered how to get rid of headaches for good. Most women end up taking medication while others search for other natural ways to get relief. If you’re looking for an alternative to medication on how to get rid of headaches and migraines, massage therapy may be worth considering. Here, we’ll be discussing why

Research (see below) suggests that massage can be helpful for people with migraines, and it’s especially good news for those who struggle with the side effects of migraine medications (Noudeh et al., 2012).

massaging the head to get rid of headache

How to get rid of headaches

There are many different types of massage therapy, and the best type for you will depend on your individual needs. If you’re looking for relief from migraines, even a basic Swedish massage may be a good option. This type of massage therapy uses gentle, long strokes to promote relaxation and ease muscle tension. It works in the direction of your blood flow and pushes your blood back toward your heart.

It is believed that massage to the upper thoracic region can greatly decrease the tention that leads to the migraine headaches. However, all patients with migraines do not respond the same to massage therapy. The International Headache Society (IHS) recently coined the term medication overuse headache, or MOH. This means that it is a headache that is caused by regularly taking antimigraine or headache medication. It is considered overuse and this problem continues to grow across the world (Noudeh et al., 2012).

If you find that your headaches are more severe, or if they persist despite trying the following self-massage techniques, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional. If you’re interested in trying massage therapy for your migraines, talk to your doctor or a certified massage therapist to see if it’s right for you. The following simple massage techniques may help to relieve tension headaches.

Self Massage For Headache

When it comes to dealing with headaches, self-massage can be a helpful tool. Before beginning any massage, it is important to drink plenty of water. This will help to keep your body hydrated and prevent any further dehydrating effects from the massage.

To start, take your thumbs and press them firmly towards each other and into the bridge of your nose, just underneath your forehead. Take deep breaths while holding for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this process 5 times.

Finally, take both hands and pinch your eyebrows, holding for 10 seconds. Breathe deeply throughout this process. Repeat 5 times.

The following is a simple pressure point massage that may provide some relief. Using your middle three fingers, press firmly into the sides of your temples and add a slight circular motion. Do this for 10 seconds while breathing deeply. Repeat the massage 5 times.

Try incorporating these techniques into your daily routine to not only relieve headaches, but prevent them from happening in the first place.

Types of Massage for Headaches

There are many different types of headaches, but tension headaches and migraines are two of the most common. Although there is no “one fits all” when it comes to “how to get rid of headaches”, we recommend trying one of the massages below until you find the one that works best for you.


There is some evidence that reflexology may help relieve migraines. One study found that after six sessions of reflexology, people who previously had migraines experienced fewer and less severe attacks. Several studies have shown specific benefits of reflexology, such as greater relaxation, improved sleep and lower stress levels (Smith & Thurgood, 2020). The therapy should be relaxing and not cause pain.

Trigger Point

If you have chronic headaches, you may be looking for anything that can help ease the pain. For some people, trigger point massage can provide significant relief.

Trigger points form when muscles become tight. When these points are stimulated, it can help to release tension and relieve pain. How does this get rid of headaches? Once the muscle tension decreases, pressure no longer builds up and the headache eases up. If you’re interested in trying trigger point massage for your headaches, be sure to find a qualified therapist who has experience in this type of massage.


Thai massage is a unique form of massage that combines muscle compression, stretching and pulling. This type of massage is said to provide many benefits including relaxation, improved sleep, lower stress levels and decreased pain.


Hot or cold stone therapy is a popular and effective way to relieve pain and discomfort. The use of heated or cooled stones along with the massage therapist’s hands can promote relaxation and better sleep. Cold stone therapy for migraines can be especially helpful in reducing pain and inflammation.

In Conclusion

How to get rid of headaches or migranes is not a simple question. One of the best things that might even eliminate them for good is massage or chiropractic adjustement. They can often help even after your head has begun throbbing. Massage therapy can help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, and it may also help to improve your quality of life.

Contact us to discuss massage therapy options available to you.

Noudeh YJ, Vatankhah N, Baradaran HR. Reduction of current migraine headache pain following neck massage and spinal manipulation. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2012;5(1):5-13. doi: 10.3822/ijtmb.v5i1.115. Epub 2012 Mar 31. PMID: 22553478; PMCID: PMC3312646.