Migraines and Chronic Headaches

I’ve worked for 13 years and butted my head up against many an issue in an attempt to try to help people. One of the things I’ve seen over the years that I’ve had almost no success with have been migraines. Chronic headaches I’d get some improvement from neck muscle work but migraines are the oddest thing.

Running across an article in a magazine I found out that there were lawsuits related to doctors using botox to treat migraines. The FDA hadn’t given approval for that use specifically and a patient had a horrible adverse response. I nearly blew a fuse reading the article because I know enough to know that in most people all botox does is stop a muscle from contracting. I’ve Never heard a doctor say that muscle tension or spasm can cause or contribute to a migraine. I just let the information percolate.

Robert Gardner Wellness headaches

To make a long story short I’ve kept working, kept reading and studying and in the last 2 months I’ve seen around 5 clients and found muscle patterns that repeatedly reflect muscle tension patterns with chronic headaches. I’m getting ready to run a small migraine and chronic headache clinic so stay tuned. In one client her headaches went away almost completely and in the other 4 their frequency and intensity decreased. That’s not bad for a massage therapist who doesn’t diagnose or treat anything. See you in clinic soon.

Myofascial Pain Trigger Points pt.9 Anterior Scalene

For such small muscles the scalenes cause a huge amount of pain in a large range of the body. When clients come in I often check the anterior scalene if they have issue with any of the following: arm pain, hand pain, thoracic outlet syndrome, headaches, migraines, chest pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Being able to work on and release the scalenes effectively is an important part of any bodyworker’s tool chest.

You place gentle broad finger pressure on the muscle and hold. Have whoever you’re working on breathe and see if the muscle begins to give way. The upper portion often refers pain into the head the lower half down into the chest and arm. If you do not tell the client this notice that they’ll start moving their hand on the side you’re working as they feel the sensation.

The carotid artery is nearby and is fine, just don’t press into it if you feel the pulse underneath. When it doubt don’t. Take your time, breathe, go slow and use your hands effectively. Try working it on yourself and see how tight the muscle is.