Massage Eases Tension Headaches
This not-so-surprising news comes from Spain’s University of Granada, where researchers found that a 30-minute massage could relieve tension headaches, as well as reduce associated stress and anxiety. The type of massage tested by the Spanish investigators targeted cervical trigger points, which are believed to be one of the main contributors to tension headaches. The trigger point massage apparently works by improving autonomic nervous system regulation, the researchers said. Within 24 hours of the massage, patients reported significant relief from headache pain, less stress and reduced anxiety. The research team suggested that massage might directly reduce pain caused by trigger points, which would explain both the physical and psychological improvements seen. Previous studies have found that massage can relieve chronic back pain, lessen the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, reduce headache frequency, relieve arthritis pain, reduce blood pressure, and improve immune function among other benefits. Overall, massage has proven efficacy for reducing pain, anxiety, stress, and depression in patients with a wide range of medical problems.