Headaches: Relief with Massage Therapy
Massage General Courses

Headaches: Relief with Massage Therapy

Author(s): Nancy Dail

4CE credits 18 Lessons Text

Explore how massage therapy can be an effective treatment for relieving tension-type and cluster headaches. Learn how posture affects the muscles in the head, neck and shoulders. Discover the common causes, contraindications and how Dimensional Massage Therapy (DMT) can relieve headaches, stress and tension.

As a reminder, before practicing any new modalities or techniques, check with your state’s massage therapy regulatory authority to ensure they are within the state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy.

When you finish this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the broad subjects of headaches including the history, statistics, definitions and common and uncommon examples of headaches;
  • State the classifications of headaches with provided examples in each category;
  • Explain where each of the neck and shoulder muscles are, where they attach and how they cause headache pain;
  • Summarize how to include and perform a hands-on postural evaluation as part of the intake interview process;
  • Describe how to work effectively with a client who has a tension-type headache to design massage therapy sessions that will provide the client with relief.

  1. Introduction to and the History of Headaches
  2. International Classification of Headache Disorders: Development and Use
  3. Contraindications and Uncommon Headaches
  4. What Does Headache Research Show?
  5. Structure and Movement of the Head and Neck
  6. Head, Neck and Shoulder Muscles: An Overview and Review
  7. Injuries and Overuse Syndromes That Can Cause Headaches
  8. Nerve Complaints
  9. Technique Goals, Dimensional and Deep-Tissue Massage Therapy
  10. Massage Session Protocol for Clients with Headaches
  11. Unwinding the Muscles of the Head and Neck
  12. Techniques for the Deeper Posterior Cervical Muscles
  13. Techniques for the Shoulder and Shoulder Girdle Muscles Between Headaches
  14. Other Techniques for Headache Massage
  15. Seated Headache Massage Sequence
  16. Cited Works
  17. References
  18. Glossary

Nancy W. Dail, BA, LMT, BCTMB has been a professional practicing massage therapist and a member of the AMTA since 1974. She is the founder and director of the Downeast School of Massage (DSM) in Waldoboro, Maine. A leader in her field, Nancy presents workshops internationally, is certified in Orthopedic and Sports Massage, and has developed the working philosophy of Dimensional Massage Therapy as lead author in Kinesiology for Manual Therapies published by McGraw-Hill.