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A Solution for Headache Sufferers

For Immediate Release

1st October 2012

A Solution for Headache Sufferers

According to the World Health Organisation, “in developed countries, Tension Type Headache (TTH) affects almost 70% of adult males and over 80% of females.” 1 Most people will experience a headache sometime in their life.

The focus of 2012 Massage New Zealand Awareness Week (MNZAW) (Monday 8th to Sunday 14th October) is headaches. Promotional events are being organized around New Zealand by Massage New Zealand (MNZ) members, to educate about the benefits of massage therapy treatment to headache sufferers.

Headaches affect both people’s productivity at work and their social lives, while long-term, dealing with chronic headaches may also predispose someone to other conditions for example, “depression is three times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in healthy individuals.” 1

MNZ Executive Officer Marianne Macdonald says, “Many people just continue to pop pills, risking the side effects of medication, not realizing that massage treatment can relieve and reduce headache symptoms. There is a wealth of scientific evidence showing the efficacy of massage treatment for headaches, supported by day-to-day experiences of headache sufferers. Why put up with pain, when you don’t need to?“

Massage New Zealand is the association for professional massage therapists and has a national database of Registered members. Most Remedial Massage Therapists in New Zealand are trained in trigger point therapy, (trigger points cause headache symptoms), and all are trained in muscle specific massage beneficial to TTH.

Science Shows Massage works for headaches

A Taiwanese study showed acupressure or trigger point massage was more effective than muscle relaxant medication. Additionally, the results lasted, with participants having continued reduction in headaches and the related pain for six months after the treatment was applied. They also had marked improvement in their quality of life. 2

Another study on migraine sufferers showed that those who received massage therapy reported fewer distress symptoms, less pain, more headache free days, fewer sleep disturbances, and they showed an increase in serotonin levels.” 3

1- World Health Organization, Fact sheet N°277, March 2004

2- Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache: a randomized controlled trial. Hsieh LL, Liou HH, Lee LH, Chen TH, Yen AM, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, Pubmed, 2010.

3 – Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter J., Field, T., Swerdlow, B., & Diego, M. (1998). Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.


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