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The Use of Reflexology to Ease Migraine Headaches

written by: BStone • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 8/5/2011

Millions suffer from migraine headaches, and in the past two decades cases have been on the rise. Reflexology is an alternative therapy to consider for prevention and to bring relief during a migraine. Find out how to use reflexology for migraine headaches.

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    Managing Migraines

    Headaches Hurt! For people who suffer from migraines, finding a safe, workable method of relief is one of life's greater priorities. While reflexology is not a cure for these intense, throbbing headaches, nor is it a solution for everyone, it may help many people manage their pain naturally. Exactly how does one use reflexology to relieve this painful condition?

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    How Can Reflexology Help Prevent Headaches?

    Reflexology involves the use of pressure on meridian points found on the hands or feet to cause a beneficial, normalizing reaction within the body and to unblock the flow of vital energy. While this form of alternative medicine is not recognized as a form of treatment for disease, there is evidence that it can promote relaxation, ease anxiety and reduce pain.

    Stress and emotional disturbances are not the sole causes of migraine headaches by any means, but managing psychological well-being can help have a calming effect on the body's reaction to stress, possibly preventing headaches. Other possible benefits that may help to prevent migraine attacks include improved circulation, the release of endorphins and more balanced glandular function. Seeing a professional reflexologist can certainly improve overall well-being and may be useful for preventing vascular headaches, particularly if used in conjunction with a healthy diet and nutritional therapy.

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    How Reflexology Can Help Manage Headaches

    Reflexology can also be used during a migraine to bring relief. It may take time to master this technique; be patient as you become accustomed to where the reflex points are and the method. When applying pressure, press on the point for ten to fifteen seconds at a time, three times. Use approximately fifteen pounds of pressure. The reflex point for migraines is on the inside base of the big toe. If having trouble locating the point, try massaging the entire big toe.

    Another technique is to massage the hand. With palm open, facing down, simply massage the area between the thumb and forefinger. Do this until the pain recedes. It is also helpful to massage the temples and around the ear. Try pulling on the ear lobes for several seconds.

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    Should You Try Reflexology for Relief?

    Using reflexology treatments to improve well-being and to help prevent headaches, or learning how to use reflexology for migraine headaches yourself, you can take some control of your situation. Also taking other measures, such as including magnesium-rich foods, sources of essential fatty acids and vitamin C in your diet is important as well. If you have any serious health conditions talk to your doctor before receiving treatments. There are no risks involved aside from a feeling of tenderness in some cases, but it is better to be safe and discuss your health and treatment choices with your doctor.

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    References

    American Cancer Society, http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/ManualHealingandPhysicalTouch/reflexology?sitearea=ETO

    Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).

    photo by Sarah G

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.