Can Massage Chairs Help with Headaches, Tension and Migraines?

Massage Pain Relief Isn’t Just for Muscles

Massage therapy offers more than just relaxation. It brings several health benefits, helping you feel your best.

Ever had nausea, light and sound sensitivity, stomach pain, vomiting, and a throbbing headache? Chances are, you've experienced a migraine. How do you usually handle it? Wait it out, take medicine, or have you considered massage therapy?


If you haven't thought about massage, particularly using a massage chair at home, it's worth considering. Many people with migraines find relief through massage therapy. Let's explore how massage therapy can help with migraines.

Massage Chairs: A Secret Weapon Against Migraines

Massage chairs are becoming popular for those who regularly seek massage therapy. Beyond relaxation, they offer relief from fatigue, muscle injuries, and can provide a natural way to ease tension headaches and migraines.

Regular massage goes beyond luxury. For many, it's a crucial tool for managing conditions like migraines. Using a massage chair regularly, with its deep tissue massage capability, can offer consistent migraine relief.

Additionally, massage chairs can improve your mood, promote deep sleep, and strengthen your immune system. They're adaptable, allowing you to tailor your massage to your symptoms, pain level, and available time.

Understanding Headaches and Migraines

According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, including 28 million with migraines. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recognizes massage's effectiveness in treating tension headaches.

Tension Headaches: These are the most common headaches among adults and adolescents. They involve mild to moderate pain that comes and goes over time. Causes include muscle spasms, trigger points, TMJ, neck misalignment, stress, hormonal changes, dehydration, and anxiety. They don't usually come with other symptoms like light sensitivity.

Migraines: Migraines are more complex, with unclear causes. Genetics play a role, and they vary in intensity and frequency. Migraine symptoms often include light, noise, or odour sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, and stomach pain.


When headaches persist, people often turn to their doctors. Various medications and treatments are available, but they often provide only temporary relief. Massage therapy can be a more effective, lasting solution. It can prevent headaches and offer relief when one starts.

How Massage Helps Reduce Headaches

  • Improves blood circulation in areas lacking flow
  • Eases pain from trigger points
  • Relaxes muscle spasms and tension
  • Helps regulate hormones

A systematic review by the Journal of Headache and Pain suggested massage therapy may be as effective as medication like propranolol and topiramate.

The Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology recommends massage for everyday tension headaches. It can reduce tension by addressing trigger points, particularly in the neck and shoulders.

Home Treatments for Headaches and Migraines

You don’t always need to visit a therapist or doctor for treatment. Head and neck massagers are available, and modern massage chairs offer significant benefits for headache sufferers. However, always consult a physician or therapist before using a massage chair for symptoms.

Do Massage Chairs Improve Blood Circulation?

Studies have shown that massage can boost the circulation of blood and help the body to expel harmful poisons from the body, which can help to relieve migraines and chronic pain.

People with poor blood flow can be more likely to have certain conditions and illnesses such as flu, sore muscles, and increased weariness because of the build-up of lactic acids in the tissues. Better blood flow can help new blood cells to be produced and move freely as well as remove toxins from the body.

As the massage chair’s rollers stimulate your muscles and soft tissues by applying targeted pressure, it increases blood circulation throughout the body including blocked areas. This stimulation helps newly oxygenated blood flow around the body, giving the muscles and tissues the nutrients they need and lowering blood pressure.

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Lessen The Pain You Feel In Each Migraine Attack

Migraine pain is often debilitating, disrupting daily life. Massage therapy targets muscles, tendons, and joints, using pressure to loosen knots and relax tissues. It can distract the brain from migraine pain, as the nerve signals from the massage compete with those from the migraine.

So, how can massage help lessen the pain and help you deal with the day-ruining effect of migraines?

Massage therapy addresses the muscles, tendons, and joints where the pain is coming from. In most cases, this is done by using just the right amount of pressure required in specific and pinpoint areas to loosen knots and allow the surrounding tissues to relax. At the same time, massage therapy stretches targeted areas in your body, allows your body as a whole to relax, significantly reducing migraine-associated pain.

Additionally, by manipulating other areas of your body, a massage can actually help to distract the brain from the pain of a migraine and focus it on areas where you’re experiencing relief.

Imagine that stretching, deep pressure release of a good massage. Well, it’s that exact same sensation that catches the attention of your body’s nerve fibres. The same nerve fibres, mind you, that are being bombarded with signals that are telling your body that you are experiencing discomfort from a migraine. Basically, as migraine pain signals are sent through the nerves they’re competing with nerve signals delivering relief from your massage. And guess which one usually wins? 

That’s right. Most of the time the relief signals win. It doesn’t sound so surprising that massage chair therapy is seen as an effective manual and non-pharmacological therapy for migraines now, does it? 

But that’s not all.

Massage and Migraine-Related Nausea

Massage chairs often use acupressure, a technique that stimulates specific body points to trigger physiological responses. For instance, stimulating the PC6 acupoint can help manage migraine-induced nausea.

headache tension

Gentle yet firm pressing sensations on certain points on your body are the manipulations used in acupressure to bring holistic relief and relaxation. And one of the acupressure points that can be stimulated can help with nausea.

For migraine, a study has shown that the acupoint PC6, when stimulated with the correct acupressure techniques, can be quite successful in the management and treatment of migraine-induced nausea.

Manage Migraine Attacks By Reducing Stress Levels & Promoting Better Sleep

Another beneficial effect of massage therapy is that it lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. It relaxes tense muscles and calms down your body’s “fight or flight” cycle. A great deal of research shows that stress and migraines are closely related and that it can trigger your migraine attack at any given time. 

So, when you manage stress by receiving a relaxing massage, you lessen the likelihood of suffering from another painful migraine attack.

And what about sleep? Yes, it appears that poor quality sleep and not enough of it can also trigger a migraine. If you want to prevent further migraine attacks, improving your sleep health should certainly be your aim as well. This is because sleep and migraine headaches have a shared chemical factor- serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for sending a number of messages to your brain, one of which is the cue for sleep.

Better sleep

Surprisingly, when there is a decrease in serotonin in your body, a migraine can develop.

Massage has been shown to improve sleep by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boosting the levels of serotonin. In this way, massage therapy can be a win-win. You’re increasing serotonin to help you sleep better and that boost also helps to reduce the chances of getting a migraine.

The bottom line? Regular massage chair use can help keep migraine episodes at bay since it can help you sleep better.

Massage Chairs for Migraines

So, as you can see owning a massage chair can help you to prevent the occurrence of migraines and allow you to find some relief when one does develop. By allowing your body to relax, boosting the body’s natural painkillers and healthy sleep chemicals, and providing you with a way to stimulate acupressure points that fight nausea, massage chairs can be your secret weapon when you often have to go into battle with the dreaded migraine.

Best of all, they can be used in your home with no appointments, travel times, or changes in clothes necessary. They truly are an aid to all those dealing with migraine attacks.

Finished With Your Research?

With a luxury massage chair from Meubilair, you can enjoy relief from your headaches in the comfort of your home whenever you need it. You won’t have to try and schedule with a therapist and potentially wait weeks for an opening.

You can look into the chairs, techniques, and other benefits of massage in the Learning Centre on our website, and you’ll be able to see the number of other physical benefits that these chairs can provide. 

If you have any questions about massage chairs or our services, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re available over the phone or through email at You can even talk with us through the Live chat on our website.

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