Headache and Migraine Project

In early 2023, one too many clients arrived with a fifteen year history of chronic headaches. Within a couple of months, with no changes but weekly bodywork, these were all but gone. Related episodes of tension and the occasional headache continue to arise occasionally, but no familiar headache is constantly waiting around to swallow hours or days each week of this client's life. And they now have a toolbox full of ideas to use whenever a headache does come along.

This kind of story shouldn't even happen. That is the astonished response that has prompted months of work toward pulling together a book, some videos, and a lot of other resources to see what I can offer people with chronic headaches and migraines.

This kind of story shouldn't even happen.... My client had seen medical professionals with respect to the headaches since high school and tried half a dozen kinds of holistic and conventional therapy as well as experimented at home. When they walked in I thought more or less "it can't hurt to see what we can do." But I'm becoming wiser all the time. Simple touch is in short supply in most medical professions now, but it seems to have been the factor that made a difference in this case. Basic information and simple bodywork should not be missing so long where it can seemingly go so far.

My astonishment is not really warranted anymore. I see this kind of story increasingly often as I understand what to do better with my clients from earlier in our work together as I master my craft. This is just the case that has cracked my reserve and encouraged me to brave the internet.

I have worked as a medical massage therapist since January of 2015 and have specialized in medically oriented bodywork since the beginning, so I have seen a lot of clients with chronic headaches and migraines by now.

Occasionally a client achieves something akin to complete relief of headaches. This is more common with headaches than with migraines; the latter often need further medical support to resolve lastingly or to further improve the results. With both headaches and migraines, whatever results bodywork alone may provide, work on the table often provides valuable information that can help send clients in the right direction. I have heard from a number of clients that the verbal and physical feedback alone that can be offered through bodywork--its educational components--has helped to clarify longstanding health issues with profound impact in rerouting toward effective research and diagnoses in other offices.

I began to realize that if happenstance alone was bringing me so many clients with progress like this, there was room to specialize in headache and migraine work and likely help a lot of people find their way toward relief. Bodywork offers a unique context and perspective that I have seen to be increasingly useful personally and effective professionally as I've devolped in my craft.

I have learned about migraine both as a migraineur off and on over twenty years and as a bodyworker. Those two identities have each provided context and experience to the other. My own migraines weren't diagnosed and resolved for so long in part because they were the least of my health concerns--amidst crushing fatigue, chronic shortness of breath, painful muscles and joints, constant anxiety attacks, and etc.

I understand firsthand that migraines, headaches, and other chronic pain can often be disabling. Those who suffer navigate a compromised capacity to work and to manage life and often are through with spending money earned under unusual burdens hoping for a solution only to be disappointed again and again. I understand how difficult it is to find information on the web and otherwise--even working one on one with quality providers.

So I have collected a lot of information that has helped me and my clients and am beginning to publish it for the convenience of anyone who may happen to find it who is going through what I and so many I've met have gone through, scouring all available sources with flagging energy for anything of use. I'm determined to find ways to reach audiences that otherwise would not have assistance from someone in my field. My work may be lowly but it offers a unique perspective that I have found increasingly useful personally and effective professionally.

My book will at some point before too long be presentable and I will offer it free here in digital format when it is. I want to see as many people as possible learning to read their headaches or migraines from pain back prior to onset and learn to prevent them. I can't give away my time one on one, but I can offer in bulk what I have learned working with others. For those who find my book or my work valuable for whom money is not tight, feel free to leave a donation. That money will over time allow me more capacity to work at a reduced cost hands on with people who need support and can't afford it and in the present to more effectively continue learning how to make a difference for my clients.

Additionally: although my experience as a bodyworker working with migraine and headache is fairly rich, the results are not yet scientifically meaningful. I would like to learn to study to what extent and for whom each little piece of a solution appears to be effective. The dream would be to better identify in a translatable, teachable, accessible way whom to present with what options. Then we can better hope to stop seeing people suffer for decades before finding an age-old solution. I'm still learning and building the ways to study the bodywork and migraine/headache connection on a larger scale. I do know that in order to do study the efficacy of my methods, I need to work with and hear from more people than I can possibly put hands on. So please share this page as freely and widely as you know anyone who might benefit from it. The broader exposure and the more people take me up on testing what I've learned the better we can assess efficacy together and hone the knowledge and skills to help people get out of pain.