The client is a caucasian female, approximately fifty-two (52) years of age. The client drives to and from work through rush hour traffic and sits at a desk most of the day.
Client Issue: The client stated she has been suffering migraine headaches every day of her life for the past 30+ years. Some days are better than others, but she does reach pain levels that keep her in bed and out of work from time to time.
Therapist Questions: The therapist asked the client if she had ruled out food as the trigger for her migraines. After assessing the client and seeing muscle imbalance throughout her body, the therapist asked what position she sleeps in at night. How does she sit when she is at home, in her car, and at work?
The client said her migraines did not seem to be better or worse no matter what she ate, so she did not feel there were food triggers. The client said she sits with a pretty bad slouch, and that she sleeps on her sides most of the night with her knees drawn up.
Therapist Notes: The client’s shoulders are being pulled forward very far. Her shoulders are both elevated toward her ears. Her entire upper body appears to be rounding forward like she is laying face down on a big ball.
Client Treatment: The licensed massage therapist performed deep tissue massage, focusing on the client’s upper body. The LMT worked on her back, shoulders, neck, stomach, and pectoralis muscles(above the breasts). The client reported that she could feel a drastic difference in the pain levels and asked when she could come back for another session. The therapist showed her how to stretch her chest and stomach and gave her some exercises to do to strengthen her upper back.
The client returned a week later and reported that her pain levels were less than normal for most of the week, but that the levels were beginning to increase again. When asked if she was stretching and doing her exercises, she admitted that she was not doing them. During this session, the client asked if working her entire pectoralis muscles would give her more relief. She had booked a three-hour session, so the therapist performed a full body deep tissue massage including her entire pectoralis muscles. After this long session, the client reported that she had no pain at all for the first time in 30 years.
Special Notes: The client did fill out a chest massage form to allow the therapist to work the entire pectoralis muscles. This work is not just done without a client’s consent.
Migraines can be caused by a number of things, so please do not think that this treatment listed above is the cure-all for them. The therapist has seen food trigger them, as mentioned above. There can also be neurological causes that can not be physically manipulated by an LMT.