Reflexology: Reducing Stress-Induced Headaches and Migraines

Most people experience headaches of some kind from mild aches to intense pain. They are often brought on by conditions such as a cold, poor posture, late nights, food intolerances, dehydration, and even certain smells.

Stress also plays a big part in your ability to maintain your overall wellbeing and prevent such things as headaches and migraine. Stress-induced headaches tend to feel like a band pulling tight around your head and can also affect your neck and shoulders. Migraines, however, are a common, debilitating condition where the sufferer experiences a severe throbbing headache sometimes for up to 72 hours. Symptoms vary from person to person, but they can include sensitivity to light and sound, disturbed vision, and even nausea or vomiting.

An estimated 23% of adults between the ages of 16 and 69 suffer from migraine here in the UK. According to a report by The Work Foundation, migraine costs the UK economy approximately £8.8 billion per year in lost productivity.

As a team leader, manager, or business owner these statistics are worth exploring in order to support the wellbeing of yourself and your employees.

What triggers a stress-induced headache or migraine?

As I mentioned above, symptoms vary from person to person but the most common triggers of stress-induced headache and migraine can include:

Dehydration – this occurs when you lose more fluid than you are putting into your system. Getting into a positive habit of drinking 1.5 litres of water throughout the day will help with the various symptoms of dehydration, including headaches or migraines.

Lack of exercise – moving more is better for your overall health as well as reducing the possibility of migraines. A daily walk can be enough to lift your spirits and clear your head. The This Girl Can website has a great selection of exercise ideas you could try.

Alcohol, caffeine, and additives – what you put into your body impacts your entire system from nerves to lymph. Start by being mindful of what you are eating. Cut back on the units of alcohol or cups of coffee you drink each week, especially if you suspect it triggers your headaches or migraines.

Change in the weather – here in the UK we are used to dealing with inclement weather, but shifts in heat, humidity, or storms can cause an imbalance in your brain chemicals which, in turn, can prompt a migraine.

Stress – this is one of the most common challenges in today’s society. Constant levels of stress can worsen and also prolong any headaches or migraines. If you feel stressed and do nothing to reduce these feelings you’ll feel like you are on a never-ending cycle. It’s worth recognising that everyday tasks can cause stress just as much as those life-changing events such as moving house, redundancy, or grief.

How can you provide work-related support for migraine sufferers?

Showing a level of understanding is a great starting point. Migraine is, after all, the third most common disease in the world today.

Helping to reduce stress in the workplace and providing support should be high on your list of business goals, but how can you provide what others need?

  • Offer your staff a workplace that promotes good health and positive wellbeing. This will not only benefit your staff but also your business productivity and morale.
  • Flexible working hours allow sufferers to deal with their symptoms without the added worry of letting their colleagues or employer down. Allowing flexibility to work from home where possible can also be a step in the right direction.
  • Having recreational spaces that staff can use that are quiet and well ventilated offers them a chance to step away from their tasks if they feel overwhelmed or anxious. As a team leader, be accessible for face-to-face chats. Your employees are one of your biggest investments and their health and wellbeing have a direct impact on your business.
  • As dehydration is a trigger, ensure your staff have access to water fountains or regular fluid breaks to keep them hydrated.
  • Having a wellbeing in the workplace programme in place allows your staff to receive expert guidance and treatments onsite, and certain therapies such as reflexology are excellent for reducing the symptoms of headaches and migraine.

There are numerous benefits to having a workplace wellbeing programme:

  • Increased staff loyalty and retention
  • Reduction of sick days and absenteeism
  • Increase in productivity and mental focus
  • A harmonious and supportive environment

How does reflexology reduce stress-induced headaches and migraine?

Reflexology is an integral part of my Workplace Wellbeing programme. Studies have shown how regular reflexology sessions not only reduce stress as a whole but can also reduce the probability of stress-related headaches and migraine.

The National Board of Health Study in Denmark conducted research at the Department of Social Pharmacy in partnership with five reflexology associations to determine the effects of reflexology on a group of 220 participants all suffering from moderate to severe symptoms. After three months of regular reflexology sessions, 16% no longer suffered from migraines, 65% said their symptoms were greatly reduced, and 19% were able to stop taking medication.

Reflexology is where the therapist applies light pressure to specific parts of the feet, face, or hands. It is based on the theory that each reflex point is linked to every part of the body.

After working with Anita, this is what she had to say…

Sharon has magic hands! She is a brilliant reflexology therapist and really listens to how I am feeling and what I need. I leave feeling fully relaxed and I always sleep better after my treatments too! Would highly recommend.

Anita, business owner- Sutton Coldfield

Massaging these reflex points brings relief and balance back to the body. It is a deeply relaxing, non-intrusive treatment that prompts inner peace and harmony. The perfect treatment to alleviate stress and anxiety and prevent stress-related headaches or migraines.

Studies show that your stress and anxiety levels reduce when you are feeling relaxed and a reflexology treatment has a relaxing effect on the mind and body.

Get in touch for a chat about how I can help you with regular reflexology sessions via my free Clarity Call.

Download my FREE booklet: 5 ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your workplace

Discover five things you can do right now to reduce stress amongst your staff. Recognise where you can make changes to improve your workplace culture and show customers, employees, and suppliers that you take employees’ health and wellness seriously by downloading my FREE booklet on reducing stress in the workplace

About Sharon

Sharon Taylor Holistic healing, complete harmony

Sharon lives with her partner Geoff in Warwickshire and they have two adult children. She worked for over 25 years in an office environment, gaining qualifications to degree level in finance, business, and management. While there Sharon witnessed and experienced many stressful situations and suffered illnesses that were stress-related.

Sharon was advised to make some changes to her lifestyle which included trying complementary therapies. After experiencing the benefits of complementary treatments, Sharon decided to retrain and share her knowledge and experiences to help others recognise and manage their own physical and emotional stress and anxiety levels.

She has been working as a complementary therapist for over 15 years now and loves helping people manage and reduce their stress levels to feel uplifted, focused, positive and empowered about their lives.

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Complete Harmony

Tamworth: The Cottage Healing Centre, 114 Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7QB

Middleton: Senses of Siam, No. 10 The Courtyard Centre, Middleton Hall B78 2AE

Telephone: 07751 942234


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