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© 2020 by Elias Limberopoulos, Certified Rolfer

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Rolfing® May Relieve Migraines


When a severe migraine headache takes hold, it’s almost as if the rest of the world ceases to exist. The intensity of the pain makes many people lie in a darkened room and do little else. Working or looking after children is out of the question. It’s not even possible to hold a thought for more than a few seconds without the vice-like grip of the migraine taking over.

When someone gets into this state, they will do just about anything to escape. Even the strongest pain medication with the most undesirable side effects is welcomed if it eases the pain. People who routinely refuse prescription medication often change their tune when in the grips of a bad migraine headache. Luckily, Rolfers at times are able to provide relief for migraines without drugs or any invasive procedures.

Migraine Headaches

Many people tend to call any intense headache a migraine, but a true migraine sticks to some exact criteria. Typically, a migraine is less common than a tension headache, registering from moderate to severe on the pain intensity scale. It is a recurrent headache that lasts from between four hours to three days, and affects more females than males.

In order for someone to be considered a “migraine sufferer,” they must have at least five separate episodes that last for the prescribed time frames mentioned above. The headaches must also have at least two of the following characteristics: pulsating pain, unilateral location, nausea or vomiting, visual or auditory sensitivity, and aggravation of the headache by physical activity. Many migraine sufferers, roughly 20 percent, will see visual auras before a migraine headache comes on. This early warning system helps let them know what’s coming, but doesn’t lessen the intensity.

Rolfing Care

If you seek migraine care from a Rolfer , you’ll be given a standing and moving evaluation to determine exactly what is going on with the movement in your body. Rolfers do not get into pathology with their work, that is they do not diagnose clients with disease. They assess the body through a visual body reading watching you sit, stand and walk as well as palpate the body and provide other movement tests to check for potential dysfunction (lack of movement) in the joints of the body. Often times, clients with migraines have accumulated a tremendous amount of strain around the shoulder girdle, head, spine and ribcage which can be contributing to the frequency and duration of their pain. Sometimes it was brought on through an emotionally stressful period, a fall or car accident. It may even be related to nutritional deficiency and toxicity in the body. The reason is beyond the scope of practice of a Rolfer, but the good news is if you're not feeling your best, there's potential to get better.

Your Rolfer will likely perform gentle manual therapy techniques to relieve any pressure or stress around the upper body that could be contributing to your migraine pain. Soft-tissue manipulation can be very helpful in reducing pain. Generally, clients come in for several sessions as Rolfing offers a more comprehensive approach to balancing the body. Rolfing was developed as a ten session process known as the Ten Series. When clients begin to experience relief from their challenge, they recognize that they wish the rest of their body felt the same so they end up going through the Ten Series. It can be transformative for many and it's an option you can discuss with your Rolfer.

I'm here to help answer your questions. Please feel free to contact me today to schedule a phone consultation or book a session at one of my locations in the Chicagoland area. Be well.

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