A Multi–Modality Approach to Headache and Allergy Relief

The Ariana Institute’s Medical Massage Therapy Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork. The Medical Massage Therapy Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Headache and Allergy Relief
  • Lymphatic Massage
  • HIV/AIDS Information for Massage Therapists
  • Pain Management
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Geriatric Massage


This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of medical massage therapy modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about headache and allergy relief featured in the Medical Massage Therapy Manual.


A growing market for massage therapy is to offer massage therapy for clients with issues related to allergies and headaches.

Allergies are estimated to affect approximately 50 million people in the United States, and their prevalence is increasing, affecting as many as 30% of adults and up to 40% of children. In 2013, 16.9 million adults and 6.7 million children were diagnosed with hay fever.

Headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system. It has been estimated that 47% of the adult population have had a headache at least once within last year.

The system that I developed for headache and allergy relief at the Ariana Institute includes a multi-modality approach: Myofascial Manipulation, Acupressure, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, and Reflexology. I also invite my clients to explore the etiology of their headaches and/or allergies so they can be proactive regarding their health.

One of the most memorable clients I had was a lovely Irish woman who was suffering from headaches and symptoms of allergies. For the sake of anonymity, I will call her “Millie.”

Millie was suffering from a pounding headache and debilitating sinus congestion that she knew from previous experience was related to seasonal allergies and stress. I did a contraindication check for her to rule out any symptoms that might indicate a need to immediately seek medical care. Then I did an assessment and recorded the information in my client records. I developed a treatment plan and we proceeded.

I began the session with Millie lying supine on the massage table. I first offered her myofascial therapy, paying special attention to the forehead, eyes, temples, cheeks and jaws. I continued the session with more myofascial work on the suboccipital ridge and the chest, with particular attention to the intercostals to help open up her breathing.

Next, in order to help relieve congestion and pain, I offered Millie Facial Acupressure on points that specifically relate to headaches and allergy symptoms. I followed this with Manual Lymphatic Drainage for the face and neck in order to help reduce the pressure of the fluid buildup, particularly in the area of the sinuses. Finally, to conclude the session, I offered Reflexology for the ears, hands, and feet, paying careful attention to the Reflex points related to the lungs, the eyes, the head, and the sinuses.

If Millie had chosen a longer session, I would have included a full–body massage to help reduce her stress, boost her immune system and stimulate the lymphatic flow, being careful not to keep her in a prone position with her face and sinuses resting on the face cradle for an extended period of time.

On occasions where Millie would come see me with headaches so ferocious that she could not stand having her face or neck touched I focused more on Reflexology. During these sessions I also focused on the headache relief Reflex points and the stress relief Reflex points to help ease her symptoms.

Occasionally I’ll also incorporate hydrotherapy and/or aromatherapy into the headache and allergy relief treatment plan, depending on the individual client preferences and the length of the session.

I’ve found that it’s good to have many tools in my massage repertoire in order to adjust the session to each client’s specific needs at the time.

Millie always left the headache and allergy relief sessions with a big smile on her face. After every session Millie looked as though she was ten years younger.  She had a healthy glow about her that told me meaningful transformations had occurred.

It was so satisfying and rewarding to see the change that took place within a relatively short period of time utilizing modalities that were non–toxic and non–invasive; they worked in harmony with her own biological system’s desire to return to a state of homeostasis and balance.

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is CEO of the Ariana Institute and a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon

To read the foreword of the Medical Massage Therapy Manual, visit https://arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institutes-medical-massage-therapy-manual-and-ce-courses/.
The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Headache and Allergy Relief, Lymphatic Massage, HIV/AIDS Information for Massage Therapists, Pain Management, Prenatal Massage, and Geriatric Massage CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArianaInstitute.
To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Medical Massage Therapy Manual, visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.
For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB
Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB


Posted in Ariana Institute, Ariana Vincent, CE Classes, continuing education, Geriatric Massage, Headache and Allergy Relief, HIV/AIDS Information for Massage, Lymphatic Massage, Massage Therapy, Medical Massage, Pain Management, Personal Stories, Prenatal Massage, Therapy ManualsTagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Copyright © 2024 Ariana Institute