Call for Comments on the Potential Health Technologies

To the Washington Health Care Authority

Regarding the call for comments on the potential health technologies topics:

Thank you for reviewing and considering the recommendation of non-pharmacologic therapies for migraines and headaches. I am writing to urge you to recommend massage therapy treatments for migraines and headaches.

Below I have cited 17 research articles published in the past five years demonstrating positive results with migraines/headaches and massage therapy. One study from New Zealand documents the most common conditions seen by massage therapists: migraines/headaches are seen by 99% of massage therapists. I also searched the industry fact sheets from the two largest massage therapy associations who regularly conduct surveys on the use of massage therapy. They do not differentiate conditions, but rather cite general acute and chronic pain as one of the primary reasons for seeking massage therapy, ( and the other cites pain as secondary to stress reduction ( ).

Massage therapy has been found, both anecdotally and in the literature, to reduce pain associated with migraines/headaches, reduce the frequency of headaches, and improve sleep affected by pain associated with migraine/headaches.

Thank you for your consideration,
Diana L Thompson, LMP
2nd Vice President, AMTA-WA

1. Myofascial Trigger Point Release Massage Therapy Relieves Tension-Type Headaches.
Rahim A, Seffinger MA.

2. A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness of Court-Type Traditional Thai Massage versus Amitriptyline in Patients with Chronic Tension-Type Headache.
Damapong P, Kanchanakhan N, Eungpinichpong W, Putthapitak P, Damapong P.

3. Treating the sequelae of postoperative meningioma and traumatic brain injury: a case of implementation of craniosacral therapy in integrative inpatient care.
Haller H, Cramer H, Werner M, Dobos G.

4. Myofascial trigger point-focused head and neck massage for recurrent tension-type headache: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Moraska AF, Stenerson L, Butryn N, Krutsch JP, Schmiege SJ, Mann JD.

5. Manual therapies for primary chronic headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.
Chaibi A, Russell MB.

6. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in an Italian cohort of pediatric headache patients: the tip of the iceberg.
Dalla Libera D, Colombo B, Pavan G, Comi G.

7. Effects of Thai traditional massage on pressure pain threshold and headache intensity in patients with chronic tension-type and migraine headaches.
Chatchawan U, Eungpinichpong W, Sooktho S, Tiamkao S, Yamauchi J.

8. Use of complementary and alternative medicine by a sample of Turkish primary headache patients.
Karakurum Göksel B, Coşkun Ö, Ucler S, Karatas M, Ozge A, Ozkan S.

9. A pilot study to investigate the short-term effects of specific soft tissue massage on upper cervical movement impairment in patients with cervicogenic headache.
Hopper D, Bajaj Y, Kei Choi C, Jan O, Hall T, Robinson K, Briffa K.

10. Effectiveness of Physical Therapy in Patients with Tension-type Headache: Literature Review.
Victoria Espí-López G, Arnal-Gómez A, Arbós-Berenguer T, González ÁA, Vicente-Herrero T.

11. Manual treatment for cervicogenic headache and active trigger point in the sternocleidomastoid muscle: a pilot randomized clinical trial.
Bodes-Pardo G, Pecos-Martín D, Gallego-Izquierdo T, Salom-Moreno J, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Ortega-Santiago R.

12. Precipitating and relieving factors of migraine versus tension type headache.
Haque B, Rahman KM, Hoque A, Hasan AT, Chowdhury RN, Khan SU, Alam MB, Habib M, Mohammad QD.

13. Reduction of current migraine headache pain following neck massage and spinal manipulation.
Noudeh YJ, Vatankhah N, Baradaran HR.

14. A descriptive study of the practice patterns of massage new zealand massage therapists.
Smith JM, Sullivan SJ, Baxter GD.

15. Alternative headache treatments: nutraceuticals, behavioral and physical treatments.
Sun-Edelstein C, Mauskop A.

16. Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review.
Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB.

17. Benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy on pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia.
Castro-Sánchez AM, Matarán-Peñarrocha GA, Granero-Molina J, Aguilera-Manrique G, Quesada-Rubio JM, Moreno-Lorenzo C.