For the last five years, I have been dealing with migraine headaches. At first they were few and far between, but progressively they’ve gotten worse. These migraines started to interfere with my travel, making most of my work trips/vacations a real struggle. My turning point was last February on a trip with some fellow bloggers. My migraine was one of the worst I’d ever experienced, and consequently I got sick in front of everyone. The embarrassment was awful! I realized then, I needed to get serious and seek some help.

While on my trip I contacted a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy). This was someone my husband knew, and it seemed like a good start. I made my appointment, but honestly was skeptic that he would be able to provide any relief. I had already tried botox, electrolytes, more sleep, less sugar, etc. To my surprise after one visit, I could feel they were easing up some. He focused on body alignment, and applied pressure to specific points to release tight muscles. It seemed way too simple to be effective. Although each of my three visits brought noticeable change, the travel time getting to him was very difficult. He lives 4 hours away, and wanted to treat me every week for about 12 consecutive weeks.


While looking for more accessible help, I decided to follow a recommendation from my hairstylist. I visited a local massage therapist here in St. George. When I discovered that she practiced FASCIA RELEASE, I immediately knew that she would have something additional to offer. Her expertise has added tremendous positive results.

During my first session, she remarked on my body’s unique responsiveness, experiencing three releases in my neck…. which was rare for her on the first visit. Through my fairly regular appointments, she has not only taught me crucial lessons about what my body is doing and why, but also helped me realize that I habitually held my head and shoulders in a tense-like position, always being in that ‘fight or flight’ mode. Whether it was driving, working at my desk, I even one day noticed I was doing it while on the elliptical trainer, I am SO TIGHT!

Both my DO doctor and massage therapist have educated me on the importance of relaxation and taught me effective stretches and breathing to alleviate tension. Thanks to their guidance and techniques, my migraine frequency has reduced dramatically. I’ve gone from two or three a week, to now maybe one every two or three weeks. I can usually fend that one off with stretching, good posture, and breathing. Inhale four, hold four, exhale four, and hold four.

finding relief from chronic migraines

In her words…. During Myofascial release therapy, the therapist applies light pressure by hand to find Myofascial (connective tissue surrounding muscles) areas that feel stiff, instead of elastic and movable. These stiff areas, or trigger points, limit muscle and joint movements. When the connective tissue around muscles is tight, it leads to widespread muscle pain.

Interestingly, Myofascial tightness can be caused by past or current trauma. Ready for some science that might explain your pain? Fascia is the body’s largest sensory organ, containing millions of nerve endings and pain receptors. Fascia has six to ten times the number of pain nerve endings as muscle. The nerve endings in fascia are part of the sympathetic nervous system, and trauma activates the sympathetic nervous system. If trauma is ongoing or repeated, the sympathetic nervous can become hyperactive, leading to chronic stress and muscle pain. Simply, trauma can cause your nervous system to tighten your Myofascial tissue, leading to pain.

Working with a trauma informed massage therapist can be very helpful in releasing this pain or tension. When the person feels completely safe and relaxed the body can “release” what has been there for months or years, and sometimes even decades. Getting the nervous system out of “fight or flight” mode is essential to the body letting go of pain or trauma and being able to relax and heal. Sometimes getting the body to a relaxed state and out of “fight or flight” can be achieved easier with the help of a good massage therapist trained in trauma massage therapy.

Migraines, shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, or any type of pain are sometimes a result of relationship trauma or other kinds of trauma, or not feeling safe, sometimes for years at a time. Massage loosens tight muscle tissues, improves circulation, and encourages a good night’s sleep. The combination of all those things can often tip the scales in the right direction toward healing. Frequent sessions of convincing the body it is safe can have a powerful effect on the mind and body, and nervous system.

Reflecting on my 39-year marriage and the trauma associated with it, it made sense why I’ve been suffering from migraines. Consequently, chronic pain, such as migraines, often results from prolonged stress and a persistent lack of safety. Therefore, regular massage has been instrumental in alleviating this pain by loosening tight muscles, and improving circulation. Through consistent therapy, my body and mind have gradually begun to recognize a sense of safety, significantly aiding in my healing journey. Clearly, it also helps to be in a safe marriage.

I still have my prescription, but my usage has decreased significantly. A year ago in Africa, I went through six tablets in one trip. Now, I’m using maybe two or three per month, and hope to eliminate them entirely. Finally, I’m hopeful and encouraged by the progress I’ve made in managing my migraines. It is such a relief knowing I have a handle on them.

I can hardly describe how this experience has transformed my life! Regaining a sense of control over my migraines has been nothing short of incredible. Enjoying family gatherings, traveling, and even ordinary days without the looming threat of migraines has been a blessing. Relief from chronic migraines is within reach. While everyone’s journey is unique, I felt compelled to share what has worked for me, because it has been SO IMPACTFUL, even LIFE-CHANGING.


Dr. Bjorn Nordstrom – 801-224-130 707 E Mill Road Suite 303 Vineyard UT 84059

Massage Therapist Diana Echohawk – 435- 817-1555



  1. Sorry to read you have been experiencing migraines. They are awful! So glad you have been getting some relief through different modalities. I started getting migraines suddenly about 5 years ago. Going on HRT stopped them for me. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. Mary thank you. What is HRT? Do you feel like there are certain things that trigger your migraines? XOXO

  2. Hi Shauna,

    Oh my goodness I feel for you. Migraines are and can be completely debilitating. I’m so glad after surrendering for help that the myofascial release therapy and message has helped.
    When you are dealing with past trauma it leaves all kinds of bad stuff behind.

    I have chronic progressive RA diagnosed finally in January 2013. It gets into everything, I have TMJ, with that can and does come with chronic vice pain/headaches. I’ve been to specialists for the TMJ. The mouth guards made the pain much worse.

    I try very hard to breath and chill and to go with the flow. Being a recovering perfectionist probably does not help matters.

    I’m like you young at heart, always want to keep my life joyful and light. It’s not always easy to do with chronic pain. I so
    understand your journey.

    Give yourself a big hug.

    You are just so colorful and fun.

    1. Katherine I am so sorry!!! It’s so hard to REALLY know how debilitating this kind of pain can be, when you’ve never experienced it. I was at the point of just “dealing with it”, until that incident in Atlanta. That was the point I knew I had to really dig into things. I HOPE you’ll be able to get some sense of control with your condition. Thank you so much, for chiming in and sharing. Keep me posted!!!! XOXO

  3. Hi Shauna, Great information! You might also enjoy Essentrics workouts with Miranda Esmonde-White, These workouts have been transformational for me . They work alot on the fascia. Really helped heal my body from trauma. So great to share healing info.😉

    1. Heather THANK YOU! I’ve never heard of Essentrics before, and will definitely check it out! And YES…. so important to share, right? Have a wonderful week and best wishes to you!!! XO

  4. benadryl has helped me when I get a migraine. it’s helps with nausea, reduces inflammation and will help with sleep. for me going to sleep helps me get through the headache. I learned this when my daughter had migraines and she would have to go to the ER. They’d give it to her in an IV along with non-narcotic pain meds. maybe it would help you or others.

    1. Debbie, THANK YOU for your input. It’s a different journey for everyone. I don’t know that I had ever heard of Benadryl. I had tried all the over the counter stuff, but that wouldn’t ever touch it. I was grateful to get a prescription, but I only got 9 pills a month, and would sometimes go through them all in ten days. Thanks again for sharing!!!! Take care and come back again soon! XO

  5. i suddenly started getting migraines in the last few months. Saw my doc, she ordered a CT scan which was normal, now I scheduled an eye exam. The meds prescribed were a combo of tylenol, caffiene with some sort of relaxant. Did not work. Do you expierience auras. That happened a few weeks ago where I suddenly lost my vision and then saw jagged lines. Only lasted about 20 minutes but the migraine that developed after that was terrible. I am curious why this is happening now. I am 70!

    1. Susan…. so sorry. Exactly what I thought! WHY NOW? I would always think I knew the cause…. lack of sleep, stress, dehydrated, etc. But my first visit with my DO doctor, he said that he really felt like it was a muscular thing, And sure enough….. working on my left side from the base of my skull down to my scapula, seems to be the answer. Also the whole idea of trauma and how that affects your body. It has all been so interesting. I HOPE you can find some answers. I am just one to not love taking pills. BEST WISHES, and keep my posted. XOXO

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