Rationale and Treatment Approaches for Migraines and Headaches

Three-part course
with David Zulak

By tracing neurological pathways from the upper cervical spine into the trigeminal branches this course shows some of the sources of headaches and migraines.

We will explore a collection of techniques that may help the therapist to reduce frequency, intensity and duration of symptoms while assisting in reducing pain during an episode.

Thursdays, 13/20/27 October 2022

19h – 20h30 UK time

Join Free Live Course Introduction

Thursday, 29 September 2022

19h UK time

Course Objectives

  • Provide a brief overview of types of headaches and migraines
  • Show neurological connections between the upper cervical spine and trigeminal nerves
  • Explain how these structures can be involved in headaches and migraines
  • Show how parasympathetic system are able to influence inner cranial structures
  • Present a variety of treatment techniques
  • Show how to modulate the Autonomic Nervous System in ways that enable us to influence the cranial vasculature system and the Dura




Thursday, 13 October
19h – 20h30 UK time

Cervical and Cranial Anatomical and Neurological Structures Involved in Headaches and Migraines

  • Understand the relevant neurological inter-relationships between cervical structures (musculoskeletal, cervical plexus nerves, etc.) and the trigeminal nerve: 1) trigeminal-cervical complex, 2) trigeminal-vascular and 3) trigeminal-vagal complex. How the external tissues outside the cranium may affect and be used to modulate the intricate activities of the trigeminal nerve which is known to be involved in many headaches and migraines. The trigeminal nerve is one of the main pathway of the sympathetic nervous system’s influence on cranial structures, such as the dura. Also, as it now seems, the pathway of the parasympathetic system being able to influence inner cranial structures.
  • A very brief review of the types of headaches and migraines we are trying to influence.
  • Plus, demonstrate some introductory work to begin the process of modulating unwanted effects of the trigeminal nerve. This is the beginning stage of a process that works from the general to the specific, moving from the periphery towards the principle structures and tissues involved. [Work done with the client prone.]


Thursday, 20 October
19h – 20h30 UK time

Working the Linkage from the Shoulder to the Cervical Spine to Inter-cranial Structures and Tissues

We now focus more on the various treatment modalities and their application directly to the problem of headaches and migraines. The modalities come from a variety of sources: from massage therapy and the osteopathic tradition (mechanical, and indirect methods). Along with the demonstration is of course included a discussion of how and why we are using these techniques.

We also will be addressing extracranial structures and tissues that have intimate connections to the inner cranial tissues. Besides some mechanical linage, we focus on modulating the Autonomic Nervous System in ways that enable us to influence the cranial vasculature system and the Dura. While some may be similar to what is often called cranial osteopathy, while many are not, and yet they may have a dramatic impact on the cranial-sacral system and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. [Work done with the client supine]



Thursday, 27 October
19h – 20h30 UK time

Treatment Techniques for modulating the Autonomic Nervous System

After briefly discussing the Vagus Nerve (Cranial Nerve 10) and the parasympathetic portion of the Autonomic Nervous System we will discuss the importance of using this pathway to address headaches and migraines, plus a few other conditions. Vagal Nerve Stimulation appears to have numerous benefits and is more accessible to manual therapies than was previously thought. Demonstration of some of these techniques will be shown. [Work done in supine.]



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Access to live and recorded course lessons
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David Zulak MA, RMT, author of Assessment for Massage Therapy: a practical guide (Handspring Publishing 2018), has been a massage therapist and instructor since 1994. His focus and interest has been in anatomy, treatments, techniques and clinical assessment skills.

Join David as he introduces us to the cervical, cranial and extra-cranial anatomical and neurological structures Iivolved in headaches and migraines

If you have any questions regarding this course, please contact us.

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