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Article: Headaches - Self Help Therapy

Headaches - Self Help Therapy

active prevention... nutritional strategies to support a healthy lifestyle

..... by Dieter Luske N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

Holistic Therapy Consultant - Gold Coast - Canungra

"Holistic Therapies” .. the natural way to free yourself from physical and mental decline.

* Health is more than a good diet, everything is inter-connected...

Headaches - Self Help Therapy

Headaches ...
.... what a headache ...

First of all and most important, a headache is not a disease, it is just a symptom...
... even so, words like; just a symptoms, is not how it feels to a chronic headache sufferer.

Secondly, a headache is not a deficiency of painkillers ...
... even so, unfortunately for most people this may be their only resolve, unless they try an experienced natural therapist, such as a Naturopath, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Counselor, Hypnotist, and the list goes on.

Yes, there may be answers just waiting for you.

Without putting down the medical establishment; Doctors will make sure you are not having a serious underlying disease, which is extremely important to know, but they may be limited in what they can do for you, unless you like eating pain-killers.

Hopefully, within this short article, we can find some hope and some help for headache sufferers. Actually, most of us will have a headache at some time of our life, therefore this forthcoming knowledge will be valuable information for all.

Headaches, causes and possible remedial applications - self help.

Headaches, being a symptom, can be virtually caused by absolute everything, and to find a cure is bound to be a highly individual focused detective work.
Actually, if you are a chronic sufferer, a headache diary is most valuable.

For the occasional headache, you probably can work out what you have been doing for the last few days to bring on that headache.

To make it even more difficult, headaches are usually caused by a multitude of causes, most of which are related to the nervous system, glandular or circulatory systems, combined with mental conditions and stress and tension.

Once you had a splitting headache, you will understand the desperation that drives people from Doctor to Doctor, seeking relief.

However, you will find long term reduction or cures more effectively in the hands of chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths or sometimes even dentists.

What can you do, when a headache strikes?

Here are some measures for the occasional headaches or even for chronic headaches, once you are for sure, that your Doctor has ruled out more serious diseases.
Before we even get into all kind of causes, headaches are often relieved by supplementing with Calcium and Magnesium, you may find a good formula, otherwise the ratio should be 2 part Calcium to 1 part Magnesium, and take it at the same time with Vitamin C, preferable a powder - 1/2 a teaspoon may supply you with 1000mg. Combining this further with a good B complex and possible herbs such as Kava Kava, Ginger, Hops, Valerian, Passion flora, and even some spice like Turmeric.

Actually for the more chronic headaches, I always advice drinking lemon juice first thing in the morning before Breakfast with some added turmeric and ginger, helps to clear the Liver and Kidneys as well as ward off some possible allergy reactions.

Above suggestions are 'very general in nature', once you have done some detective work and know what your headaches are caused by, you can supplement much more specific with great results.

What is the first thing you do naturally when you get a headache?

Yes, you hold or press painful areas of your head, an instinctive way of self help. Just lets make it a bit more specific and find some headache related acupressure points.

Pressure Points: ...see illustration .. >>

These points are surprisingly effective, and it means you always have them "at hand".

  1. Press and hold firmly for 5sec. with the tip of your index finger on each point.

  2. Press, hold and slightly stretch out to the side, each point. Exhale while you stretch out, relax pressure an inhale and move to the next spot, repeating the sequence.

  3. Find the most prominent bone structure points on your forehead, hold points lightly with a slight stretch up and out wards without slipping off.

  4. Next are your temples, just lightly hold the points with a touch of up and back stretch. Hold for 10 sec, and relax.

  5. On your brow, find the small ridge on the bone and press fairly hard, good for headaches with eye pain.

  6. Press hard right between the eyebrows.

  7. Rub firmly both sides of the nose, good for sinus headaches.

  8. Feel and press indent under nose firmly.Good for Sinus headaches related to digestion, and colon.

  9. There are more points, esp for neck tension headaches ... but I suggest you book yourself in for a massage, or if more frequent headaches, for some chiropractic treatments

If you are flexible enough, and know a bit about Reflexology, than grab your big toe ... and squeeze it hard, roll your thumb around a bit while squeezing to try to find the most painful spot, than press hard and hold it till pain, in the toe, subsides... this is a pain sedating technique and should lesson the headache.

... like to learn more about Reflexology? Click > Free online Reflexology Course

Now to your hands, it's a bit tricky, with both thumb and index fingers of both hands, squeeze and hold the opposite hand and skin (web) between the thumb and index finger. Hold for a while ... can be done repeatedly.

Most of these pressure points can be pressed for about 20--30 sec. at a time and repeated a few times or till pain is gone.

Massaging the reflex points on your hands and feet has an additional function of draining the energy away from the head area.

Interestingly, to drain energy away, or diffuse circulation, some people have noticed that taking a bit of chilly powder in a hot lemon tea will relieve headaches as well.

All above remedial suggestion are simply for symptomatic relief and will not prevent a reoccurrence of the headache.

You will need to apply different treatment options to remedy the cause of the headache.

Now the detective work starts in earnest. 

At a time, when you don't have a headache, have a close look at your lifestyle, including stress, emotional issues, nutritional factors, weight issues.

Start with evaluating your skeletal system:

Problems can start with flat feet, right up to neck problems. Try to evaluate your general strength, tension and flexibility as well as general fitness, posture and your work habits.

This area is huge and needs to be carefully evaluated, you can try yourself or visit a chiropractor or remedial massage practitioner for a general check up.

Most people working on a computer will develop a posture or sitting related problem. The reason for your frequent headaches, could be that simple.

The remedy is awareness of posture and sitting, have rests in between, doing a few relaxing exercises, maybe enrol in a yoga class, get regular massage or re-educate your posture by visiting an Alexander or Feldenkrais practitioner.

A Chiropractor will successfully re-align your spine, but please remember, it was your" working habit" and posture and possible stress and tension that misaligned your spine in the first place.

I nearly didn't mention, but obviously, if you had any past trauma, any kind of accident, neck, spine or others take appropriate steps and treatment to make sure those problems are dissolved.

Another huge area of causing headaches are Poor Diet Habits or the knowledge thereof.

This can range from simply the wrong food choices, to more complicated reasons such as allergies or hypersensitiveness to certain foods, drinks or even environmental substances, simple allergies like hay fever or more complicated like chemical sensitivities.

To help with diet related issues, you will find a whole diet outline free of charge, starting here >> Health Foundation

Restore Balance

Balance in this sense means, not to burn the candle on both ends. Re-evaluate your lifestyle, take some time out for relaxation, maybe start meditation exercise, go to yoga classes, have a regular massage, join a Tai Chi class or go into more exercise. Circulation is of vital importance, you have to make sure to get enough movement, walking, bike riding, dancing or swimming will be perfect for this, while at the same time will relieve tensions.

Talking about Tension, brings us to the topic of Tension Headaches

Maybe your headache is not caused by bad posture but from bad emotional or other perceived stresses.

All of the above points are still vital, as exercise generally is a great tool for relieving tension, and massage is probably the best.

Tension headache may well be the largest group of headache types, others are allergy and sinus headaches, and the big ones; Migraines and Cluster headaches. In addition there are TMJ type of pain or headaches, caused by an imbalance of the jaw, which may need bite adjustments or chiropractic.

Tension Headaches are caused by, you guessed it, tension, particular of the upper back and neck. Once again, desk or computer work will be part of the cause or other mental and physical stresses. To stop reoccurrence, work hard on finding out how they are caused in the first place. Tension headaches are usually traceable to the first onset of tension. Maybe you can avoid those triggers in the future. If it is posture, you know what to do.

If you are a frequent tension headache sufferer, find the cause, avoid it if possible, and prevent with relaxation exercise, Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and possible regular massage.

Migraines are far to involved to be covered in a few paragraphs.

Over my many years of practicing Naturopathy, I haven't found one Migraine sufferer, where the migraine was caused by just one or two factors. I always observed that the best cure was a re-inventing yourself, create a different lifestyle.

Starting of with diet and searching for allergies, try counselling for fears, worries and negative attitudes. Liver cleaning, spinal therapy, you name it, it needs to be investigated.

Circulation seems to be a main factor, but not always. Some people have found relief by having an ice cold head shower at the first signs, to stop vasodilation of blood vessels, others have successfully employed masturbation.

Twice as many woman suffer from migraines as men. This may indicate a hormonal involvement, and indeed, woman report very often, not to have had any migraines while pregnant or migraines stop after the onset of Menopause. One lady mentioned to me, " I love my Menopause, no menstruation no migraines, can't get any better. That's what I call positive re- framing. And interestingly this lady had no menopausal problems like hot flushes at all.

Migraine is very bad to say the least, I am sure some sufferers get Migraines, because they fear the next attack, that's certainly a vicious circle, counselling is definitely needed here. Unfortunately, some of the natural therapies or detoxification treatments so necessary, can bring on a migraine as well. Same with massage or chiropractic, one has to treat gently.

Sometimes there are telltale signs, someone with fluid retention and migraines, needs to be treated for fluid retention, which can dissolve the migraine headaches.
Eye strain and eye or sensory over-stimulation can cause an attack as well. Once you have discovered that trigger, you may be able to prevent it. Obviously have your eyes checked anyhow, sunglasses or tinted glasses may help.

Very often allergic types of headaches come with a migraine as well. Food group avoidance may prevent those attacks. Allergy testing should be considered for all Migraine sufferers.

The foods usually to be tried for elimination are; Chocolate, dairy, citrus, alcohol, fried foods, pork, seafood, most people find coffee beneficial, but for some it may trigger an attack, but those people usually know that anyhow.

One major underlying cause can be blood sugar issues, either low blood sugar or insulin resistance, once again, that's why diet is so important, food can be eaten in certain ratios of carbohydrate, protein and fat as not to cause any problems.

There seems to be an overriding attitude or mental issue in headache sufferers, .... please don't get offended by that.

Just question yourself; are you a person who keeps your feelings to yourself, over think issues, do you worry too much, etc; you can see where I am going with that ....
it's a very simple idea, if you are "too much in your head" your head may respond with pain.

Are there any supplements, herbs etc you could take, yes there are, and often they are needed and will help, but only in conjunction with change and therapy. You only can apply a Band-Aid for a short time. it's better to deal with the real issues.

Don't take a headache to lightly, see it as a motivator to change or improve your lifestyle, elimination of stress and a bad diet is a perfect start.

Here are some more articles on lifestyle and diet change which may help:

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Article by ... Dieter L. - Editor for useNature

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* Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.

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