Headaches and Migrains

Headaches and Migraines

How to get rid of headaches.

Massage can remove the STRESS that you feel through out your whole body! By releasing endorphins, you can stimulate your body’s natural painkilling ability and stop your headache.

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Feel the top ridge of your eye socket under the eyebrow. You will discover a small groove in your skull about the center of the top of the eye socket. In this groove is a nerve which is very sensitive to pressure. If you compress this nerve, it will be very painful. However, the pain will stimulate the pituitary to release endorphins immediately. The endorphins are the body’s own natural painkillers and are more powerful than morphine.

* To stimulate the nerve, push hard against it for about 10 seconds.

* Lean your head over and hit the back of it with medium pressure.

* Repeat about 20 times and then rest to see if enough endorphin was released to stop the headache.

* A similar method for releasing endorphins is to take 10 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a glass of water. This is not harmful. When the cayenne hits the stomach lining, endorphins will be released by the brain to stop the pain.

* Try putting a cold compress on your forehead or behind the neck. Many headaches are caused by tense neck muscles. Conversely, use a moist hot pack to loosen up tense muscles – see which works best for you.

* Massage the ears and ear lobes.

Similar in concept to the endorphin release – nerve stimulation through acupressure can offer some relief of symptoms. Search for “Do-in” or “acupressure” on the web.

Another option is to get a bottle ofmagnesium citrate at the grocery store. It is in the pharmacy section and comes in a little green bottle. Cost is $1. Take 5 ounces of the magnesium on an empty stomach and the headache will go away.

The magnesium citrate is sold as a laxative however 5 ounces will not have this effect. Magnesium citrate hydrates the gut – it is not a true cathartic laxative. If you suffer from migraine headaches, try taking HTP6 and Iodine tabs daily. They help increase blood flow in the brain, relieving headaches. Always check with your family doctor before trying any home remedies.

* Get off the computer and go to a light, quiet room and read.

* Grab the sternocleidomastoid muscle (the muscle that sticks out in the front of your neck if you turn your head to either side) between your thumb and index finger.

* If you work up or down the muscle you find tender points. Hold a tender point with as much pressure as you can while remaining relaxed. Release it and massage around it at least once a minute. Don’t hold the same point for more than a couple minutes. The pain may refer up into the temples then you know you hit a good one.

WARNING: Behind the sternocleidomastoid is the carotid artery and vagus nerve. Pinching these off can cause faintness or even brain damage by disturbing blood flow to the brain. If you feel faint, dizzy, or nauseated while working on that muscle, stop immediately and lay down for several minutes.

If you have a headache that last more than a day, consult your Chiropractor or Doctor.. Your headache may be caused by a subluxation of the vertebrae in your neck.

Massage the “crown” of your head. There is a ring of muscles that circle the head where a crown would sit. Once the muscles have relaxed, your headache will disappear!

Headaches are a result of trauma or blockage. If you didn’t get hit in the head, it’s probably blockage. The most powerful action of cayenne (capsaicin) on a head ache is not the release of endorphins, although this is a feature. The primary action is the circulatory system response. This will help get blood pumping better to the pained part of your head.

Try the relieving constipation. Headaches and constipation go hand in hand.

MORE INFO:

Applying pressure to certain points on your body can help stop headache pain by releasing muscle tension and relieving stress and anxiety. Try this simple technique: Place your right index fingertip on the hollow at the right side of the base of your skull, then place your left index one finger-width above your eyebrow, lined up with your pupil. Apply a gentle but firm pressure for two minutes, breathing deeply the whole time. You want to make sure you’re as relaxed as possible, so it might help to prop your elbows up on pillows to prevent your arms from getting tired. After two minutes, switch sides and repeat the technique for another two minutes. –Sylvia Fockler, registered accupressurist and shiatsu therapist

WHAT IS IT?

Tension headaches, the most common type, occur when muscles in the head, neck, shoulder or back tighten, causing a band of pain around the head that’s often accompanied by soreness in the temples.

TRIGGERS

There can be a variety of causes, such as arthritis, back problems, fatigue, poor posture, eyestrain or braids that are too tight, says Patrick A. Griffith, M.D., a neurologist at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Another cause of tension headaches is wearing thin bra straps too tightly, say doctors at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. When the strap digs into your shoulder it puts pressure on the cervical nerve, which can, over time, damage the nerve. Wearing swimsuits with thin straps and carrying heavy shoulder-strap purses for several hours at a time can have the same effect.

TREATMENTS

The occasional tension headache can be eased or eliminated with acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)–like ibuprofen or aspirin. In addition, the following home remedies may be helpful:

* Gently stretch your neck by tipping your head from side to side, with your palm resting against your head. You should also massage the painful area.

* Apply an ice pack to your forehead, or immerse your arms up to your elbows in ice water. The chili will calm swollen blood vessels. You can soak your feet in hot water for the same effect.

* Rub a bit of peppermint oil directly onto your forehead; it acts as an antispasmodic.

* Soothe your knotted muscles by applying a heating pad to the back of your neck or shoulders for from ten minutes to an hour.

* Try acupressure. Apply gentle but firm pressure between your thumb and first finger. Tension headaches that occur every day may be caused by clinical depression or anxiety. See a doctor if you experience headaches more than twice a week and if they’re accompanied by severe depression, anxiety or a change in sleeping pattern.

Migraine

WHAT IS IT?

Although their exact cause is not known, doctors now believe that migraine headaches occur in those susceptible when certain nerves in the brain react adversely to stimuli.

People who suffer from migraines (called migraneurs) typically experience a moderate-to-severe throbbing pain on one side of the head that is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Some migraneurs experience visual disturbances, such as flashing lights, before an occurrence, and light, sound, smell and any physical activity often make the headache worse.
TRIGGERS Exactly what sets off a migraine differs from person to person. Triggers include weather changes, light, odors, too much or too little sleep, lack of food, anxiety, depression and specific foods (especially those containing MSG), including some processed meats and fish, artificial sweeteners, red wine and aged cheeses.

There is also a direct relationship between estrogen and migraines. Experts suspect that a fluctuation in estrogen levels before a woman’s period and around the time of menopause can bring on migraines.
TREATMENTS If your migraines are infrequent, you may want to try a low-tech approach first. Richard B. Lipton, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, suggests applying an ice pack to your head for 15 minute intervals over several hours. In addition, a daily dose of 350 to 800 milligrams of magnesium can help prevent migraines, says Alexander Mauskop, M.D., director of the New York Headache Center. Vitamin [B.sub.2] can also help decrease the frequency of attacks. And many sufferers benefit from stress-management programs.

If the headache interferes with your ability to function or if you have more than three or four a month, you need to seek medical attention. Neurologists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia have found that frovatriptan succinate–one of a relatively new class of drugs called triptans–can stop menstrual-related migraines in their early stages. Some of the most popular triptan drugs are Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Axert and Zomig. If you experience three or more attacks monthly, your doctor may prescribe preventive medications like beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers or antidepressants.

Researchers recently discovered an effective headache therapy in Botox, the same substance doctors inject into facial muscles to temporarily erase wrinkles. “Botox dulls the nerve endings that transmit the pain during migraines and relaxes the face and neck muscles that tighten during tension headaches,” says Andrew M. Blumenfeld, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Pain relief usually takes effect after two or three injections.

Sinus -WHAT IS IT?

Sinus headaches are characterized by pressure and a burning, stinging or pounding pain in the forehead, cheeks and nose, and the areas are often sensitive to the touch.

The pain is often exaggerated by head movements, particularly as you bend forward or lie down.

The condition is caused by an allergic reaction or infection of the sinus cavities, the spaces adjacent to the nasal passages. Sinus headaches are usually accompanied by a low grade fever, yellow or green nasal discharge, postnasal drip, congestion and watery eyes; the pain is typically worse in the morning.

But, it should be noted, a recent study by the Headache Care Center in Springfield, Missouri, found that nine out of ten people who thought they suffered from sinus headaches actually had migraine-type headaches.

TRIGGERS

Specific allergens like pollen; bacteria; cold, damp weather.

TREATMENTS

Sitting in a steamy bathroom can provide relief, as can massaging and applying pressure for a few seconds to the painful areas of your face, temples and scalp. Some may find relief by using over-the-counter oral decongestants and nasal sprays. Headaches stemming from a sinus infection need to be treated with an antibiotic to clear the infection, a decongestant to unclog sinuses and, if necessary, an analgesic to relieve the pain.

Stop a Headache Before It Starts
A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of headache powder, says David Buchholz, M.D., author of Heal Your Headache (Workman) and an associate professor of neurology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Here, a three-step plan toward a headache-free life:

1 Get off the “rebound” merry-go-round.

Popping pain relievers can reduce the swelling of blood vessels and provide headache relief, but taking them more than twice a week can make your body dependent on an analgesic fix. And once you stop taking the medication, the blood vessels will swell again and your headache will return with a vengeance. The same can be true for people who drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day, which can also dilate blood vessels. “Giving up your crutch is the only way to stop the cycle of pain,” explains Buchholz. If you can’t nix caffeine or your analgesic right away, wean yourself off them gradually.

2 Get trigger-happy.
Systematically reduce or eliminate the lifestyle factors that might bring on your headaches. Start by keeping a diary that includes the following information:
* When did the headache begin?
* How long did it last?
* Where and under what circumstances did it occur?
* Did you experience it around or during your period?
* What did you eat just before the onset?
* Did you skip a meal?
* Were you sleep-deprived?

Pinpointing these factors can help you detect any patterns.

Because many headaches are spurred by what we eat and drink, Buchholz suggests focusing closely on diet in your headache log. You should also try cutting out potential problem foods known to trigger headaches to see if you experience any improvement.

3 Take control.

If diet and other lifestyle changes don’t work, talk to your doctor about taking preventive medication. People who have migraines more than once a week often benefit from daily doses of calcium channel blockers or betablockers (normally prescribed to treat hypertension), certain antidepressants, or antiepilepsy drugs. Those who suffer from sinus and allergy-related headaches may be directed to take such antihistamines as Claritin, Allegra or Zyrtec.

Be wary, however, of taking herbal remedies.

Scientists at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City warn that some herbs, including ginkgo biloba, ginseng, echinacea and St. John’s wort, can interfere with certain headache medications–with potentially toxic results. Check with your doctor before trying any herbal treatments.

Which Headache Is It?

It is not uncommon to confuse sinus and migraine headaches, Both types can have similar symptoms–watery eyes, face pain and nasal congestion. So how do you know if you truly have a migraine? Consider these questions:

1. Has a headache limited your activities for a day or more in the last three months?

2. Are you nauseated or sick to your stomach when you have a headache?

3. Does light bother you when you have a headache?
If you answered yes to at least two questions, chances are you’ve experienced a migraine. Talk to your doctor so you can start receiving the appropriate treatment.

NATURAL HEADACHE RELIEF

Nicole Duncan, 26, a sales associate for the Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau in Georgia, says she lived with daily tension headaches for two years, thinking there was nothing she could do but soldier on through the pain. “A lot of it was because I was sleep-deprived,” says Duncan, the mother of a 3 year old son. “1 was also juggling life stresses like everyone else, being a new mother, going to school at night and worrying about paying the bills.”

Rather than continue living with discomfort and popping ibuprofen every day, Duncan decided to see a doctor, who suspected that her high tat, high-carb southern diet, lack of sleep (she only got five hours or so a night), caffeine intake (she had at least three caffeinated beverages a day) and sedentary lifestyle contributed to the chronic headaches.

When she began walking three times a week, cutting back on caffeine, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and eating more healthfully, her health was transformed.

“I used to get a headache every day,” says Duncan. “Now I only get them every so often. I can’t believe what a difference a better diet, exercising and eight hours of sleep can make!”

Once you’ve taken steps to improve your physical health, says author Andrea Sullivan, you need to look after your mental and spiritual well being by practicing antistress techniques like massage, acupuncture or meditation; accessing your own choice of spirituality and learning to control your anger. “You can let go of negative energy and heal in small ways too,” Sullivan says, “whether it’s saying no instead of yes, focusing on your blessings rather than on what you don’t have, becoming more patient, getting better at planning, and building up trust in God that everything is as it’s supposed to be.”

Food Hazards
The most common cause of headache is also the most controllable–what you eat. Experts suggest removing these potential pain producers from your diet to see if you experience a reduction in the frequency and severity of your headaches:

Chocolate Cocoa contains caffeine. theobromine and phenylethylamine, all of which can cause headaches.

Nuts and peanuts They contain tyramne and potential migraine trigger.
Alcohol Red wine in particular has been cited as a culprit. The chemicals created during the fermentation of dark-colored alcohol seem to trigger headaches more than those found in light-colored alcohol.

MSG This additive is found in Chinese food. seasoned salt, meat tenderizers and soy sauce.

Cheese
Pay special attention to ripened cheeses such as cheddar. Emmentaler, Stilton. Brie and Camembert. American. goat cheese and cream cheese are okay.

Processed meats

Hot dogs, bologna, sausage, salami and bacon all contain nitrates, a chemical known to cause headaches.

Fruits and veggies Lima beans. snow peas. raisins and bananas can prompt migraines in some people.

WARNING:

Overdosing with Tylenol is highly toxic to the liver. No more than 2 in a four hour period!

Taking Tylenol with alcohol greatly increases the danger to the liver.

Curing the pain such as headache does not always mean take a pill and water and go for it!! There are many natural ways to prevent headache. Now read carefully the steps and tips on how to stop this pain.

The ancient Chinese discovered and relied on reflexology (an idea that every body part corresponds to a part of your hand or foot), so give it a shot. Rub the bottom of your big toe, or all fingertips, minus your thumbs.

An aching head means bad circulation. Using a couple of knuckles and starting at (where) your hairline (would be) apply pressure. Your skull is fairly tough, so don’t be easy on yourself. After applying pressure for six seconds, continue to move your fingers down the middle of your head, stopping at your neck.

Go for a psychological cure. Sit down, relax. Close your eyes and think about your headache. Imagine maybe a cloud of frustration and pain, and find the source of it. Pick apart this cloud, until everything in your mind is sorted.

Try rubbing just to the left of where the pain is.
Another way to cure the headache is to find the pulse on your head and press it (not too hard) and hold it while taking deep breath through your nose and exhaling it through your mouth. Repeat (taking breath) few times and relax. The headache is gone!!

Press into the nerve running between your thumb and index finger on the back of your hand, in the meaty part of the webbing. Press toward the bone below your index finger to compress it, holding as long as is necessary. Working both hands is better than just the one.

Pressing the back of your neck with three fingertips on each side may help with tension headaches.

If you have a headache that last more than a day, consult your Chiropractor. Your headache may be caused by a subluxation of the vertebrae in your neck.

Many headaches are caused by caffeine withdrawal. Excedrin, an over the counter headache medicine, contains an “added ingredient”. Read the label, and you’ll find that each tablet contains 50mg of caffeine. Drinking a cup or coffee or soda will give you the same amount, and possibly help the headache. An aspirin or other pain reliever in conjunction with caffeine usually works.

Advil or Motrin (or generic ibuprofen)
seem to work miracles as far as headaches go.
Another effective cure is to put an ice cube where the pain is.

If anything is painful, excluding the it-hurts-good kind of pain, stop immediately.
If headaches persist, consult a doctor.
Hypnosis has also helped thousands to control their pain.

See also www.BYIHypnosis.com