Headaches are the number one health complaint, and affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives. Though most cases of headache do not represent serious health concerns, in some instances they can be signs of deeper, more serious health problems.
Conventional doctors typically treat headaches by prescribing painkilling medications, ranging from common aspirin to prescription drugs. This approach only suppresses headache symptoms. In addition to pain relieving natural cures, practitioners of alternative medicine focus on addressing the underlying causes of headaches as well, in order to prevent them from recurring.
There are 12 main categories of headache, each based upon the specific symptoms and underlying causes associated with it. What follows is an overview of each of the 12 headache types and their particular symptoms.
Allergy Headaches: Headaches caused by allergies or sensitivities are one of the most prevalent types of headaches, and typically occur within four to 12 hours after exposure to the offending substance. Substances that can trigger allergy headaches can potentially be anything, ranging from chemicals, foods and jewelry, to personal hygiene products, scents, and even another’s touch.
Allergies are estimated to cause as much as 70 percent of all headache cases in the U.S. each year. Despite how common allergy headaches are they often are misdiagnosed because of the range of symptoms they can cause. The key to effective treatment lies in first determining what substance or substances trigger the headache and then eliminating them, while simultaneously helping the body to build up its resistance to further allergic reactions. Though it can sometimes require time and patience to accomplish these goals, allergy headaches, overall, are among the least difficult headaches to resolve.
Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches are the most painful type of headaches. They get their name from the fact that the intense pain they cause concentrates or “clusters” around the eyes. In addition, they typically occur in periodic “clusters” of time ranging from weeks to months.
Once a cluster headache strikes, it can also trigger facial flushing, sinus congestion, and tearing of the eyes. Typically, the attacks are sharp and pronounced and last for hours, before subsiding, only to flare up again a few hours later. At times, the pain of a cluster headache can be so excruciating that the person affected by it may become highly agitated and literally bang his or her head in an attempt to stop the pain. In some cases, the pain can even lead to suicide.
Cluster headaches most commonly strike men between the ages of 30 and 50 who are driven, “Type A” personalities bent on achieving their goals, usually to the point that they ignore other aspects of their lives and fail to obtain necessary rest and relaxation. They also often smoke and consume alcohol beyond moderation.
Dental Headaches: Dental headaches are caused by structural imbalances in the mouth, jaw, and/or teeth. Usually the pain they cause is focused in front of or behind one or both ears or along the sides of the jaw. In some cases the pain may also occur in the mouth itself. The most common causes of dental headaches are misalignments of the jaw, especially temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). An uneven bite or dental problems such as abscessed teeth or gums and/or mercury amalgam dental fillings can also be significant triggers of dental headaches, as can the tendency to clench or grind one’s teeth. People who wear dental bridges can also experience dental headaches if the bridges become faulty. All such factors limit blood flow to the brain, causing pain and overall body dysfunctions.
Exertion Headaches: Headaches caused by physical exertion, although they can be quite painful, are usually brief and pose no underlying health threat. As their name implies, they are caused during or soon after physical activities, including sex. They can also result from coughing, sneezing, or forceful elimination due to constipation.
Eyestrain Headaches: Eyestrain headaches refer to headaches caused by straining vision, such as what occurs while reading in a poorly lit room or while working at a computer. They can also be caused by tension and misalignments in the musculoskeletal system, and by digestion problems. The pain caused by eyestrain headaches is normally mild and diffused across the face and forehead and behind the eyes. Sometimes symptoms of dry eye can also occur. Such headaches are not usually serious in nature, but they can become chronic if unhealthy work or reading habits are not corrected.
Migraine Headaches: Migraine headaches affect up to 20 per cent of all men, and 30 per cent of all women in the United States. Migraine headaches typically occur on one side of the face, affecting the temple and the eye and causing pain that can be quite severe and often throbbing. Other symptoms of migraine include blurred vision, dizziness, fatigue, hot and cold spells, lightheadedness, nausea, numbness or tingling along the affected side of the body, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, and vomiting. In many cases of migraine, symptoms are preceded by a warning sign known as an aura or another indication is brief visions of little dancing sparkles. However, migraine can also strike suddenly, without warning.
Organic Headaches: Organic headaches are both the rarest form of headache and also the most dangerous. They occur as a result of serious underlying health imbalances, including brain infections and tumors, diseased or swollen blood vessels, glaucoma, internal hemorrhages, and/or high blood pressure. Organic headaches usually strike without warning, and can be accompanied by intense pain, severe vomiting, seizures, difficulties speaking and/or walking, and personality changes. Caution:If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Rebound Headaches: Rebound headaches are caused by the “rebound affect” that can occur following the discontinued use of various addictive substances, including coffee and other caffeine products, drugs (both pharmaceutical and illegal), soda, and various commercial, non-herbal teas. Pharmaceutical drugs most likely to cause rebound headaches are those used to treat allergies, colds and flu, menstrual problems, pain, and weight gain and obesity. In most cases, rebound headaches occur within 12 to 24 hours after such substances are discontinued, and will usually resolve themselves within five to seven days, unless the offending substance is used again. If so, this sets up the potential for later rebound headaches to occur. Typically, the symptoms of rebound headaches involve persistent dull, throbbing pain on both sides of the head and face.
In many ways, rebound headaches are similar to the withdrawal symptoms that are commonly experienced by people in the early stages of alcohol and drug abstinence. The difference is that usually people who suffer from rebound headaches don’t realize that their symptoms are related to the substances they have been using. For example, people who crave coffee every day, are highly likely to experience a rebound headache if they go a day or two without coffee, only to have their symptoms quickly disappear once they have another cup of coffee, yet they will very often fail to make the connection that links their headache to coffee. Making patients aware of such connections is an important step for successful treatment of rebound headaches. In addition, rather than sudden withdrawal from the offending substance, holistic health practitioners recommend that people who suffer from rebound headaches slowly wean themselves off of the substances they crave over a period of time. Doing so can greatly reduce the severity of symptoms caused by rebound headaches.
Sinus Headaches: Sinus headaches are also a rare form of headache, despite popular belief. The reason for this misperception is that more frequently occurring headaches, such as migraine and tension headaches, can cause swollen sinuses to occur. True sinus headaches manifest with symptoms of gnawing pain within the nasal cavities that is usually accompanied by swelling. Pain symptoms of sinus headaches can also occur along the sinus cavities along the forehead and cheekbones. In addition, sinus headaches usually go hand in hand with symptoms of a cold such as minor fever, secretions of mucus and phlegm from the nose and throat, sneezing, teary eyes, and a diminished sense of smell.
Tension Headaches: By far the most common type of headache is a tension headache, which is caused by tension occurring somewhere within the musculoskeletal system and/or the muscles of the face, head, or neck. The tension is usually caused by compressed nerves due to habitually poor posture, misalignments in the spine, or chronic stress. Nerves that are irritated by metabolic waste products can also cause or worsen tension headaches, as can injured and unhealed ligaments in the neck, which can cause muscle spasms that trigger headache pain.
Symptoms of tension headaches usually begin in the back of the head or neck, and then spread upward and forward to encompass more of the head and face. The pain tends to be dull but persistent, as if a tight band was wrapped around the skull.
Trauma Headaches: Trauma headaches are usually the result of physical injuries to the head, neck, or back and typically are due to accidents. They can sometimes be misdiagnosed as tension or migraines headaches, because the symptoms they produce are similar to both other types of headache. One major difference, however, is that trauma headaches tend to persist and resist attempts to treat their symptoms, especially drugs. In addition, symptoms of trauma headache can vary greatly in terms of their intensity, and either be focused in a specific area of the head, or affect the entire head, face, and neck. Moreover, it can sometimes be months after the actual physical trauma occurs before symptoms manifest, making accurate diagnosis difficult. To effectively treat trauma headaches, you must first determine and then alleviate the lingering effects of the original physical trauma
Vascular Headaches: Vascular headaches are caused by problems in the arteries, which can create compression of the nerves that triggers pain. Symptoms of vascular headaches can mimic those of cluster and migraine headaches, both of which are also included under the category of vascular headaches, as well as symptoms of rebound headaches. Caution: Vascular headaches can be a sign of underlying problems with circulation and/or cardiovascular health. If symptoms persist, see a doctor immediately.
Note: All of the above types of headaches can also strike children. This is a fact that is often overlooked by parents and physicians alike. In addition, the risk of certain headaches among children, such as migraine, is increased if one or both of their parents are also prone to such headaches.
Headaches due to food and/or environmental allergies are also quite common among children. Allergy headaches due to food can usually be determined by keeping a record of your child’s food intake. If a headache occurs within 96 hours of eating a certain food, notice what occurs if the food is eliminated from your child’s diet for four to six weeks, and then reintroduced. If reintroduction of the suspected food triggers another episode of headache, it is highly likely that your child’s symptoms are due to allergy or food sensitivity.
To help children avoid headaches, encourage them to eat a healthy diet (see Diet below), and to drink adequate amounts of pure filtered water each day. Also ensure that they get enough regular exercise and are breathing clean air. In addition, children should be encouraged to express their feelings so that they do not become “bottled up,” causing internalized stress.
Caution: If you are experiencing a headache that is accompanied by blurring vision, convulsions, dizziness, fever, head trauma, loss of consciousness, localized pain anywhere else in your body, or rapidly progressing pain, seek immediate medical attention. In addition, recurring headaches in children or people who are elderly, or which occur suddenly for the first time, are also indications that medical attention may be required.
The key to successfully treating headaches and achieving long-term relief of headache symptoms lies in determining all of the underlying causes that trigger headaches. Holistic health practitioners recognize that chronic headaches are most often the result of systemic imbalances throughout the body, not just in the head itself, and that the potential causes of headaches can be varied, ranging from food and/or environmental allergies, constipation, gastrointestinal problems and hormonal problems, to infections, musculoskeletal problems, nutritional deficiencies, stress, and physical trauma. What follows are overviews of the most common causes of headaches.
Allergies: Allergies, especially those caused by food, are a predominant cause of headaches, especially migraine. In fact, according to research published inThe Lancet, food allergies contribute to 93 percent of all migraine headaches. Food allergies can also cause or contribute to other types of headaches, as well, as can chemical and environmental allergies (see below). Among the most common foods that can trigger allergy-related headaches are all dairy products, eggs, wheat, corn, rye, sugar, chocolate, coffee and other caffeine products, alcohol, pickled or cured meat and fish, shellfish, game (hare, pheasant, venison), fatty and fried foods, brewer’s yeast, and pickles. Seasonings such as bay leaves, cinnamon, chilies, and sassafras; as well as certain fruits, including avocados, bananas, citrus fruits, peaches, plums, and raspberries; and certain vegetables such as beans, eggplant, onions, spinach, tomatoes, and nuts, can also trigger allergy-related headaches; as can food colorings and additives such as aspartame, benzoic acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrate, tartrazine, and tyramine, as well as other dyes and food colorings.
Blood Clots: Blood clots can cause a variety of headaches, especially vascular headaches, because of how blood clots cause arteries to become constricted. This, in turn, results in diminished blood flow to the brain, as well as reduced levels of oxygen. Caution: Blood clots are potentially life-threatening. If you suspect you suffer from blood clots, seek immediate medical attention.
Chemical and Environmental Factors: The incidence of headaches continues to rise due to ever-increasing amounts of chemical and environmental pollutants that are released into our air, soil, and water supplies each year. Natural environmental substances, such as molds and pollens can also cause headache attacks. Common chemical irritants that can cause headaches, as well as contribute to a host of other health problems include carbon monoxide, chlorine, chemical deodorizers, formaldehyde, hydrocarbons, perfumes, pesticides, plastics, and radioactive fallout.
Exposure to cigarette smoke, including secondhand smoke, can be a headache trigger. The nicotine contained in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict, while the carbon monoxide that cigarette smoke contains has the opposite effect—unhealthy expansion of blood vessels. Both of these factors can trigger headaches, especially cluster headaches and migraines. Cigarette smoke also interferes with your body’s supplies of nutrients and oxygen, both of which are necessary to prevent headache, as well as many other types of disease.
Heavy metal poisoning, which can occur following exposure to animal feeds, fossil fuels, and polluted drinking water, is another common cause of headache pain. One particularly insidious form of heavy metal, mercury, lies in the mouths of many unsuspecting headache sufferers. The cumulative build-up of poison caused by silver mercury fillings may be the underlying factor behind many mysterious illnesses, including headaches, depression, allergies, fatigue, and menstrual disorders.
Other chemical and environmental factors that can cause headache include bright light, noise, high altitude, weather changes, and poorly ventilated enclosures causing prolonged exposure to pollutants.
Dental Problems: One of the most prevalent dental factors related to headache is the mercury that is contained in dental amalgam fillings. Over time, the mercury escapes from the fillings in the form of vapors to settle in various tissues and organs, contributing to a wide variety of health problems, including headaches. Other dental factors involved in headaches include gum disease, low-grade dental infections, tooth decay, and muscle spasms caused by temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). All of these factors can reduce proper circulation in the brain, causing blood vessels to constrict, triggering headache pain.
To determine if dental factors might be contributing to your headache pain, answer the following questions. The more “yes” answers you have, the more likely it is that your problem is being caused by dental factors.
- Do you favor one side of your mouth when you chew?
- Do you grind your teeth?
- Do you have trouble swallowing three or four times in a row? Do you have a poor sense of balance?
- Do you feel tired after eating due to chewing?
- Do you have to strain to smile?
- Do your gums bleed?
- Do you make a clicking sound when you open or close your mouth?
- Do you have dental amalgam fillings?
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Common gastrointestinal disorders that can cause or contribute to headaches include candidiasis (systemic yeast overgrowth),constipation, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and “leaky gut” syndrome. Enzyme and nutritional deficiencies are other common headache triggers.
“Leaky gut” syndrome occurs when the intestinal walls become damaged. This allows undigested food particles, as well as the chemicals contained in commercial, processed food, to pass through the intestinal wall and enter into the bloodstream, where they can cause a variety of health problems, including headache. Headache symptoms may not occur until 12 to 96 hours after the offending toxins enter the bloodstream however, making headaches related to “leaky gut” syndrome difficult to detect.
Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, especially in women, can play a significant role in headache pain. Typically, the most common hormonal imbalances in women are diminished progesterone levels and elevated levels of estrogen. Men and women can both also be affected by hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body is unable to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone.
Hormone levels can also be negatively impacted by systemic yeast overgrowth (candidiasis), and by the onset of puberty. Birth control pills, synthetic hormone therapy, pregnancy and menstruation can also cause hormonal imbalances that lead to headache and migraine pain.
Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle factors that can contribute to headaches include unhealthy diet, skipped meals, overwork, and sleep problems. Work-related factors, such as long hours at a computer, reading, and close-up work, especially in poor light, can also cause headaches, as can prolonged watching of television or playing video games.
Musculoskeletal Imbalances: Holistic practitioners recognize how important the musculoskeletal system is to overall health. When the musculoskeletal system becomes imbalanced or misaligned, proper nerve signaling to and from the brain and the body’s various organs can become compromised. The circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body can also be compromised. As misalignment of the musculoskeletal system sets in, your body’s muscles can become either contracted or stretched beyond their proper shape, setting the stage for chronic pain, including headaches, to occur.
Imbalances to the musculoskeletal system that can cause or contribute to headaches include head and/or muscle trauma, misalignments of the spine and/or the coccyx (tail) bone, and poor posture. Injured or weak ligaments and muscles in and around the neck can also cause headaches.
Pharmaceutical Drugs: The following types of drugs can all cause or contribute to headaches: antihistamines, asthma medications, birth control pills, blood pressure medications, diet pills, diuretics, heart medications, painkillers, and synthetic estrogen and other synthetic hormones.
Stress: Stress, whether it is caused by physical or mental/emotional factors, is one of the primary causes of headaches. As stress becomes chronic, it causes your body’s muscles to become contracted and tense, especially the muscles of the face, head, neck, upper back, and shoulders. This, in turn, causes the muscles to tire and to also be deprived of adequate amounts of oxygen, due to diminished blood flow. In addition, muscle tension due to stress can result in an excessive production of chemicals by your body, such as histamines. As these chemicals are created to excess, they can cause neurons in the muscles to fire, creating headache pain.
Psychological stress, caused by repressed or improperly expressed anger, anxiety, depression, fear, and sorrow, can also result in or exacerbate headache symptoms.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Quick Action Plan for Headaches
1. Since food allergies can play a role in over 90 percent of certain types of headaches, such as migraine, it is important that you be screened for food allergies and sensitivities, and avoid eating all foods that you are allergic or sensitive to.
2. Emphasize a diet of fresh, organic foods with an emphasis on vegetables, especially dark leafy green vegetables, salads, free-range organic poultry, wild-caught, cold-water fish, and non-gluten, complex carbohydrate foods, such as red potatoes, squash, and yams.
3. A helpful dietary remedy for headaches is “potassium broth,” which can be made by combining washed but unpeeled carrots and potatoes with a variety of potassium-rich green vegetables into a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, and then simmer for ten to 15 minutes, then strain out the broth and sip it throughout the day.
4. To help prevent and reverse headaches, supplement with B-complex vitamins, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, along with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), evening primrose oil, and the amino acid DL-phenylalanine.
5. Certain herbs can also help prevent and reduce headache symptoms. These include bay leaves, cayenne pepper, chamomile, coriander, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginger, skullcap, turmeric, valerian root, wild yam, and willow bark.
6. Since headaches are often due to chronic muscle tension and/or muscle spasm, bodywork can be extremely helpful in minimizing the risk of headaches, especially Alexander Technique, Bowen Therapy, Feldenkrais, massage therapy, Polarity therapy, Structural Integration and Rolfing.
7. Hot baths, saunas, and steam baths can help ease headache pain by increasing blood circulation and easing muscle tension.
8. Learning how to cope with daily stress by practicing relaxation exercises can also significantly reduce the incidence of headaches. One of the simplest methods of relaxation is simply to close your eyes as you sit comfortably in a chair, breathing gently and deeply through your belly. Do this for five minutes at a time and repeat throughout the day.
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com/ Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment.
There are several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. For treating rheumatoid arthritis, we recommended constitutional hydrotherapy (apply two to five times weekly) or a heating compress (apply once daily to affected areas). Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water www.drinkrealwater.com/
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide.
The first step in achieving a healthy diet that can help you minimize the risk of headaches is to determine if you suffer from food allergies or sensitivities. One simply way to do this is to fast for five days. It would be best to undertake this fast while being overseen by a naturopathic or other alternative doctor. During the five day fast you drink only distilled water. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke during this time. Note: If you are a smoker you will not be able to smoke while you fast, and it would be best to quit smoking prior to all cleansing and fasting procedures. Stop using all commercial hygiene products, including toothpaste and mouthwash, because of the chemicals they contain.
After the five days are over, start eating solid foods again, one at a time. Begin with fruits and vegetables, to help your body reaccustom itself to eating. As you reintroduce each food, keep a food journal and notice any symptoms, including headaches, that occur within 12 to 96 hours after each food is eaten. This will help you to determine which foods you are allergic to. Avoid such foods from that point on, and also try to eat all other foods no more than once every four days to further prevent allergic reactions.
Also eliminate all commercial, processed foods, all sugars and refined carbohydrates, alcohol, coffee and other caffeine-containing foods and beverages, sodas, margarine, foods containing additives and preservatives, shortening, and all partially hydrogenated oils. Foods containing saturated fats, such as dairy products, eggs, red meat, and warm-water fish should only be eaten sparingly.
For best results, emphasize a diet of fresh, organic foods, especially leafy, green vegetables, free-range poultry, wild-caught, cold-water fish, and non-gluten, complex carbohydrate foods such as red potatoes, squash, and yams.
Another helpful dietary measure is “potassium broth,” which can be made by combining washed but unpeeled carrots and potatoes with a variety of potassium-rich green vegetables into a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, and then simmer for ten to 15 minutes. Then put the water through a strainer and drink several cups of broth throughout the day, storing the unused portion in your refrigerator. The broth acts as a very effective nerve tonic and can also help to relax tense muscles to promote better circulation.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok?affld=104400 The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
Useful nutritional supplements for treating and preventing most types of headaches include B-complex vitamins, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, along with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), evening primrose oil, and the amino acid DL-phenylalanine.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here (link) or go to www.thetappingsolution.comorwww.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitionershere
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Essential oils and pastes can be applied on the site of the pain. Nutmeg, hina or musk oil can be used for vata headaches. Sandalwood, jatamansi, jasmine, khus, rose and coconut are good oils for pitta headaches. Ginger or vacha (calamus) pastes and eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon and cardamom oils can help with kapha headaches.
Nasya, or nasal administration of oil, can be used as well: ghee is used for vata; brahmi ghee for pitta; and vacha oil for kapha. A clinician can also select a more specific oil to meet the individual needs of a person.
This can be beneficial for headaches but it is best to avoid inverted poses during acute headaches and do simple asanas such as camel, cobra, cow, boat, bow, bridge and spinal twists. Vata and kapha types of headache can benefit from inverted poses once the pain has subsided.
Meditation is a good way to bring prana to the head as well as to distance ourselves from the pain. A simple meditation focused on the breath is advised. (For those familiar with them, Ujjayi pranayama and yoga nidra techniques can be used to increase the flow of prana as well.)
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Acupressure is an excellent self-help therapy for relieving headache pain because of its ability to quickly alleviate muscle tension that can cause headaches. Here is a useful acupressure technique for relieving migraine and tension headaches: Press your thumbs firmly into the hollow areas located to either side of the base of your skull. Typically, these points will be two to three inches apart, depending on your head size. Once you have located them, close your eyes and slowly lean your head back as you continue to apply pressure for two minutes. As you do so, take deep, relaxed breaths in through your belly. After two minutes, release the pressure and continue breathing in this fashion for 30 seconds, then repeat the process until you feel your symptoms improving.
Acupuncture can significantly reduce headaches and prevent them from recurring because of how acupuncture is able to relieve muscle tension, improve the flow of blood and oxygen to all areas of the body, and resolve pain. Acupuncture can prove very helpful in dealing with potential allergies and gastrointestinal problems that can cause headaches, as well as boosting overall immune function to prevent and resolve headaches caused by infection.
In addition to acupressure and acupuncture, a variety of Chinese herbs can also be helpful for dealing with headaches. These include the traditional Chinese herbal formula known as the Eight Treasures, which is made up of angelica root, condonopsis root, dong quai, licorice root, liqusticum rhizome, peony root, poria fungus, and rehmannia root; and Xiao Yao Tong, which is composed of bupleurum root, dong quai, ginger root, licorice root, mentha leaf, paeonia root, poria fungus, and tractylodes rhizome.
Qigong and Tai Chi, two other components of traditional Chinese medicine, can also offer many benefits for headache sufferers.
The following essential oils, applied topically to areas of the head, face, and neck associated with headache pain, can help to quickly relieve symptoms: chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, and rosemary.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy (link to full description of what it is) it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Ginger and feverfew
Useful herbs for headache include cayenne pepper, which can help prevent and relieve both cluster and migraine headaches; feverfew, which is particularly helpful for migraine; garlic and ginkgo biloba, both of which improve blood flow and help protect against blood clots; and ginger, which can stop the progression of headaches when taken at the first sign of headache symptoms.
Other helpful herbs include bay leaves, chamomile, coriander, skullcap, turmeric, valerian root, wild yam, and willow bark.
Bowen Therapy was developed in the 1950s by Thomas Bowen, a lay healer from Australia who possessed a keen knowledge of human structure and nerve function and their relationship to health. Unlike other forms of structural bodywork, Bowen therapy is extremely gentle and non-invasive. The treatment involves a series of moves consisting of pulling the skin away from an underlying muscle or tendon, applying pressure against its side and the holding and releasing it while allowing the underlying structure to spring back to its normal position. It has proven particularly beneficial for conditions like migraine and headaches.
Bodywork is an excellent therapy for helping to prevent and reverse headaches caused by muscle tension and spasms. Bodywork can improve overall functioning of your body’s circulatory and nervous systems, which can significantly reduce the risk of headaches. Among the most effective types of bodywork for headaches are Alexander Technique, Bowen Therapy, Feldenkrais, Massage Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Structural Integration and Rolfing.
What follows is a simple, yet effective, self-massage technique you can use to relieve headache pain. Sit comfortably in a chair, close your eyes, and begin to breathe easily and deeply through your belly. Now gently squeeze the back of your neck as you slowly roll your head in a circle. Continue for 30 seconds, and then release your neck for ten seconds. Repeat this process for a total of 20 times, each time slightly increasing the pressure you apply to your neck.
If your headache still persists, move on to the next step: Press your fingers into all areas of your neck and shoulders that feel tender. As you do so, gently move your arms and shoulders in a circular motion. Do this for five minutes, or until your symptoms have resolved. For further benefit, you can repeat both of these exercises throughout the day.
The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong – Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
The following juice combination can be helpful for headache symptoms because of the nutrients and enzymes they provide, as well as their alkalizing effect on the body: carrot and celery; carrot, beet, and cucumber; and carrot, celery, spinach, and parsley.
Prolotherapy injections at the site of tense muscles or muscles that are in spasm, can dramatically reduce the incidence of headaches caused by such factors in as little as a single session. Research has shown, overall, that prolotherapy can be helpful in up to 90 percent of all cases of headache pain, and is often capable of providing permanent relief.
Relaxation Therapy: Regularly engaging in some sort of relaxation therapy on a daily basis can dramatically reduce the stress and tension that trigger the majority of headache cases. One of the easiest ways of promoting deep relaxation is to spend five minutes a few times a day sitting comfortably with your eyes closed while you breath slowly and deeply through your belly.
Here are two other relaxation exercises that are helpful for reducing headache symptoms:
1. Lie on the floor with your head on a pillow. Close you eyes and comfortably rest your calves on the seat of a chair. Stay in this position for five to ten minutes, breathing deeply and comfortably through your belly. When you are done, take your time getting up from the floor, continuing to breath in a deep, relaxed manner.
2. Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down on a comfortable mattress in a room that is quiet, with the lights off. Take ten gentle, deep breaths, starting in your belly and progressing all the way to your upper chest. Without pausing, exhale, starting at your chest and progressing down to your diaphragm, taking longer to do so than you took to inhale. Ideally, you should try to spend two to five seconds inhaling and twice as long exhaling.
Once you sense yourself starting to relax, tightly tense the muscles of your feet and toes tightly for a count of five, and then relax them. Then do the same with the muscles of your lower legs and calves. Repeat this process all the way up the rest of your body, moving to your upper legs and thighs, your buttocks, your lower back and abdomen, your upper back and chest, your hands and arms, your shoulder, your neck, and, finally, your jaw, eyes, and face muscles. Throughout this process, continue breathing in a gentle, deeply relaxed manner. When you finish, slowly open your eyes and then slowly stand up, continuing to breath as you have been.
The foods that trigger headaches: www.naturalnews.com/029119_migraine_headaches_foods.html
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters/
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Ayurveda home remedies for migraine:www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SWgO6E2bfE
Ayurveda home remedies for headache: www.homeveda.com/aches-and-pains/natural-ayurvedic-home-remedies-for-headache.html
Natural cures for cluster headaches: www.ehow.com/video_6467001_natural-cures-cluster-headaches.html
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Neurofeedback for headaches: www.naturalnews.com/035564_headaches_neurofeedback_solution.html
Homeopathy remedy for headaches: www.naturalnews.com/032812_homeopathy_migraines.html
Cupping remedy is good for headaches: www.naturalnews.com/032309_cupping_therapy_headaches.html
Vanilla can help headaches: www.naturalnews.com/031624_vanilla_headaches.html
Laser acupuncture effective against headaches in children: www.naturalnews.com/024471_headaches_treatment_children.html
Further Information (links and books)
The Magnesium Solution for Migraine Headaches by Jay S. Cohen
Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna
by Bernie S Siegel
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Allergy Elimination Technique, NAET
www.naet.com (714) 523-8900
Soft Laser Therapy, Q1000 Soft Laser
www.softlasertherapy.org (803) 955-0178
B-Complex, Max Stress B Nano-Plex
www.vpnutrition.com (877) 335-1509
www.twinlab.com (800) 645-5626
Vitamin C, Truly Natural Vitamin C
www.healthforce.com (800) 357-2717
www.therawfoodworld.com (866) 279-3438
www.nordicnaturals.com (800) 662-2544
DL-phenylalanine, Life Extension
www.lef.org (800) 645-5626
www.netmindbody.com (800) 888-4638
Willow Bark Extract
www.gaiaherbs.com (888) 917-8269
www.gaiaherbs.com (888) 917-8269
www.amsatonline.org (800) 473-0620
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.