Many of you know that I was once an English teacher. I am fascinated by the way language reflects our lives and our bodies. I often hear clients say things like “I felt blind-sided,” or “He’s a pain on the neck,” which usually means that a headache is coming. There are many types, but the most common ones are cluster headaches and tension headaches. Tension headaches account for ninety percent of all headaches.
Did You Know?
Most people experience at least one headache per year. There are many things you can do to reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches. Tension headaches are caused by muscle tension. Tension headaches are usually caused by tight neck muscles. However, they can also be caused muscle spasms in the back and shoulders. My experience is that tension headaches often have an emotional component.
Headache pain can be caused by stress, anxiety, or overwhelm. I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling headaches as soon as someone I find difficult to handle enters my space. You know what I mean. Anyway. Let’s look at some ways we can prevent headaches from becoming debilitating.
What To Do?
- Keep a Headache Journal. It doesn’t need to be complicated. What is the quality of the pain? Is it dull or throbbing? On a scale from 1-10, how severe is the pain? How long does the pain last? Situation – What was happening when you had the headache? The Headache Journal is a valuable tool for your doctor. It can also help you gain insight into the causes of your pain.
- Pay attention to what you eat. There are many food triggers that can cause headaches. These include monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is often found in Asian cuisine, and food additives. But you might also find other foods that can trigger headaches. If you have frequent headaches, caffeine can be a problem. However, if you cut down on it gradually, your headaches might get worse. Drink lots of water (if you drink caffeine, two glasses of water is required for each caffeinated beverage). This is just to make sure you aren’t going broke. For a week, stop chewing gum. Gum-chewing can cause incredible wear to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ).
- Do not overlook environmental triggers. Are you able to breathe clean air in your home? Do you get at most an hour of fresh air every day? Are seasonal allergies contributing factors to your headaches Are you surrounded with positive, balanced people who share your joy and attitude? Do you remember to breathe deeply? Every moment of our lives is affected by the environment around us, often more than we realize.
- Get good sleep. I don’t know how many people come to me for headache relief. They’re exhausted. A headache can be caused by as little as an hour of sleep deprivation each night. You all need different amounts of rest, but don’t let yourself believe you have less. Your body knows best. It’s not surprising that when we have a headache, the first thing we want to do is to lay down and close our eyes.
- Regular CranioSacral therapy treatments are recommended. CST works by gently balancing the brain and spinal chord tissues. This is a great way to get to the root cause of headache pain. It is relaxing, rejuvenating, painless, and takes only one hour each month. It’s also really, really good. Contact your doctor if you have a headache that lasts more than a week. These tools can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches. When we are “clear-headed” without pain, we live more fully and express our true selves.