Headaches are probably one of the most common sucky experiences of life. That’s right I said sucky. For this topic I’d rather talk about my experiences, not only with myself but the clients I see. How the experience is for the real person and how I have seen and made radical change in ways outside of the medical circle. Doctors typically give only simple answers about headaches; they know what meds work to get rid of it but not true cause of them. I’m not saying that I have all the answers, I don’t know the cause myself but I have theories. Some that worked, some that haven’t but almost always have seen improvement, so here we go.
First I think it’s important to know and recognize the type of headaches you experience. Do they last for hours, for days, do they blur your concentration, worsen with light and sounds, do they change your vision with spots or an aura and of course scale it on a 1/10.
Where is your headache located? Is it behind the eyes, in the frontal lobe, in the temples, is it accompanied by stiffness in the neck or shoulders, does the headache radiate to other locations?
Have you ever noticed a pattern? When do your headaches take place? Is it after you eat a certain food, after a stressful day at work, at times when you have limited sleep, after looking a bright screen/phone/computer, maybe there’s not a pattern at all. Being aware is the only way you’ll know.
So what can you do to get rid of them?!
Well I use my hands, I can’t really explain it but as a bodywork therapist I feel where things are wrong and the body I’m working on guides me to the source. Sometimes I start in one place end in another, I almost always feel like I needed more time to complete my work. I once had a client that would get such bad headaches, they would last for 3 days, she couldn’t go to work, just had to sit at home in a dark room, this would happen about once every 2 months. After our first session I didn’t hear back from her until 9 months later when a headache finally returned. Now it’s been over a year. That’s not typical but boy does that bring hope! Aside from what I’ve been told are “magic hands” lol, here are things you can do!!freeimages.co.uk medical images
FACT the brain is 90% water.
FACT about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
AND while I haven’t personally seen the studies on this, they say that 90% of headaches are caused by dehydration of the brain.
So what makes the difference between a headache that lasts hours vs. days, or the dull ache vs. sharp, stabbing pain. NOT A CLUE. Does it mean that one person is more dehydrated than another, maybe, but more likely that there are stacking attributes at work here.
Posture: Poor posture actually fits into real diagnoses all the time. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Fibromyalgia (based on its own form to diagnose), Chronic Pain Syndrome, and other structural deviations like kyphosis, sway back when formed by habits over genetics. Practicing core exercises so your foundation is strong is a good start so when you catch yourself in a compromised position you can not only correct it but actually fix it.
Create your Center: This also goes back to posture in a way. We live life in front of us. Use phone, computers, pick up items, groceries, children, in front of us and we typically look forward while walking and participating in various activities;) The key here is to hold our center and not get pulled into forward positions just because the activity is in front of us. Simple changes in how you hold a book when youre reading or adjustments to your workspace can make big changes here. Another valuable use of your exercise time would be to balance your everyday life activities by doing exercises which target your posterior muscles. For example, while push-ups are a feel good/strong exercise, pushups target your front muscles, change it up with rows, pulls and face down instead of face up exercises.
Get a massage: but there’s a trick here. Don’t let your therapist focus on your back. While that’s the area that hurts, and yes it feels good to release it, the REAL change will happen when you release your anterior muscles and strengthen your posterior ones. It doesn’t mean that your back should be avoided just that the type of massage to each location should be addressed differently as you have different goals for each location.
Have you seen a chiropractor: When I have someone on the table I commonly feel where vertebrae have been moved by tensions in the muscles which attach and pull on them. Sometimes I can get them in better alignment by releasing those muscles but not always, and there is a very real change to your whole neurological system when there are compressions and deviations of alignment. We’re talking millimeters not just posture. For headaches, the connection between your occiput, atlas and axis (C1-C2), in my opinion can make the greatest change, and honestly not all chiropractors take the specific motives and attention to this area. I know many great ones, so let me know where you’re located and ill point you in the right direction!
The Obvious: Drink water BUT, do it smart. Bottled, Purified water does little to reverse dehydration. This is because the minerals that assist with abortion have been stripped. Drink spring water instead or add minerals by adding just a pinch of natural salt (I used pink Himalayan). Another great option for hydration is coconut water. The natural potassium and magnesium makes for better absorption plus bonus health benefits. Avoid added flavors and sugars, that defeats the whole purpose.
I hope you find this helpful! Please share with friends, the ones that have headaches not the ones that give you one, Haha! I’m always hear answer questions so feel free to reach out. Love you & God Bless!