A headache is something that more than 90% of us experience in our lives. There are four primary types of headaches – tension, migraine, cluster, and occipital. This article will discuss the most common type – tension headaches.
Each of us is unique and we react differently to similar stimuli. A person can be more sensitive to light, scent, noise, etc. than others. One person will accept and hold on to stress and others let it go. Not one thing causes headaches and most of the time a single solution will not work on all people.
Headaches can result from being hit on the head, excessive stress, overindulgence of alcohol, some medications, poor posture, toxins, and more. I ran two or three road races (one mile to 10K usually) a week when I lived in New Orleans. There was usually beer, water, and sometimes food offered to the competitors after the races.
I would usually have a beer or two after a race – it was free, why not? A friend of mine stopped drinking the free beer because it gave her a headache. I thought it strange, however, it happened to me a few months later.
I could have one beer and have no side effects. If I had two beers, I would have the beginning of a headache before I finished it. I continued to drink ‘one’ beer after each run for about a year. I experimented with two and found that there was no headache. Whatever caused my headaches was temporary.
The only other thing that gave me a headache that quickly was some brands of wine coolers. I am not a wine cooler guy, so that was easy to give up. I have never had a headache from wine or beer in moderation.
All of us experience stress daily. It is not the stress that harms us. It is our acceptance of it that can cause headaches and extra inches around our middles. Let it go! was my motto when I walked the Camino de Santiago nearly four years ago. I told myself, no matter what happens, let it go!
That slogan/motto got me through the worst day (the first one walking over the Pyrenees Mountains) and each of the next 30 days. We can get temporarily angry or upset over something that happens to us, but we should not allow it to fester in our minds for years.
Dehydration can cause a headache – drink water, often. Nutrient imbalance can cause many health issues. Magnesium is needed for many functions in the body. If deficient in magnesium, it might be wise to ensure that your food choices include foods high in magnesium – bananas and leafy green vegetables are two examples. Strive for balanced nutrition daily.
I mentioned my experiences with alcohol earlier. If you cannot drink in moderation, abstain. A friend of mine would get headaches from red wine. White wine did not give him headaches. I bought a sulfite filter a couple of years ago to remove that preservative from my wine. It might be something as easy as a sulfite filter to prevent headaches.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine what is causing a headache. Abstaining from something for 30 days and then gradually bringing it back into your diet might help you determine what was causing the problem – headache or otherwise.
Lack of good quality sleep affects the body in many ways. If you are not getting the seven or eight hours of sleep (quality sleep) needed, it might be something to address. There are lots of sources online to help address sleep deprivation issues.
Most foods, especially those in containers, have extra chemicals added – preservatives, hormones, added colors, added this and that. Avoid prepackaged food if possible. opt for more organic foods. Read labels and limit the toxins added during processing.
Hot and cold works well. Some people respond rapidly to a cold compress on the back of the neck. Others respond just as quickly to a hot shower concentrating on the head, neck, and shoulders.
Muscle imbalance can be a cause of headaches. Many times, we are unaware of it. A massage might be an indicator of muscle imbalance. If you are having headaches weekly, try one or two massages to see if that might reduce the severity and the number of headaches over time.
People respond differently to caffeine. Some can drink coffee or tea and get a headache. Others drink coffee or tea to get rid of a headache. Some of us have withdrawal symptoms when we do not get that first cup of coffee within an hour of awakening. Moderation is the key to coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
Relaxation can be used to reduce the frequency of headaches. There are many online options – breathing techniques, visualizations, yoga, exercise, self-hypnosis, and more. I recommend Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
Sugar withdrawal is sometimes associated with headaches. We become accustomed to certain levels of sugar. When not eating (or planned fasts) the absence of sugar can sometimes create headaches.
Type III Diabetes is largely confined to the brain due to chronic insulin resistance. Diabetes, whether Type I and Type II is a serious health issue. Sugar is hidden on food labels with many strange names. Anything ending in ‘ose’, syrup, juice, or nectar are probably hidden sugars. Moderation is key to so many things in our lives.
Eye strain can be a cause of headaches. If you have not had your eyes checked within the past few years, it might be something to consider. My son bought me a new computer and a larger monitor for Christmas. I noticed immediately that my eyes were hurting after being on the computer for a couple of hours. The blue light of the computer screen was causing the problem. Blue light filter glasses cured my eye strain problem.
If we know the cause of a problem, we can usually fix it. Headaches have so many causes that it might take a long time to figure it out. I recommend natural alternatives to drugs for most health issues.
If your headaches do not go away with whatever treatments you choose, see a physician. There might be something wrong inside your brain. I lost a brother a few years ago to a massive stroke. He had been self-medicating for decades to treat his headaches. A weakened blood vessel in the brain might have been found years ago if he had seen a doctor about his headaches.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com