"My mission is to help rejuvenate body, mind and spirit through acupuncture and massage to restore balance and achieve serenity.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Mommy, my head hurts...

Headaches are something that everyone can relate with.  We all have had one at some point in our lives.  For many people, headaches are an everyday occurrence and people chose to just live with it.  The majority of headaches are benign and vascular (blood and lymph) constriction and/or muscular contractions and will ease with time.  The other percent are more severe and require medical attention. Usually headaches are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong somewhere else, other than the head.  Well minus head injury and trauma.  Headaches can feel tight, tense, empty, heavy, achy, sharp or travel throughout your head.   ­Headaches are frequently a symptom of numerous ailments such as tension, depression, allergies, hypertension, anxiety, and colds. 

My daughter, who is 7, was just complaining of a headache the other day.   She was so confused as to why her head was hurting.  She told me where the pain was then I was able to explain to her what was going on.  My baby girl was dehydrated from being sick and agreed to drink a bunch of water.  Knowing the location of your headaches can tell you what’s going on with your body.  I’m writing about a few common occurrences and locations for headaches.  Headaches can make your head ache anywhere and this is just a intro on the subject.  Migraines are a whole other story. 

Let’s start with the headaches from head colds.  Usually the pain in located in the back of the head and neck region and can be sharp, achy, travel up and even heavy feeling.  Colds usually cause body aches, so a headache during this is not uncommon.  Usually heat will help ease the pain and give temporary relief, but not always depending on your cold symptoms.    If you have an acute cold, then you don’t want to get a massage.  Massage increases circulation therefore it can push your illness further into your body.  Acupuncture is very good for boosting the immune system to fight a cold as well as the aches with it. 

Muscle tension headaches often present the same way where they occur in the back of the neck.  For these types, heat usually helps relieve the tension as well as your typical over the counter pain relievers.  The muscle tension headaches also tend to have shoulder tightness and stress due to whatever happens to be going on.  In this case, both massage and acupuncture are very much recommended.

Stress headaches can of course cause back and neck tension which is what is causing the head pain.  Stress or anger can bring on and make headaches worse.  Stress headaches are typically located in your temples, between your hairline and eyes and/or behind only one eye.  These can be achy or sharp or travel to other parts of your head.   My previous blog post is all about stress if you want to learn more about that.   Sometimes you can get nausea and/or vomiting with the stress headaches. 

Allergies can also promote headaches causing heaviness, dizziness and traveling pain throughout the head.  Usually if it’s allergies, your sinuses around your nose are sore and achy causing the headache to travel to the forehead and up and around. 

Many women experience headaches around their menstrual cycle.  Typically before the cycle, the headaches are dull and achy while on your cycle, they can be sharp and fixed in location.  After your cycle is over, you can also experience headaches.  Your body just shed blood, so it is energetically deficient which can cause dull empty feeling aches and fatigue.     

The last headache that I will write about is frontal headaches.   When it is across your forehead, it is usually due to dehydration or lack or food from low blood sugar.  Drink some water and/or eat something and see if your headache improves. 

While most of this is remedial, I hope you found something useful.  I have always found it helpful to think about the location and then why I am having the headache.  Then I can proceed to get rid of the headache without dealing with medications.  Some medications actually have headaches listed as a side effect.  I keep trying to listen what my body is telling me rather than masking it with a pill.  There are so many types of headaches and the location really can be anywhere in the head.  I just wrote about a few common general types of headaches.  Headaches can also change in intensity and be debilitating.  Work on controlling the environment around you, low light, soothing music and don’t have a lot of noise going on around you.  If something feels wrong or your headache doesn’t go away, please see your medical provider to look into further.  It could be your body’s way of saying something more severe in going on.  In all the above instances, acupuncture can help to lessen the pain in the head and sometimes take it away completely.  Massage is also good for all the headaches except if you have an acute cold.  You can also try some self massage by rubbing circles on your temples.  Stretching your neck and shoulders can help alleviate tension. 

In health.

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