Headaches are the most common complaint made by patients. They include pain in the head, face, oral cavity and upper cervical areas close to the head.
Treating the pain of a headache is the standard approach of mainstream allopathic medicine yet relieving the pain merely treats the symptom and not the underlying cause. Treating the underlying cause of the headache is more effective in the long run.
Headache causes can be divided into 2 broad categories:
- Muscle contraction and vascular problems such as inflammation and arterial constriction.
- Eyestrain, sinus infection, flu, magnesium deficiency, tumors, irritation of the facial nerve, tension or stress, compromised blood or lymph flow, poor digestion, allergic reactions, cranial/osteopathic imbalances, hormonal variations, yeast/candida infections, menses, low progesterone, caffeine withdrawal, dental pain (tooth or TMJ), poor posture, blood clots or smoke irritation.
Treatments for some of the headaches listed above are obvious. For instance, someone suffering due to a magnesium deficiency should take magnesium. Someone with stress-related headaches should use stress-reduction techniques and/or attempt to eliminate causes of stress in their life. Sufferers of allergy-related headaches should seek allergy treatment (see AET or detoxification). People with structural- or alignment-related headaches should have those issues corrected.
Practitioners who can dramatically assist with headaches include chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths (detoxification, nutrient assimilation, food sensitivity testing) and physicians dealing with natural hormone therapy.
Products/supplements used to treat many of the potential underlying causes of headaches include magnesium, B vitamins (especially B2, B3, and B12), herbs such as garlic, ginkgo biloba, and feverfew. Most pharmaceutical drugs only provide symptomatic relief.
Biofeedback, yoga, relaxation and aromatherapy have all proven helpful with headache elimination.
Several acupressure points can be helpful in releasing headaches including L14 or the hoku point between the thumb and index finger, Bladder 2 (upper medial eye socket), Govering vessels 16 (midline base of the skull) and Gallbladder 20 (back of neck, left and right, below junction with head). See acupuncture points and meridians.
Treatment of headaches, including persistent or repeated headaches, can usually be treated successfully using multiple integrated therapies.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If headaches persist despite therapy, further assessment with MRI, Cat or Pet Scan should be sought to rule out severe diseases such as cancer.