Quiet Your Headaches

There are several different kinds of headaches, each with different causes. For instance, there are migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. If you suspect any of the above, see your doctor and then see your massage therapist. People often make their own diagnosis and assume any very painful headache is a migraine. It’s possible, but not necessarily so. Tension or sinus headaches can be exquisitely torturous, too, but the kind of headache you have is not determined by its intensity but by its likely cause.

Migraines affect 23 million Americans a year, typically afflicting women more than men. These headaches are sometimes preceded by a warning phase where you see haloes, auras, or wavy lines around lights. This type of headache is very debilitating. The sufferer will want to retreat to a quiet, dark room.

Migraines have a hormonal basis and may recur even if you eliminate known triggers. Still, it’s best to be aware of these potential triggers. Migraines are often linked to bodily reactions to aspartame, caffeine, cheese, citrus, ice cream, monosodium glutomate, or red wine, and the pain occurs on one side of the head.

Let your doctor make the diagnosis and, if appropriate, let your massage therapist ease the pain.

Bonus tip. Many people with migraines find it helpful during the early stages of the headache to plunge their hands and forearms into ice water. This reroutes blood to the extremities and can abort a headache. Some headache sufferers also use biofeedback therapy to stop migraines before they build to full force.

If you wake with headache pain, contact your doctor’s office since this type of head pain may signal the need for medical intervention.

Many people experience headaches only occasionally and often the hidden cause is dehydration. You may just need to drink more water.

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