A change in seasons introduces many new environmental factors that can trigger migraines and headaches, such as cooler weather, changes in barometric pressure and humidity levels, wind, and allergens. Learn about the common headache triggers that overshadow fall.
Chronic migraine headaches were giving me so much pain I was willing to try anything that might offer relief. A physician suggested I begin keeping a journal and writing in it on a regular basis. He wouldn’t see me again until I’d been writing at least two weeks.
This was something I’d never considered. Keeping a diary seemed like something only for famous people. Writing about myself was about the last thing I wanted to do. I felt another migraine brewing as I considered the ultimatum I’d been given.
“Do you get headaches?” I asked Cindy. She had come to see me for massage to address her neck and shoulder pain but hadn’t mentioned headaches.
“Well, yes,” she said. “I’ve always had headaches and, now that you mention it, they seem to be worse when my neck hurts.” Cindy went on to say she suffered from them as often as 2–3 times a week and typically treated them with ibuprofen.
When a headache strikes, many of us head for the medicine cabinet. Whether it’s an over-the-counter remedy or the stronger drugs prescribed for chronic sufferers, the “magic pill” seems a simple solution.
Headaches account for more than 10 million visits to doctors each year, according to the National Headache Foundation. Neck aches frequently lead to headaches or combine with them. Tense muscles press against the blood vessels and nerves in the head and neck and create pain.
The last installments of “Redesigning Movement” focused on gaining flexibility in specific regions of the body. We drew attention to the postural and biomechanical issues that most massage therapists and bodyworkers face. A full head-to-toe routine of active-isolated stretching was explained as a means to prevent repetitive stress injuries that are brought on by the nature of our work and through dysfunctional biomechanics.
Researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center found some alternative therapies can assuage sufferers of migraine headaches. Of the remedies tested (biofeedback training, hypnosis, stress-management therapy and relaxation training), the most effective proved to be an integration of behavioral treatments with drug therapies. These therapies consist of both clinic-based and home-based interventions. The latter approach teaches patients how to develop self-help skills at home.
We all have natural energetic healing abilities. My earliest recollection of this came from my mother Margaret. Whenever my brother or I had a “booboo,” she would rub it with her hands, and if it was really serious, kiss it. Somehow it always made us feel better. Of course neither she nor I understood about energetic techniques, but I learned from these experiences that touch could make people feel better.