Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Alternative Treatments for Headaches That Really Work

By Dr. Leila Marsha Peterson

A headache, like a fever or cold hands or feet is one of the many ways that your body is letting you know that something is wrong with it.

Let's imagine for a moment that your body is a house with a smoke detector. Upon sign of smoke it sounds an alarm giving you a chance to do something before you are engulfed in a full-blown fire.

Removing the batteries from a smoke detector because it alarms when what you are cooking starts to burn is like taking a pain reliever for your headache. It is similar to putting a band-aid on the headache and is not solving the cause of the problem. In time, the causes of the problem get worse and so does the headache.

Headaches may be a result of stress from a chemical, environmental, emotional or physical source or any combination thereof. For instance, headaches that may be due to hormonal fluctuations and changes could be checked out with a saliva test.

A shortage of oxygen or blood to the head, which can be due to poor vertebral alignment, could possibly be another reason and a visit to a chiropractor that had special training in Applied Kinesiology and Cranio-Sacral Therapy may be the answer to your prayers.

Another probable but unlikely cause that needs to be ruled out is a head tumor or any growth inside the head.

One very common reason for headache is tired eyes. "Exercising" your eye muscles by squeezing your eyelids tightly closed for a few seconds, or doing some quick, soft blinks every so often will help relax -stressed-out eyelids according to Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D. author of "Take Off Your Glasses And See". An annual check-up with your eye doctor would also be a wise thing to do.

Some of the possibilities that we need to explore are:

  • When does the headache come?
  • Does it coincide with your monthly menstrual cycle?
  • Or is it always at a regular set time during the day or night?
  • Do you need to wear dark glasses every time you go out in the sun or else your head would start throbbing?
  • Could your jaw muscles be the cause of your headaches?
  • Does eating certain foods like chocolate, red wine, citrus fruits, or monosodium glutamate (MSG) elicit your headache?

Pinpointing the location, character and duration of the headache could offer some insight to the organ system or emotion involved. To check if the jaw muscles are involved, put your little finger inside each ear. Now open and close your mouth slowly.

Next, observe or feel if your jaw (that ends by your ear) both open and closes at the same time, and do so without any clicking or popping sound. Myofascial release combined with polarity therapy might be able to release those tight muscles. It is also a good idea to have your dentist check your "bite" and while you're there, make sure that you do not have amalgam (mercury) fillings.

Did you know that the cells in your body could be in an acidic environment and that could be a playing a huge role in how you feel? Adding Green Plus from Alternative Care Products or alkaline ash producing foods and thoughts may help maintain alkalinity inside your body.

It is also helpful to know your saliva and urine ph. before and after a "threat" to your body. Gargling frequently with warm salt water and massaging your gums and tongue gently with fine sea salt using your fingertips would boost the circulation and change acidity in your mouth according to the Book of Wellbeing published by the Bulfinch Press. (I modify this tip a bit by combining Himalayan sea salt, Epsom salt, and baking soda with a twist of lemon.)

Sometimes, the very candles that we use for meditation and relaxation may trigger a headache. Therefore, it is advisable to use lead free wicks and candles that are made of either soy or bees wax only.

Dr. Cox, an occupational physician suggest that many people using mobile phones have symptoms which may include dizziness, disorientation, nausea, headaches, and transient confusion. These symptoms may be due to the unilateral stimulation of the portion of the nervous system that assists in balance and coordination.

The best thing to do is limit the use of your mobile phones to times of emergency. I can hear you laughing but this is not a joking matter. If you are like me who uses the mobile phone for convenience, then at least use a RF 4 headset and keep the actual phone as far from your head as possible.

Another factor to consider is if the sufferer is "rewarded" for the headache? For example, the "reward" could be any possibilities like being able to get out of a job or responsibility, or getting extra or special attention. Self-hypnosis or hypnotherapy with lights and sounds might be able to help create harmony from within and release the healing powers of the mind. Hypnotherapy is usually very beneficial in "rewarded" cases because it is known to encourage rather than compel change.

According to some metaphysical beliefs, suffering from a headache might indicate an inability to express or receive unconditional love and acceptance, or their opposite, which are hate, anger and rejection. However, Daniel R. Condron, author of Permanent Healing suggests that headaches or migraines could be that the sufferer is feeling pressured by factors that seem out of her control or that there is a pressure on one's self between "right" or "wrong".

Dr. Earl Mindell author of several nutritional and herb "bibles" recommends a cup of peppermint tea or feverfew to ward off a headache. Including digestive enzymes with your meals (if you need them) is often a surprisingly effective antidote for a headache. Squeezing the web between the thumb and the index finger with the thumb and index finger of the other hand to bring instant headache relief for some is an ancient acupressure maneuver.

Another way to ward off an incoming headache is to press the philtrum, (the indented area between the bottom of your nose and your up per lip) with the knuckle of your index finger tenderly and stop when you feel a sense of warmth, perspiration, or clamminess in any part of your body which means that you have "restarted" the energy flow in your body.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), headaches are one of the many conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture. Doing slow, deep-breathing exercises may help liberate the emotion, physical condition, or resistance associated with some tension headaches.

Therapeutic essential oils from Young Living like Idaho Tansy, Roman Chamomile may help enhance the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and oxygen infusion into the cell according to the Essential Oils Desk Reference as compiled by Essential Science Publishing. In the homeopathic world, headaches from over exposure to the sun may perhaps be helped with Belladonna, while headaches with constipation might be relieved with Bryonia.

There are anecdotal stories that assert that Energy Work like the Hawaiian Healing Technique or Reiki is excellent for migraine.

Remember that maintaining balance and restoring harmony to the body, mind and spirit is the main goal. There are a lot of gentle remedies and time-tested strategies that are available to you.

You are a unique individual. Your fingerprints are yours alone. Wouldn't it make sense to see someone who will treat you as such?


  1. I will be sure to try some of these recommendations.

  2. Maintaining balance is probably the hardest thing to do.