30 Sep Holding Headaches at Bay, Massage and Cancer, Easing Holiday Angst
Holding Headaches at Bay: Bodywork Eases Migraines and Tension Headaches
– Cathy Ulrich
“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.
Like many Americans, Cindy suffers from chronic, frequent headaches. Her neck pain finally prompted her to seek help, but she was so used to the headaches, she thought they were something she simply had to live with.
What Cindy didn’t understand was that frequent headaches are not normal and, with a little proactive planning, there is something that can be done to manage and even prevent them. Types of Headaches Headaches come in many varieties. Following is a short list of the most common types.
Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain become dilated, usually due to a chemical reaction, such as food allergies or a stress response. They often start with visual disturbances and quickly develop into severe head pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. They’re usually felt on one side of the head, but can be on both sides. Migraines are often managed with medications and avoidance of foods known to trigger them, such as red wine, chocolate, aged cheese, and nuts. However, some bodywork techniques can also be effective in easing migraines or decreasing the frequency of these painful headaches.
Exaggerated by stress, tension headaches are related to poor posture, jaw problems (such as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ), and neck pain. Many people describe a headache that starts at the (To read “the rest of the story” please click here Autumn 2019 Newsletter