Headaches are not fun, no stubborn pain is fun but headaches are notorious for being a lot harder to ignore and function with than pain in the lower body. Some headaches are mild enough and I frequent enough that they are not much of an issue. Other headaches can have a significant impact on your quality of life,
Tension in the muscles of the neck and jaw are a major cause of headaches and migraine headaches. Acupuncture for headaches and migraines is performed with the intention of releasing tension in the muscles of the neck and jaw.
There are 2 basic philosophies behind using acupuncture for headaches and migraine. Traditional acupuncturists use a wide variety of points to balance the body and reduce headaches. The way we approach acupuncture for headaches and migraine is by being very targeted to the upper neck and jaw.
Many people find that acupuncture brings dramatic relief for their migraines… and others not so much. The realist of pain management is that what your individual body requires in order to heal may be different from someone else’s.
Deep Tissue Release
When we hold tension in our necks the muscles can become extremely irritable, it takes time but once that ingredient is added many problems can arise. The most common issue obviously is neck pain, headaches and migraines are also common outcomes.
By releasing ‘myofascial trigger points’ (the sore spots found in all unhappy muscles) the tension in the muscles can be released. Combining this method of treatment with other methods like this on this list can be an excellent way to manage headaches and migraines.
Milk is complicated stuff, it meets all the nutritional and hydration needs required to grow a baby cow and help it bond with its mother. Without any further insight than this we know enough to expect that making dairy a cornerstone of our own diet could cause problems, at least for some if not all of us.
There are 2 common types of reactivity to dairy that most of us are aware of. The first is ‘dairy intolerance’ which is a failure to break down lactose in the gut, dairy intolerance comes with a range of gut based symptoms like excessive gas and diarrhoea. Dairy allergies are the other main type of reaction. Dairy allergies present with classic allergy symptoms like coughing, wheezing, prickly sensations and even vomiting.
More subtle types of dairy sensitivity exist, many of which are more slow burning to the point where the patient takes a long time to even realise that dairy was causing the issue.
Some people with eczema and asthma experience dramatic resolutions of their symptoms when they stop dairy. And of course your guessed it, many headache and migraine sufferers find that their symptoms either reduce or resolve when they remove dairy from their diet.
The complex interaction between our own bodies and baby cow fuel inevitably leaves many questions as yet unanswered. It may be the hormonal content of milk that makes it so adept at creating symptoms like headache and migraine.
Scar Tissue Release
For obvious reasons the most well known form of scar tissue is the type we see on the surface of the body after the skin has been lacerated. Scar tissue does work inside the body too however and one of the most common areas for it to be laid down is in the neck.
The most self explanatory cause of scar tissue in the neck is old whiplash type injuries that come from contact sports, motor vehicle crashes and the like. A far less well known mechanism by which scar tissue can build up in the neck is sustained and prolonged strain in the neck tissues. Sustained strain on the neck tissues has many possible causes but is most often caused by a combination of stress and occupational demands like desk work.
Scar tissue in the neck and jaw creates a tight and inelastic state in the soft tissues. This tightness can create irritation of the soft tissues in the neck and lead to headaches, neck pain and migraines.
The key to resolving scar tissue is consistent use of blunt massage tools and specialised stretching. Over time many tracts of scar tissues and the symptoms that they cause can be broken down.
If you are suffering from headaches or migraines it is entirely possible that some of the options we have outlined here could be helpful for you. The most likely finding is that you will need a bit of mixing and matching of treatments in order to get the best possible outcome.