Headaches? The Tune in to Your Body 5 Essentials can help solve your mystery!
Sep 22, 2020
Ugh! Headaches can weigh you down so much 🙁 Let’s support your body so that it doesn’t have to tell you that it’s needing help.
When you come to my office with a complaint of headaches, these Tune in to Your Body 5 Essentials will be explored to get to the root cause to be able to address what your body needs rather than applying a band-aid to make the headache go away without true healing of the underlying cause.
Food, hydration, and supplementation are included in this essential. A root cause of headaches to consider include food intolerances/sensitivities (i.e. GI healing needed), dehydration, and magnesium deficiency.
Food intolerances/sensitivities (i.e. GI healing needed): this is explored through either a trial of foods, herbs, and nutrients to heal the tube that is your GI tract to see if your headaches ease. Or, IgG food sensitivity testing can be done (184 or 96 foods) if you like to see results on paper. Gut healing addresses the root cause, not avoiding the foods. That’s short-term support as the GI tract heals.
Dehydration: on the days you get a headache, take note of your fluid intake and level of perspiration the day before and that day. Try drinking 8-12 oz of water and see if you find relief. A general guideline is to drink enough water, herbal tea, or broth that you are peeing every few hours or so and your pee is pale yellow to clear-ish. If you are going for frequently and it’s always clear, consider the fact that you may be over-hydrating and spilling minerals in your urine – don’t waste good nourishment!
Magnesium deficiency: this is a tricky one. If you’re low in magnesium, you may think that you’ve found the root cause, right? But, why are you magnesium deficient? It may go back to are you eating foods that contain magnesium and other minerals (nuts, seeds, green veggies), are you digesting and absorbing well (back to GI health again), or are you taking too much of something else that is creating a relative magnesium deficiency? Can you see why I think you should work with a naturopathic doctor rather than self-prescribing supplements?
Both active and passive movement fall under this section. Active movement includes your posture, the ergonomics of your work area, and the movement you do every day, throughout the day. Passive movement happens when we use hydrotherapy to drive circulation from one area of the body to another through the use of water of various temperatures.
For active movement for someone with headaches, I’d look at movement patterns, the tension in the tissue, areas of stagnation. This is where referrals to a chiropractor, bodywork (massage, myofascial release, or craniosacral therapy) or to a physical therapist/ personal trainer for postural assessment. All of these things can contribute to your having headaches.
Passive movement can be used as a therapy for headaches as we continue solving your specific mystery. Tension or sinus headaches often are relieved by a hot foot bath (circulation in feet increases which draws excess from the head). Migraines, on the other hand, often respond favorably to a cold foot bath.
Sleep, chemical exposure, and lifestyle fall under this heading.
Sleep: chronic sleep deprivation can be a contributing factor in headaches. If you are not prioritizing sleep, that may be the root cause. However, if you struggle to get good sleep, the mystery to solve is why – hormones, blood sugar, emotional disturbances, a partner who snores… those would be possible root causes to investigate.
Chemical exposure: Maybe you’re an artist and work often with solvents and paints and that gives you headaches. Do you need better ventilation or a respirator? Does your liver need support in detoxification?
Lifestyle: Are you running in 18 different directions throughout any given day and your head is “spinning” to manage it all? Remember, your mental/emotional/spiritual being has a direct effect on your physical body. Let’s explore the non-physical causes of your physical complaints.
Relationships to self, others, and something greater fill a biological need that we have as mammals. Your lack of connections can lead to very real physical tension (see MOVE section above). We are not just physical creatures – we have emotional needs that can create physical ramifications if left unmet.
The state of your nervous system dictates where in your body energy and nutrients are directed. If you are constantly living in a threat or reward state (sympathetic dominance), your body wants energy and focus in your muscles and brain. All that ‘amped-up’-ness surely can create high blood pressure (as can magnesium deficiency, by the way). And you know what high blood pressure can cause? Headaches. The more we seek to create safety in our being (parasympathetic), the greater ease your body has in effortless function.