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Treating Headaches With Acupuncture

Indian Circle 092014

The number one answer would have to be stress. Stress most commonly will manifest in the form of a muscle tension headache that arises from the base of the scalp (the occiput) and travels up into either the eyes, the temple areas at the sides of the head (the temporalis muscle region) or at the top of the head.

The number two answer would have to be metabolic stressors such as a poor diet consisting of excess salt, excess sugar, excess alcohol, excess caffeine, excess dairy products and lack of water. Medication side effects or the improper dosage or combination of medicinals is another common metabolic cause to headaches.

Headaches may be derived from improper or lack of rehabilitation after a car accident, an old ski injury, a “slip and fall” that was never treated properly, or an old sports injury that was left up to “it will be fine” therapy. A headache could arrive from faulty dental work or from dental work techniques that were executed too strenuously.

How Acupuncture Helps

Acupuncture treatments can depressurize a muscle (knot or tight spot) almost instantaneously if properly inserted in the correct location. Acupuncture can stimulate the release of endorphins which are natural pain-killers stronger than morphine to sedate a headache. Acupuncture can help redirect the proper blood flow to the brain where there might be a shortage.

In my practice, I incorporate “breath-work” which includes aromatherapy oils that help the patient to focus on only their breathing, which slows down the very fast-paced active mind. The breath “massages the body from the inside out,” which opens up and lubricates the organ cavities. In addition to acupuncture I will stretch and massage the tense muscles to help relieve a headache quickly. The three most important words I tell my patients are to “stretch, stretch and stretch.” Five to ten minutes per day will many times be the perfect antidote to a headache’s climbing up from in -between the scapulars or shoulder blades. Standing up from the computer at least once an hour to “stretch the arms, shoulders and back muscles is also a very easy “tension preventer.” Getting up from the computer will also relieve eye-strain from excessive reading. Being aware of posture is also very helpful to prevent muscle tension build-up. Providing nutritional counseling, education and awareness will help to remedy the metabolic imbalances that create headaches. Eating “consciously” is the best advice I can give anyone.

I hope these few tips can help prevent a headache from arising in your busy work and family schedules.