As a former migraine sufferer I know the evil pain that encompasses your head, having an affect on sensitivity to sound, light and making you feel like you want to throw up at the slightest movement. I used to say that if I could cry I would cry blood that’s how much pressure was felt behind my eyes. I used to look green and the only help was to lie down in a darkened room, with an ice cold flannel over my eyes waiting for the pain to pass, sometimes taking three days. Even then my scalp would feel hyper sensitive that just touching my hair would be painful…. sound familiar?
I wanted to do a post on headaches and migraines because I feel that there s not enough education in why these vile things occur. There are many reasons why and infact there are over 200 classically defined types of headaches.
Head pain is classified into two different genres; Primary – covers the types of headaches caused by tension, musculoskeletal, migraines and cluster headaches. Secondary – headaches caused by ‘something else’ for example, emotional trauma, food allergy, cranial pain or injury or neck imparement. 30-50% of migraines are in fact misdiagnosed.
There are six layers of skin, fascia and bone, when you understand that fascia is super sensitive anyway, coupled with a pressure headache, cluster or migraine this heightens pain receptors. There are six times more nerve endings in fascia as there is muscle so when it comes to hands on techniques the best is very gentle pressure, this is where Bowen is an amazing modality as it hydrates and treats fascia. The menigial fascia is super sensitive and very powerful in treating people with head pain.
The word ‘Migraine’ came from the Greek word ‘Hemikrania’ shortened to Mikrania meaning , pain on one half of the head. (Although at times it actually feels as though your whole head is caving in). Migraine sufferers have an abnormal synaptic activity in the occipital lobes of the brain, their neurotransmitters are hypersensitive to specific triggers. Even though it feels as though the brain is building pressure it s not actually the brain that is in pain – it has no pain receptors, it is actually the vasodilation in the head that give the pain after the migraine has begun. A migraine is coupled with disturbances with visual (flashing or waving lights, floaters), auditory (ringing or banging in the ears, hypersensitive to noise), gastric (feeling bilious) pain and pressure. Hormonal migraines are very common, this is what I dealt with. So how can they be helped? With Hormonal headaches we need to look at the endocrine system which is where supporting with homeopathic remedies help but overall we have to look at migraines as having a sink with a tap drizzling water, slowly filling up and when the menses or menopause happens the sink is to full and spills over, so what is required is knowing what else is filling this sink? What triggers are there? Stress? Anxiety? Food? All of the above for sure.
MSG is one of the ingest triggers in migraine sufferers yet most of us are unaware of where MSG is. It is hidden in so many ingredients and flares the hypersensitive synapses filling the sink almost to the top so when the hormones kick in , around the period time , it will easily flow over.
What can be done?
Keep hydrated – the key to all health is hydration but proper hydration. Making sure your viscerally hydrated with ionic minerals. Hydration Duo is the best in my opinion. Take every day in a litre of water.
Go for Bowen – I can not stress how amazing the Bowen technique is. For head pain and migraine sufferers there are many other parts of the body that can be treated and have an impact from the Pattar fascia in the feet to the occipital fascia, shoulders, back, neck, TMJ (Temporomandibular joint), venus sinus’s, vagus nerve, ears, zygomatic a carriage, trigeminal nerve and even the palette! Bowen works to lower the autonomic nerve activity. Have a look on the Bowen Association website to ‘find a therapist’. I only practice Bowen in my Norfolk clinic and not in London I`m afraid.
Manage your stress – it is so easy to say isn’t it but you really have to be logical in the sense of writing things down and looking at what you can deal with now,later and offload/delegate what you can’t. Work smarter, not harder. Prioritise things and by doing this in a logical way you will not become overwhelmed and ultimately reduce your stress levels.
Sleep – if you are not getting at least 7-8 hours sleep a night, this will have a huge impact. if you can’t sleep, why? What are the triggers there? Look at bringing in a Magnesium oil, Phyto Calmag, Vitamin D3-K2 and Relax Tone. Nat. Phos is a major insomnia tissue salt, taken with Nat. Sulph (Migraines) is a great combo
Keep a log of what you eat, tracking the things you eat, especially 48hrs before the migraine is key to finding your triggers. Caffine, cheese, chocolate and MSG are known triggers (MSG is abundant in fast food especially McDonald’s!) Below is a list of some of the ingredients where MSG is found – print these off and keep them on your fridge to keep a check of what your ingesting.
Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid.
- Glutamic Acid (E 620)2
- Glutamate (E 620)
- Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
- Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
- Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
- Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
- Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
- Natrium Glutamate
- Yeast Extract
- Anything hydrolyzed
- Any hydrolyzed protein
- Calcium Caseinate
- Sodium Caseinate
- Yeast Food
- Yeast Nutrient
- Autolyzed Yeast
- Textured Protein
- Soy Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Anything :protein
Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid
- Carrageenan (E 407)
- Bouillon and broth
- Any flavors or flavoring
- Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
- Anything ultra-pasteurized
- Barley malt
- Pectin (E 440)
- Anything enzyme modified
- Anything containing enzymes
- Malt extract
- Soy sauce
- Soy sauce extract
- Anything protein fortified
Migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, stress headaches, hormonal headaches, ocular headaches, sinus headaches…….. the invisible beasts that lie sleeping will wake. Take care of yourselves, look at your triggers and ultimately learn to control your headaches before they control you!