555065 Last update: 2023-08-11
Top Tips for Headaches

As is generally the case in these blogs, we are not talking here about serious diseases, but rather ‘functional’ disorders. This blog is therefore more about common headaches rather than true migraines…

Very simply, the first two tricks – and probably the most important ones of all - are to eat and drink often enough! Indeed, dehydration plays a catastrophic role in triggering headaches. We must therefore ensure that urine is pale, with a daily volume (24 hours) of at least 1.5 litres, and 2 litres if possible. One can find, if necessary, the correct way to collect 24 hour urine on my website www.gmouton.com (click on the tab “Consultations”).

Hypoglycaemia constitutes another powerful trigger for headaches. I can vouch for this when I give late appointments to patients that must be fasting prior to their blood test, (just because the agenda is full you understand; not because I didn’t get up early enough!). These patients make their case worse by wrongly believing that they cannot drink fluids before a fasting blood test when they can perfectly well drink water, black coffee or green tea – but without milk or sugar.

Then it is clear that stress constitutes another major trigger of headaches via cervical muscle contraction, those of the neck and in particular those at the base of the skull. I am especially referring to the deep muscles that are at the base of the skull on the perimeter of the posterior skull, behind the left ear lobe and going across to the right ear lobe… Various specialized techniques can be used by professionals from diverse fields, but one should not disparage an amateur masseur that has “good hands” and is capable of relaxing those muscles…

We can even help ourselves! Start by identifying the most pressure sensitive spots in this area. You need to apply enough pressure to feel the pain, preferable with the thumb. Inhale deeply by using abdominal breathing (inflate the abdomen, not the chest) and exhale very slowly, until the last bit of air has been exhaled. Repeat the exercise three times consecutively then, and only then, release the pressure of the thumb. By doing this you will have released the contracted muscle, which should immediately ease your tension headaches.

Still in the category of headaches with a mechanical trigger, besides the muscular contractions described above, there are also the problems of minor intervertebral dysfunction (that is to say, one or two vertebrae misaligned) that can affect the cervical spine.  In this area, I love the image of a stack of plates where, if there are anomalies at the top of the pile (the cervical region) the equilibrium will only be maintained if another anomaly –“mirrored”- exists at the bottom of the pile (lumbar region). We must therefore examine the whole spine. 

Still under the umbrella of mechanical problems, let’s not forget the enormous consequences of an imbalance of the static jaw (disruption of the temporomandibular joint or TMJ), a major source of headaches! Let’s also mention imbalances of the pelvis; for example due to one limb being shorter than the other: this is another major cause of headaches! The evaluation of these problems along with their resolution should always be referred to professionals who are experienced in this field.

Finally, I refer you back to Blog 8 for everything related to IgG food allergies, often the cause of headaches. I also refer you to future blogs dealing with hypothyroidism. Even in its moderate form, a weakness in the thyroid can constitute the cause of headaches that cannot be cured until the thyroid is dealt with.

By changing nothing, we hang to what we understand, even if it is the bars of our own jail.
- John le Carré, The Russia House 1989

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