Today I’m going to talk to you about natural solutions for headaches and migraines. Now, this is a very common thing that I see in over 30 years of practicing. I’ve had literally thousands of patients come in with headaches, all different kinds, migraines which are severe headaches, often with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light. And really debilitating to the point where you feel like you can’t work or go to school or function at any level. Over almost 20% of the population will have migraines at some point and over 50% of Americans have headaches.
Talking About Headaches and Migraines
It’s a really common occurrence and what caused me to talk about it this week was that a patient would come in who had migraines for three years. And he was in and out of the emergency room three times a year, was admitted this last time, all kinds of tests. He’s done heavy duty medication, the anti-seizure medicine, and then was going to a neurologist and they were doing Botox injections, you know every three months. Some people are more inclined to do that, that’s fine. It can give symptom relief; however, if you want your headaches cleared up once and for all, there are some specific causes and specific solutions for these that we’ll go over today.
Food Sensitivities and Allergies
So, number one is food sensitivities and allergies. This is a very common cause of headaches and reminds me of a patient I had in her 50s, he came in a while ago, who had migraines for many many years. Nausea, vomiting, fainting spells with these… would also end up in the emergency room, went by ambulance the latest time where she had passed out. So, this was really debilitating to her and after doing an evaluation and lab tests put her on a diet I call The FreeDiet, which is a diet that’s of all the common allergens.
Dealing With Food Sensitivities and Allergies
So, there are two ways basically to address food sensitivities/allergies. 1) you can do food testing, blood testing for hundreds of different food to figure out what you’re sensitive to, and another way is through a diet, I call it The FreeDiet because it’s free of all the most common allergens. So, over the 30 years of ordering food sensitivity testing, I’ve come up with the most common foods that keep coming up over and over again. So, that’s what The FreeDiet is about. She went on that diet and also was getting treatment, and her migraines cleared up – that she’s had for years, within the first month. Her regular headaches which she was getting very often, and her migraines both cleared up within a month’s time, and she’s had these for years.
And One Year Later
So, now going on months later or actually I’m going to say a year later, she was out, she had been free of headaches this whole time, she was out, she was really hungry. It was a Friday afternoon, so she stopped in a fast-food chicken place. Next morning, Saturday morning, woke up, debilitating migraine, nausea, lightheadedness, fatigue… she had to call in sick from work the whole weekends.
Came in Monday, we were able to help her out and get that cleared up, but in her case, her trigger foods after going through The FreeDiet, Phase I and then Phase II, adding foods back in, after going through that we found out her trigger foods are mainly gluten and yeast. So, just something as simple as that can literally trigger a migraine. And if you’d like, as a courtesy I’m going provide a copy for you of The FreeDiet for you Phase I.
So, secondly a second common cause of headaches, migraines are nutritional deficiencies. Some common ones I see are iron deficiencies, magnesium – which related to migraines, vitamin D, and regular headaches.
A Young Patient
So, I had a patient who was ten years old; a patient brought her daughter in. She was having headaches, fatigue, mood swings, lack of focus and after evaluating her she ended up having iron deficiency. So, after improving her diet and getting her on an iron supplement, and some other of our natural medicine formulas, she cleared up, her headaches cleared up, her focus improved. That allergy came back, in her case, it was more specifically nutritional deficiencies that were the issue. And whenever she would run out of iron or not take it for a while, those symptoms would come back.
Structural Abnormalities and Physical Stress
And thirdly, we have structural abnormalities or physical stress that are a huge cause of headaches. And two components of that, the muscular component, so you can have knots or trigger points. We call them myofascial trigger points, which are basically tight bands within the muscle. And you can get them in your shoulders, your back here, TMJ – there’s muscles all in your jaw, even in your head there are muscles.
So, these trigger points or tight bands or knots in your muscles, that can radiate pain up into your head and cause headaches. And secondly, your neck, your cervical spine its vertebra are fixated, irritated, lopped out of their normal alignment. That can irritate nerves that go up in your head, and that can cause headaches. All kind of headaches, migraines.
So, by getting those addressed and treated, which I’ll go over in a second, that can clear up headaches. And as far as what causes that. So, water accidents, car accidents are a common thing. I recently had a woman in her early 20s come in who’d been in a car accident about a year ago. So she was rear-ended a week later is when this migraine started, and she never had any before so she had a migraine with dizziness. A migraine with vertigo actually, which persisted nausea and this has been going on since then.
She came in recently, and within a couple of treatments, her migraines went away! So she no longer has migraines or regular daily headaches, that cleared up. And that was from a whiplash injury. So, basically after doing the evaluation, taking X-rays, finding out where the problem was and treated that accordingly and other causes of structural, physical stress are sports injuries.
And another patient, actually it was in high school from playing soccer, she injured her neck. She didn’t really realize it; it was just over and over and over again of heading the ball and having whiplash – micro whiplash they call them – over and over and over again. She developed migraines and came in, again evaluation X-rays to find out specifically what was going on and did treatment. Now, what we use a specific instrument to adjust the spine like, and a lot of people are kind of afraid to get their neck cracked, so I’m not saying go around and get your neck cracked, because that can be a bit much for people to handle.
So, I like to use a computerized instrument adjustment called ‘Impulse’, so, that’s something you might want to consider looking for if you’re going to go and get an evaluation for that. And the muscle work, this patient I was talking to, she had been… had a massage, actually been to another chiropractor and wasn’t getting any better. So massage is great but as far as specific trigger point therapy, you want really specific treatment myofascial release. And trigger point therapy to release these very specific knots whether it’s in your neck, your jaw…any of those areas and that can offer tremendous release and actually clear up; I’m not talking about the symptom really, I’m talking about actually clearing up headaches by addressing the root cause.
Sit or Stand up Straight
And posture is another main thing so, sitting, being on your phone, sitting, standing, walking, whatever. On the phone looking down, on the computer, studying, reading, so all of that puts a lot of stress that over time can cause the muscles to tighten up, the vertebra in the spine to get really restricted. Again, nerve irritation referred pain. So that’s something that you really need to be aware of. And one of the things we do with our patients is beside the muscle work and instrument adjusting, we put them through posturing functional training exercising to improve their posture and really relieve that stress and again. And then they continue that on their own so, once they are better they can continue to prevent that from coming back.
What About Braces?
So that’s a huge issue, and lastly just to mention braces. On two occasions a while ago in high school, each of them actually had braces and both developed migraines sometime after getting braces because that caused shifting in the jaw, TMJ issues. So, with treating their TMJ, the neck, the muscles, the joints, and going over the functional training postural exercises, we were able to get those headaches, migraines completely cleared up.
Get to the Root of It
So again, if you look to addressing the root cause and get specific treatment, whether it’s diet, supplements, manual therapy to get these cleared up, you actually can resolve your headaches, your migraines and absolutely get better. It’s not something you have to live with injections and medication and emergency room visits and all of that if you choose not to.
If you have any questions on that, any comments, feel free to comment below. And magnesium is one of those supplements that even, it’s been shown to be really helpful for headaches. And it’s very difficult, very challenging for most medical doctors to recommend any supplements, but even many neurologists have come around and recommended magnesium because that’s been shown to be helpful for migraines and other headaches.
So that’s one of the most common things when I do lab tests as soon as I find it’s low in almost everyone we test and that acts as a natural muscle relaxer, really help to relieve tension, and that can be great for headaches as well. Once again, thanks for joining me today and if you have any questions let me know. Looking forward to seeing you next time, take care.
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