Exchange Headache and Migraine Pain for "Peace of Mind!"
By Alan B. Densky, CH
Nearly everyone gets headaches. A headache is simply pain that occurs in any part of the head that would normally be covered by the scalp, or hairline (whether or not the person has hair). This kind of pain can severely disrupt a sufferer's personal or professional life. Read this article to learn more about headaches and the best methods of treating them.
Depending on the severity and the length of time the headache lasts, an individual may engage in routine daily activities with mild discomfort. Or, alternatively, if the pain is intense enough, a person may be completely incapacitated during the hours or days before the headache finally resolves.
The best method of treating this pain depends largely on the type of headache from which a person is suffering. Differentiating between different types of headaches can be very tricky. Some headaches are merely annoying and relatively easy to treat, while others can be temporarily disabling and very difficult to resolve.
Headaches can be either primary or secondary. A secondary headache is a result of another health problem or disease process. In comparison, a primary headache is one that occurs in the absence of any other illness or condition. Three types of primary headaches are most common. The first of these is the tension headache.
headaches are most common, and experienced at some point in time by eight out of
ten adults worldwide. People who suffer from tension headaches experience
tightness in the back or scalp muscles. These headaches are typically caused by
stressful situations. These headaches can last from half an hour to an entire
day. Frequent headache sufferers may experience these daily. More commonly,
these occur two to three times per month.
Typically, tension headache sufferers report their experience of headache pain as a constant band of pressure wrapped around the head. Conventional treatments for tension headaches include the use of anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen, stress management therapy, or relaxation exercises.
The cluster headache is the second type of primary headache. People who experience these headaches have sharp, stabbing pains near their eyes or temples. These headaches can last for only 15 minutes, or they may in some situations last for as long as three hours. Typically, cluster headaches occur in cycles; sufferers may experience no pain for several days or weeks, and then abruptly experience a renewed onset of the headaches. They may have several headaches in one day during a cluster cycle.
Doctors disagree about the cause of cluster headaches. Some argue that the headaches occur in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. Others maintain that they are caused by irritation of a nerve in the face known as the trigeminal nerve.
Cluster headaches are typically treated with concentrated, inhaled high-flow oxygen, or with medicines classified as abortive drugs. This means that the drug is designed to stop, or abort, the headache, just after it begins. Medications such as Imitrex, Depo-Medrol, and Deltasone are included in this class. Other medicines, such as blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants, are often prescribed to prevent the occurrence or at least decrease the frequency or severity of these headaches.
Migraine headaches are the third type of primary headache. Migraines are caused by a dilation of blood vessels in the brain. This dilation is accompanied by the release of chemicals that result in pain, inflammation, and further arterial dilation.
The pain of a migraine headache is usually experienced behind one eye, at the back of the head, or along the side of one temple. Most of the time, these headaches occur on only one side of the head or the other. Persons who experience this pain consistently on only one side should ask their doctor to test for other health problems, like a tumor or aneurysm.
Often, these headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, or other vision problems. These attacks may last for four to 72 hours, and can be incapacitating during that time. Some conventional non-medicinal treatments for migraines include ice, relaxation exercises, and biofeedback. Medications used in the treatment of migraines include anti-inflammatory drugs, Prednisone, Imitrex, and Midrin.
The treatments for each of the types of headaches listed here are successful to varying degrees; however, none of them completely eradicates the problem. Two other alternative therapies offer more success in helping sufferers alleviate the pain caused by these headaches. These treatments, hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), are easy to learn and to use. Furthermore, they are very successful in helping most clients to significantly reduce or completely resolve the pain caused by these types of primary headache.
Trained professionals called consulting hypnotists practice hypnosis to teach clients to relax and eliminate stress from their lives. Alternatively, people can use self-hypnosis to achieve this same objective. Through this process, sufferers can obtain pain relief by learning the valuable NLP technique known as the "flash" to relieve stress. Soon, they find themselves relaxed in nearly any situation.
Clients can also be taught to remember calm, relaxing situations in which they felt stress-free. They then learn how to anchor these feelings of calm and relaxation. When they encounter stressful situations, they can trigger their anchor to instantly re-create the calm, tranquil state of mind. Soon, they find themselves able to instantly de-stress in nearly any situation.
Migraine suffers can learn how to mentally warm their hand by increasing the blood flow to their extremity. By doing so, the blood pressure in the brain decreases, and the migraine dissipates. It's also possible to mentally increase the flow of endorphins, which will eliminate a headache or migraine.
Nearly all headache suffers who undergo hypnotherapy or NLP treatment report significant, if not complete, stress and pain relief. The success rate of these treatments is considerably higher for patients who respond well to these approaches. The success rate, in fact, is considerably higher than that reported by those using only the conventional medicines and therapies that have traditionally been used to help headache sufferers.
Summary: Headaches are painful, and sufferers experience a wide spectrum of severity, ranging from minor annoyance to complete incapacitation. Three types of common headaches include migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Traditionally, these headaches have been treated with relaxation exercises and medications. The newer alternative therapies that use NLP and hypnosis appear to be significantly more effective in reducing stress and alleviating headache pain than these conventional therapies do.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
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