ALLERGENS: Allergens enter the body through the nose, mouth and skin and they have a half-life (the amount of time it takes the body to metabolize them out). that can range from hours to days. The diagnosis for allergy headaches is Claretin, an over the counter anti-histamine that will not make you drowsy. If it’s a short term allergy, the headache will fade. An allergy headache that lasts for many days or weeks may mean that it’s in the house or workplace, some toxin in the environment or walls that reinfects constantly.
- Search your house for mold or call an expert with equipment to find hidden mold. Glidden sells a vapor barrier paint that is rated to 2 mils of plastic. There is another product, Ames Vapor-Barrier paint that, with 3 coats gives a vapor barrier the thickness of a dime.
- If the house is new construction, go to an ancient hotel for 3 nights and when the symptoms clear, go back to your house. If the headache returns the toxin is probably in the bedroom because it’s the place one spends the biggest block of uninterrupted time. A house built with particle board will have formaldehyde leaking through walls.
- Food allergy diagnosis: Make your diet very simple for at least 2 days. Then add foods one at a time. Start with dairy. When a headache starts, stop eating the newest food added. Shrimp /Shellfish has an allergy with very severe headache and it’s instantaneous. MSG also.
- Some perfumes, hair sprays, deodorants, lotions, body powders etc. in America from the 1990s to about 2005 contained a chemical in the Butyric Acid family that caused the smell to remain in the room long after the person had left. One breath of this chemical could be allergic in the form of asthma to an instant blinding headache that could last up to 4 days. It was outlawed in European cosmetics and has, after lawsuits, been removed from American cosmetics. French and European perfumes are made of flowers and they are expensive. (It takes bushels of rose petals to make one oz. of perfume.) The link Perfume Anaylsis gives a gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analyzed list of ingredients of two popular American perfumes. Not all American cosmetics contain chemicals. Essential Oils and organic perfumes are lovely and safe.
While it feels like headache pain is from the brain, our brains have no pain receptors. The tough covering of the brain (the meninges), however, has very sensitive pain receptors, as do the blood vessels on the meninges. Any traction on the meninges causes pain. The outside of the skull also has blood vessels and musculature which reacts to tension from tight neck muscles.
Causes of migraine type headache:
- True migraine with aura, and sensitivity to noise and light. Vomiting.
- Tension headache.
- Caffeine withdrawl headache. If you have a family member who drinks coffee or coke in the hospital, unable to talk, tell the doctor about the violent headache he must be having from sudden loss of caffeine. Caffeine can be given IV to wean the patient.
- Allergy to scents. Allergy to Butyric Acid additives in American perfumes and cosmetics. This can cause a violent migraine that lasts for days. Not found in French perfumes.
- Cluster headaches, an intense headache lasting for days, may be caused by allergens that have a 3 day half life… the time it takes to metabolize out of the body.
- Heavy metal toxicity. Lead paint removal, Mercury fillings. Long half-life, severe headache may last for weeks.
- Menstrual headache at onset of period. Several day cluster headache caused by fluid retention, softened cartilage and straining upper back scenario.
- Grinding or clenching teeth during the night. Wearing an Invisalign type retainer will prevent them.
- Sleeping with a pillow too thick, causing neck to be extremely bent. A soft pillow, pulled down behind the neck will keep head straight with chin up. This also gives a clear airway.
- Cervical spine injuries.
- Bright sun.
- Low calcium.
- Allergy to Codeine.
- Sinus blockage. See post in archive.
- Reduce or remove stressors.
- Take supplemental calcium
- Excedrin Migraine contains acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine in unusual dosages that work when taken at the first hint of headache. In the UK, Nurofen Migraine a somewhat different ibuprofen, Ibuprofen lysine, works very well.
- Do stretching exercises of the neck and back in a hot shower
- Sleep it off in a dark room… take muscle tension off the neck and back with pillows. Put pillows under the knees in bed and pull your head pillow well up under the neck. Listen to the music of PACIFE.
- Use the Omni Massage Ball or your fingers to apply Shiatsu type pressure to contracted muscle points. See tension headache posting in archive.
Sinuses are cavities in the face with holes that drain them. Headaches happen because the holes get plugged or swollen shut and fluid builds up inside, pressing on the nerves. The pair of sinuses that cause headaches are in the cheekbones and there’s a way to open these holes that have been closed by swelling.
Privine is an over the counter nose drop that’s been around for a long time and it instantly reduces swelling.. They’re the only drops that work and hard to find. Amazon has them also. (Nose sprays don’t work for this trick.)
Open your sinuses:
- Lay on the bed with your head slightly tilted back over the edge and put one drop into each nostril. Wait a few minutes.
- Now, still tipped back, turn the head slightly to one side and put another drop into the nostril on that side. Wait again. Sometimes you can feel a tiny pop as the sinus tract opens.
- Repeat this with the other side.
- Sit up and you can feel the secretions running down the back of your throat.
Thanks to the brilliant doctor who taught me this trick so long ago.
When changing from top to bottom or back, one can get dizzy and this trick stops it.
Blink as you change. It takes only a short period of practice before it becomes automatic and you never think about it again.
Wrist BP cuffs are now inexpensive, accurate workhorses. So accurate they are being used in large hospitals.
Walgreens has a wide choice and one of the least expensive is at Amazon has the Omron 3 series, an elegant little wrist cuff and the least expensive.
Buying one that shows at least the last 5 taken, preferably with a graph, gives you fascinating proof that you are retraining your blood pressure down. (Retrained mine from 150/105, scary, to 105/60 within days and it’s stayed in that low range for 9 years, through thick and thin, without doing anything more.)
Blood pressure is a closed pressure system, a fixed amount of fluid volume running through a fixed system of pipes. If you contract all of your muscles, with great force, for example, the lumen of the pipes will compress, and the same amount of volume will be forces through a smaller space. When taking BP at home, sitting on a chair, prop your feet on a stool to remove pressure from the back of your legs (or sit on the bed, or stand up) and put your wrist at the level of your heart. This gives the least blood vessel compression to large body areas and greater accuracy.
Postings in the Blood Pressure and Stress categories on the sidebar give more information.
Years of ‘migraines’ have taught me that there are multiple causes and low calcium is probably a major cause. As those who have experienced the leg cramps of pregnancy know, low calcium causes muscle spasms and leg cramps (especially at night). Muscle spasms of the neck cause tension headache type of migraine and taking extra calcium diminishes both the frequency and the intensity of it.
Calcium is a fragile mineral and with age, low calcium symptoms show up quickly. Vitamin D is essential to metabolizing and storing dietary calcium and magnesium and supplements are generally combinations of all three.
Fluorescent lights chelate Vitamin D and you excrete it. Mineral oil by mouth or on the skin also remove absorbtion of Vitamin D. D is the sunshine vitamin and is absorbed by the skin.
Supplement calcium ranges from completely undigestible (oyster shell calcium) to easily digestible (calcium citrate is from oranges and lemons etc.)
With a tension headache, there are lumps of muscle spasm on the face, neck back and shoulders. Shiatsu is putting extremely firm pushing pressure on these lumps which starves them of CO2 and softens them. The instant they soften, pain diminishes and you go on to the next lump. Somehow, your fingers find exactly the right spot, hard and rounded and very painful to touch.
I found this little rotating ball in a Paris shop dedicated to headache and it’s been a godsend. With this, one can keep the pressure firm and steady until the lump softens /pain diminishes. It’s called Mini Omni Massage Ball and is in many shops.
A full blown tension headache can be prevented by Excedrin Migraine at the first hint. This works like magic and is a combination of unusual amouts of Tylenol, Aspirin and Caffeine.
I used to stay in bed with these headaches and my father walked the floor with them. He was right. Stretching, Tai Chi, Yoga all help.
A hot shower pounding on the back of the neck with neck stretching exercises (see headache information in sidebar) will stop it also. The pain is from extreme contraction of the muscle which creates lactic acid in them, a factor that also causes pain. The hot shower chelates the lactic acid and it’s excreted.
A huge factor in headache is the automatic bracing of muscles the body does to protect from the pain. In reality, this creates more spasm and pain. There is a trick that works called “going into the pain”. see yourself going into the center of the pain and it becomes a warm relaxation point without pain.
For true migraines with light sensitivity and noise sensitivity, sleep therapy works best. A dark room, comfortable and warm with PACIFE Music to Calm playing softly.