The amount of people suffering from headaches and migraines is enormous! Many days of work have been lost, many activities with family or friends missed, many days of agony suffered. Why? Why do you have a headache or migraine in the first place? True there are lots of medications you can take to help control them, but wouldn’t it be nicer if they were simply gone?
Identifying the cause can be tricky. There are many components we need to know, such as the frequency – each has its own category: “episodic” (now and then), “high frequency episodic” (8-14 headaches/month) or “chronic” (more than 15 headaches per month). The frequency gives us more clues to narrow down the cause(s).
There are many types of migraine: “menstrual related”, “abdominal”, “ophthalmic/ocular”, “vestibular”, “brainstem aura”, “silent”, “hemiplegic”, “status migrainoisis”, and “opthalmoplegic”. Defining which kind you have will be important in uncovering the root cause.
We need to know all the symptoms you have that accompany your migraine or headache. The symptoms are divided into pre-drome or aura (as it is starting but not at the headache stage yet), the migraine attack itself, and the post-drome (the after affects that can last for hours or days after the headache component has died down). Each stage generally has different symptoms. They are all important. Visual changes, nausea/vomiting, light or noise sensitivity, and how long it takes to recover, etc., all have a bearing on figuring things out.
In addition, there are many triggers: hormonal changes, emotional triggers, stress, strong smells, sounds or bright lights, lack of sleep, dehydration, dietary triggers such as caffeine and wine, environmental triggers such as wind, barometric changes, rain, toxic exposures, etc., tobacco, medications – especially HRT and certain sleep meds, and many more triggers.
But how do we get rid of them? Well, the answer is that it is complex. Using acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, dietary support, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapies, Chiropractic, massage and other modalities can be very beneficial.
The most import thing is to identify the reason why you are getting headaches or migraines in the first place. Taking time to put the puzzle pieces together is essential. If you are one of the many that find that the medications seem to just keep you in a loop of headaches and want to try something different, we’re here to help. With good investigative work and effective acupuncture and nutritional recommendations, we have had success in stopping headache and migraines in many, many patients. We’re here to help you too.
©2022 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.