Monday, March 26, 2012

Migraine Information

Migraine headaches can be painful. There are certain things that cause them and this article will explain some of them.

Migraines appear to be hereditary. Most people with them also have family members that get the headaches. If both parents have them, the chances of children getting them is about seventy percent.

During a migraine, specific nerves of the blood vessels and muscles of the head are activated and send pain signals to the brain.

A migraine will begin when nerve cells send out impulses to the blood vessels. This causes constriction and is followed by dilation of the vessels and the release of inflammatory substances that cause the pulsation to be painful.

Headaches that occur suddenly can be caused by an illness, infection or other condition. Sinusitis and other inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis) or ear infections can also cause headaches. A blow to the head can also cause a heacache.

There are five phases of migraines that can be identified. Theses phases are:

Prodome: warnings that can come before a migraine. These may be a change in mood, or a change in sensation (a strange taste or smell). Fatigue and muscle tension are also common.

Aura: a visual disturbance preceding the headache phase. Some people experience blind spots. Others see geometric designs or lights or lose vision in one side.

Headache: This is the next stage. The pain will usually be on one side of the head. Sometimes it will be on both sides. Throbbing pain sometimes occurs. A large percent f people with migraines feel nauseated and will vomit. A large percentage will also be sensitive to light and sound. This phase will usually last from four hours to two or three days.

Termination: headache usually goes away with sleep.

Postdome: other signs may linger after the headache has gone.

Sometimes migraines can be treated with medication given by a doctor. The headaches will go away without medication, but some people need medication to help with the pain of the headache and the nausea.

There is something called mixed headache syndrome. It is also known as transformed migraines. This is a combination of migraine and tension headaches. Children and adults can have this kind of headaches.

The following information is on another kind of headache. This should not be confused with a migraine.

Cluster headache. This is the least common type of headache. The pain is intense and can be described as having a burning quality that is throbbing or constant.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Brain Damaged From Migraines or Seizures? Try These 6 Tips

In my experience, many migraine or seizure sufferers do not fully understand that, even when headaches or seizures are not occurring, there is brain damage occurring. Luckily, there are many proven ways to help protect your brain from these dangerous conditions.

With that being said, it is common for mainstream medicine to recommend medications that control the seizure or headache, but do nothing to help protect the brain. This is obviously a severe shortcoming and a failing in the way we treat migraines and seizures in society today. It is indescribably important for a patient to understand that the ultimate responsibility for their health lies within. It does NOT lie with the physician. They can guide and coach you, but the job of improving the health of your brain is yours alone.

Brain cells require a massive amount of energy (in the form of ATP) to function normally. The mitochondria inside of a cell is where this valuable ATP is made. You can't make all this energy needed to run a healthy brain cell without waste byproducts. Imagine lighting a fire to cook or heat water. When you do this, smoke is going to be produced as a by-product of the fire. And we all have heard that in a house fire more victims die of smoke inhalation rather than the fire itself. So this smoke can be dangerous. In physiology, this "smoke" produced as a by-product of generating ATP is termed "free radicals."

You may have heard of free radicals before. These free radicals are hostile little molecules that damage anything they touch. For those of you that used to play with fireworks as a child, the little "buzzing bee" type of firework always reminds me of a free radical. When they were lit, these little fireworks started to spin very rapidly in a circle, faster and faster, spitting small flames out the side. The end result is a small circle of fire spinning and buzzing all over the ground. So, picture this little buzzing bee molecule bouncing around inside of your cell, damaging anything it touches. Proteins in the cell, your DNA, even the mitochondria that produces the free radicals in the first place while making ATP. All can be damaged by free radicals.

Complicating this bad situation is the fact that the mitochondria do not do a very good job of protecting themselves from free radical damage. So the one part of the cell that we really, really want to protect and keep from being damaged, can't really protect itself very well. Too much damage and the mitochondria itself dies off, leaving the poor little neuron with less ATP factories to run the way it's supposed to.

This leads to what I refer to as a "sick neuron."

In general, if we stop a sick neuron from communicating with its healthy neighbor by loading people up with drugs and stopping the communication, we think that we've been successful. All we've done is stop the communication, but we haven't fixed the sick neuron. In many cases, that neuron continues to degenerate. If one neuron is going to be sick, it is highly likely that the situation is present for other neurons to be sick as well. Merely controlling the headache or the seizure with medications, rather than a complete program to heal the brain cells, is not optional. It is required if you'd like to truly improve the state of the way your brain is functioning and protect your cognitive ability for years to come.

Given that the mitochondria are so incredibly important in the process of brain health, what can we do to protect them inside of our brain cells? Here are some ideas.

1) Manage stress - is what you are stressing about as important as damaging your brain? Probably not.

2) Avoid environmental chemicals. There is a barrage of more than 82,000 chemicals registered with the FDA that we are exposed to on a daily basis. This ranges from having your house sprayed for bugs or weeds, to all the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that are used on our conventionally grown produce. We have tens of thousands of chemicals in our environment that we were never been exposed to before and that our bodies are unsure of how to eliminate. As an example, there are the flame retardants built into things like clothing, mattresses, pillows, dog beds and furniture. As of July 2007, mattresses were required to have a much higher level of flame resistance; the amount of chemicals required to make it this flame resistant are much higher. These chemicals than show up in our bloodstream and may contribute to health problems by destroying our mitochondria. Another example is the use of nonstick cooking surfaces, which is achieved through the use of chemicals, which also show up in the bloodstream.

3) Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners. Period.

4) Avoid exposure to heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and aluminum. This can be achieved by taking your shoes off at the door, avoiding certain fish known to be high in mercury (like albacore tuna, ahi and swordfish) and staying away from cigarette smoke and areas where people commonly smoke.

5) Supplements like L-carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, whey protein and resveratrol have been shown to improve the health of our mitochondria.

#6 is clearly one of the most powerful methods to improve both the number and function of our mitochondria: Calorie restriction without nutrient restriction. This means that your 1200 calories / day comes from broccoli, not a Big Mac and supersized fries. With this approach, our cells have to use every scrap of glucose and every nutrient to function. Our cells run a tighter ship, creating more efficient and greater numbers of mitochondria. The opposite is true with too many calories-our cells get lazy and mitochondrial function heads south.

A study in the April issue of Free Radical Biology and Research provides further support of the concept that calorie restriction stimulates the production of more mitochondria in our brain cells, thereby protecting our brains and potentially reducing both the frequency and severity of migraine headaches and seizures, while working on truly healing the brain and eliminating these conditions.

For more reading

Friday, March 16, 2012

How Muscle Manipulation Can Ease Your Headache Pain

There are many causes for the aches and pains that people suffer, but whatever the reason, there are ways to make yourself feel better. Having a bad headache, especially if it happens regularly, can do more than just make you feel bad. Being in pain, no matter what part of the body is affected, can disrupt a person's life and lead to a miserable existence.

Stress leads to tension in muscles all over a person's body, and the strain from this can work its way up your neck and into your head. A lot of people take prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications to help ease their discomfort, but there are more natural ways to find relief. Herbal supplements are often taken by people who suffer with migraines, and getting massages with essential oils can help as well.

There are some people who are able to quell their head pain by using their finger and thumb to rub between the finger and thumb of the opposite hand. This is a pressure point that can sometimes be manipulated to ease headache pain. However, for pains in the head that are related to severe muscle tension, it might be necessary to see a masseuse. These are people who have a great deal of knowledge about how the muscles work and how they should be cared for.

One of these skilled therapists will use their hands to work out the tension that is kept in your muscles. Once muscles in the back and neck are loose, you may discover that your headache troubles all but disappear. Blood flow can be increased and relaxation can be attained more easily when the body's muscles are not bunched up and knotted.

There are several kinds of massages that are used to control head pain. Depending upon the cause for your headache, a therapist may focus on pressure points to release bound up muscles, or they may use techniques to relax deep tissue. Massages can also help aching joints and tired bones.

Just about everyone has an occasional headache. However, if you find that yours are frequent and you cannot find relief with medications, it might be time to seek out the help of a professional. People who suffer with pain that is chronic, may not feel much better after one visit, but after a couple weeks of treatment, many people complain less about the discomfort they have been feeling.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Natural Treatment For Migraine Headaches

Migraine Headaches are more an energetic issue than a strictly physical one and undoing energetic blockages and balancing the body's energy system through the use of EFT is the number one natural treatment for migraine headaches.

EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as meridian tapping) is a simple modality for balancing the body's energy system and releasing blocked energy dissolving negative emotions, memories and past traumas or future worries and fears.

Meridian Tapping is practised by using the fingers to tap on the various acupressure points on the body, while at the same time focusing on a phrase that describes the issue and also putting attention on the issue.

Miraculous recoveries can be achieved when the reason behind the headache has been discovered and it is different for everyone because it is often a disempowering belief, a traumatic memory, or even some sort of fear of worry, which cause the energetic imbalance. So it is always important to tune into the root cause rather than just the presenting symptoms.

Another effective natural treatment for Migraine headaches can be found with the diet. Many foods and drinks that we consume cause inflammation, and inflammation of the tissues and sinuses can cause headaches. Certain foods are also mucus forming and when our sinuses are full of mucus and inflamed at the same time, this is a sure recipe for a migraine headache.

A predominantly raw plant based diet also known as a Raw Vegan Diet is the number one anti-inflammatory and anti-mucus diet that one can eat. I have never met anyone who's migraine headaches persisted that ate a 100% raw vegan diet.

At the very least, the foods that you want to seriously reduce or remove are meat, dairy, bread and diet drinks, which contain Aspartame.

The foods that you want to eat more of are fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. By doing this not only will you be free of migraine headaches, your health, vitality and energy will also radically improve and you will look and feel younger.

Find and living your life purpose is also a little understood natural treatment for migraine headaches. To understand this, you must realise that all dis-ease in the body or mind for that matter is communication or feedback. When we don't listen or act on this feedback then it will get worse or louder until we take action to rectify the problem. Ask yourself the question "Am I doing what I love in life?" "Am I fulfilling my highest aspirations?" If the answer is no, then ask "What would I really love to do with my life?"

Find out what your values are and what is really important to you and start living it daily. When we start to align our life with our true values and align our personality with our soul and our souls purpose then disease can vanish from our body. So you can naturally treat migraine headaches through some soul searches and asking the right questions.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chiropractic Is Safe And Effective For Headaches

There are various treatment options for headaches. How do you know which treatment to use. To make an informed decision, it is a good idea to understand the invasiveness of the treatment and the side effects. Millions of Americans suffer from headaches every day. Some headaches are only minor and others are severe. Many people's first treatment choice is medication or over the counter prescription drugs.

Medication can have adverse side effects. Acetaminophen or Tylenol is well known to cause liver toxicity. Non-steroidal or anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used for headaches as well. These include such drugs as aspirin, ibuprofen and others. Prolonged use of these drugs is known to cause side effects such as gastric ulcers, uncontrolled bleeding, kidney and liver toxicity. These drugs have been linked to deaths that are caused by gastrointestinal complications.

People also seek prescription medication to deal with headaches. A commonly prescribed prescription medicine is amitriptyline. This is known to cause severe side effects. It is an antidepressant that was found to help those suffering with headaches. Some of the side effects include heart complications, delusions and suicidal thoughts to name a few. Drugs are known to reduce the symptoms of headaches, but often only mask the symptoms rather than treating the underlying cause. Because of the negative effects that drugs have on the body, many people look for other safer, natural solutions.

There are several different types of headaches, some of which respond very well to chiropractic treatment. Some of the causes linked to headaches include vascular constriction, sinus congestion and muscle tension. Headaches may be generalized or be localized to a certain location. Chiropractic has been proven to be very effective for headaches that involve vascular flow or muscle tension.

Some of the specific types of headaches that respond well to chiropractic include migraines, tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches. Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by changes in vascular flow. By far, tension headaches are the most common and are associated with tight muscles in the neck or shoulders. Cervicogenic headaches are caused by referred pain from the neck or cervical spine.

Chiropractic is proven to be a safe and effective method to treat and prevent headaches. Many people have obtained relief of their headaches through chiropractic treatment. Studies show that chiropractic treatment is more effective than drug therapy and has more lasting effects. Chiropractic should be considered first for the treatment of headaches.