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  • Writer's pictureHouse of Qi

Give Headaches The Heave-Ho!

Some pain you can distance yourself from, but a headache sits right where you live.

— Mark Lawrence

A lot of things can cause headaches. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, employer, practitioner – and of late – the queen of renovation! I KNOW that stress is a major contributor. But many other issues can cause your head to pound relentlessly.

Did you know that certain foods and aromas can trigger migraines? MSG and other food additives are big culprits and for many people flowers or paint and other chemical odours can cause pain.

Sometimes, just trying to find the source of your headaches can feel like one long migraine.

But there are things we can do to help relieve the burden of chronic headache pain. Try keeping a Trigger Journal. Note your menstrual cycles to see if hormones are playing a role. Make sure to keep track of the food you eat and determine if you have allergies to certain things like gluten or MSG. And don’t forget to consider aromas in the mix. For many people just a few minutes exposure to certain odours can set-off days of suffering.

Make sure to set aside some down time to relax. Keeping your stress levels under control can do wonders not just for headaches but for your overall health and wellbeing. Acupuncture can help with this by restoring your body’s qi (“chee”) and returning your system to a balanced state.

Get plenty of exercise. It sounds counterintuitive but regular exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are your body's natural painkillers. Exercise also helps to reduces stress so you will sleep better at night. Don’t forget - stress and lack of sleep are two big headache triggers.

And never underestimate the benefit of a healthy diet. By choosing to eat more natural foods instead of processed ones - you are making a decision that will not only keep headaches at bay but increase your overall health. Drink plenty of water and stay away from sugary sodas and diet drinks. The chemical sweeteners in sodas can also trigger your migraines.

Combine all of these ideas with acupuncture on a regular basis, and you could help reduce the time wasted suffering the pain of migraines. Now…if I could just grow eight extra arms and learn to perform acupuncture on myself…I’d be golden!

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