Headaches……are less than awesome. In fact, as many of you know, they can be down right debilitating. Migraines, tension headaches, concussion related cerebral discomfort are all things we could do without. Fortunately, there are things you can do about them!
One of the things I love about acupuncture is how every patient is treated uniquely. As I like to say, we treat both from the top down, and from the bottom up. Top down meaning that we address the major symptoms directly, and from the bottom up indicates we will find a pattern unique to you, and help your body communicate and heal with the upmost efficiency. Migraines and headaches are a great example of this approach – everyone is different!!
Although everyone is different in their presentation, there are some common factors and triggers for headaches. Head trauma, hormones, neck tension from stress, and the crazy wind tunnel – chinook landing- air pressure changing monstrosity that is the Bow Valley- are all common triggers.
People play hard here, so bumps to the head are common. Likewise, stress is major factor in most of our lives- and that often leads to the “guarding muscles” in the upper back and neck to tighten and create tension up top. Hormonal fluctuations also set off a cascade of events within system, which for some can lead to debilitating headaches. And finally…… the Chinook. On one level it’s part of what makes this valley so dynamic. To have a temperature variation of 35 degrees in one week is pretty nuts. That’s a whole YEAR’S worth of temperature variation for most places. But boy oh boy can it ever wreak havoc on our noggin. Since moving here 7 months ago, I have seen countless patients come in with this as trigger, and its part of what led me to write this blog. Because thankfully, there are things we can do to help!
How can acupuncture help? Well, it can help reset those muscles in the upper back and neck, relaxing them and relieving tension. It can nudge the nervous system so the stress response isn’t as pronounced too. Hormonally, acupuncture addresses our bodies global communication network, leading to increased efficiency, and most often, fewer headaches. Its in this way too that acupuncture can help with those nasty pressure related headaches. It greatly helps the body adapt to environmental stimuli – like pressure changes! And finally, acupuncture has shown to be a very valuable tool in the treatment of concussions, and concussion related headaches. Acupuncture can help reduce brain inflammation, and aid in re-syncing the viscous neuronal processes that become askew with head injuries.
So there you have it! Do you experience headaches? Give acupuncture a try!
Dr. Stephen Rabnett