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Holistic Treatment for Headaches


By: Dr. Jake Filkins

One paradigm that we see all the time in our office that I don’t understand is headaches. It’s not that I don’t understand the symptomatology, or the havoc headaches cause on our patients, it’s that headaches appear to be an accepted part of life. When someone comes to the office to tell me about let’s say low back pain, as we work through their problem together I always ask at the end how are you sleeping and do you experience headaches. It amazes the number of people who say yes, but those are normal. If this is you, look back to our blog on June 26th for some information as to why they are not normal.

When we reach for the medical cabinet and pull out Ibuprofen, Aspirin, or Acetaminophen we begin a long cascade of ill effects for our body. Both ibuprofen and aspirin work to reduce the body’s physiological process to create inflammation, while acetaminophen essentially works on your brain’s receptors to pain. What all three of them do is increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and liver disease. When the drugs have been processed by the body and have done their desired effect it is the liver that is charged with recycling them out through the kidneys and into your urine. In essence, your liver, and urinary system are working overtime. Transpose this into your own life. A couple hours of overtime here and there doesn’t really hamper your life. How does this compare to working 16 hour days, 5 days a week, for a whole year? This is what is happening to the bodies of everyone who is taking medication every time they have a headache, which remember is a normal part of life. Why not address the problem that is causing the headache opposed to masking what the problem is causing us to FEEL. Fixing the feeling with never fix the true underlying problem.

The wonderful thing about headaches is that many times lifestyle changes can help improve symptoms. If you are having migraines try keeping a food log. Many migraines have triggers such as caffeine, chocolate, dairy, etc. They can also be triggered by eating at a certain time of day. Tension headaches are often caused by muscle tightness brought on by poor posture. Daily exercises and a better understanding of posture can help alleviate these over time. Taking breaks from screen time can give your brain, and eyes a break alleviating the deep aching headache we experience after a long day at work. All of these can be done on your own at home without investing money, or more importantly time. And above all, they are giving the important organs in your body a break from the constant cycle of recycling chemicals and drugs.

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