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Archive for December, 2008

 

Harvard Medical School recently shared some “easy and natural” ways to ease and prevent headache pain. Every year, “almost 90% of men and 95% of women have at least one, and the vast majority of them are simply natural responses “to the realities of life: stress, fatigue, exposure to allergens, and lack of sleep.” [Ah, yes! Lack of sleep. The rampant popularity of getting less than 9 hours nightly accounts for a huge chunk of the excessive stress and fatigue.] (1) Get enough sleep [see Dr. Sharon’s past newsletter and look for her upcoming CD “Sleep for Health”], (2) “figure out whether there’s a connection between your headaches and particular foods” or activities. “Few triggers are obvious, so a headache diary is a good tool to use when trying to figure this out.” [Red wine is a common headache trigger, as are many other common foods. Excessive sunlight is a common trigger for some, as is excessive noise.] (3) Deal with the muscle tension in your head, neck and shoulders. [Activator chiropractic methods, acupuncture, deep tissue massage, and rehabilitation of posture (through physical therapy, therapeutic pilates, yoga, Tai Chi) can all help to develop better muscle habits to prevent muscle tightness and spasms that bring on headaches.] (4) Learn to relax throughout your day. [Just taking one to two minutes every hour or two to focus on breathe fully in and exhale fully out can go a long way in grounding you. Meditation comes from simply extending that breathing and focus on just breathing to five, ten, fifteen or twenty minute periods.] “A heating pad applied daily…can relax tense muscles in your neck and shoulders and help prevent headaches. Taking a hot shower or bath can also help. A cold pack (on neck or temples) can constrict blood vessels and ease the pain of a headache already in progress. (6) Learn to practice physical expression of confusion and ambivalence as taught from Dr. Sharon’s Unified Theory of Emotion. Practice shaking your head, in confusion, gently side to side, chin horizontal, as if you are shaking (or agitating) your brains around a washing machine spindle. Practice ambivalence by rolling your shoulders (as if swimming) and your head (around in circles in either direction). These physical movements help to keep your from tensing up in resistance to confusion or ambivalence. Confusion is needed for any new thought: without confusion there is no new conclusion. Ambivalence is needed for any well-thought through decision: it keeps your head and heart “talking” to each other, rather than slamming down rigidly in your musculature to prevent the discussion.

 

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