What causes migraines and headaches? Here’s the deal. 10 people could come to me with migraines and they could all need different treatments. But when you go to your regular doctor, they treat each migraine patient the same & always give the same medications. There’s a reason why you still have migraines. A migraine is just a word to describe a cluster of symptoms. The medications that your regular doctor prescribes are just meant to manage your symptoms. They don’t do anything to actually fix what’s causing your migraines. So what’s really causing your migraines? Well it could be a lot of different factors and if your treatment doesn’t work to address each of these factors, then you’ll be stuck taking medications that don’t work forever. Here’s just a small sample of what can cause migraines:
- Structural imbalances – these can involve your muscles. Any time of tension headache will have a structural imbalance contributing to it. Acupuncture can help to make both your nerves & muscles more balanced.
- Hormonal imbalance – very common in women who notice a link between their cycle and the onset of headaches. Re-balancing hormones is not difficult and completely natural. Acupuncture has been studied and show to help improve balance to your hormones.
- Nerve irritation, particularly of the neck or jaw – It is one of the top three underlying causes of headaches in our experience. One of the ways acupuncture works is by decreasing nerve irritation!
- Dehydration, a common problem affecting 75% of Americans. Many people are unaware dehydration is a trigger for headaches so make sure you get your 8 glasses of filtered water every day. Being dehydrated puts you at risk of headaches and many other health problems, so if you are someone who rarely drinks water it would be worthwhile to develop a taste for it. If you need ideas how to do that, let me know.
- Drug use – opioid and over-the-counter medication. What’s great about resolving headaches at the root is patients no longer require medication. Acupuncture is recommended by the American Association for Family Physicians to help reduce the amount of opiates being prescribed.
- Unstable blood sugar – as we mentioned above, unstable blood sugar can be a digestive problem, but it can also occur secondarily to food sensitivities and hormonal imbalance.
- Insomnia – we all need adequate rest to recharge the “battery”. Insufficient rest can be a choice (simply not allowing enough time to sleep), but it can also be the result of adrenal, thyroid, diet and food choices, infections and/or food sensitivities. Acupuncture can help with all of these areas.
- Fatigue – this can sometimes be a “chicken or the egg” question. Does the pain of the headache create fatigue or does the root cause that is creating the fatigue create the headache? In my experience we see both. Acupuncture is used to treat fatigue in even extreme cases like cancer treatment.
- Constipation – when the bowels slow, toxic waste products are re-circulated throughout the body. Headache can be a result. Acupuncture can help to unblock constipation.
- Inflammation – chronic inflammation is the root cause of all degenerative disease. Inflammation can become widespread affecting many parts of the body and headaches can result. The good news is acupuncture helps your body to fight inflammation by making your body release endorphins (which are naturally anti-inflammatory).
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