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Not All Headaches are Created Equally: Categorizing Headaches

Not All Headaches are Created Equally: Categorizing Headaches

Most have us have suffered a headache or two in our lifetime. Some sever, some mild, some that lasted 2 days, some that lasted an hour, some that may have been pounding, and some that may have made you feel sick to your stomach. Whatever symptoms of a headache you have or have had, they often get in the way of our activities of daily living and can be quite debilitating.

It is important to know that not all headaches are the same and are unique to each individual. Understanding different types of headaches and how they are classified, may help you better understand how to cope with symptoms better or allow you to help someone who is suffering.

Although a lot of research has been done on headaches, we still do not know the exact causes and reasons for certain headaches. We can however, classify headaches into one of 4 categories. Does your headache seem to fall into one of these categories?

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches usually result in a pressure like pain on both sides of the head, usually in the temples, forehead or back of the neck. Stress can be a trigger of this headache but there are usually no warning signs. It can start mild and gradually get worse as the day or night progresses.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are the most un-common form of headache. They occur in under 1% of the population and are more common in males. These headaches can be very sever and debilitating. Cluster headaches can occur for weeks and usually cause intense pain behind the eye. The cause is unknown however they usually result in runny nose and watery eyes.

Migraine without Aura (Classic Migraine)

This is what we consider a typical migraine that results in a pulsing/ pounding pain on one or both sides of your head (usually temple). Nausea is often associated with migraines although most people do not vomit. People who suffer from migraines are sometimes unable to perform activities of daily living due to their intensity. Lights and sounds often make the headache worse.

Migraine with Aura

Aura is the sensation or feeling you may have before a migraine. It may alert you that one is coming. Symptoms of a migraine with aura may seem similar to those of a stroke so it is important you talk to your doctor about it if you are experiencing this. For example, flashing lights, blurred vision, blind spots, speech difficulty and altered smell are considered aura.

Headaches can be very serious and should not be ignored. It is advised that if you are having the “ worst headache ever”, you should seek immediate medical help. It is also possible to have headaches that are not classified as one in the above categories. Trauma, concussions, infection, dehydration, and allergic reactions are just some reasons that you may also experience headaches. Headaches are never “normal” and should not have to be something you deal with on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Many forms of alternative medicine can help you with your migraine symptoms. Here at Ottawa Holistic Wellness, we have many experienced therapists who can help you prevent, resolve, or alleviate headaches. For example, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, osteopathy, and allergy treatment may help.

Disclaimer

This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Headaches? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

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Is your bed causing your insomnia?

How to choose the best mattress and pillow for a good nights sleep

Do you suffer from insomnia? Do you wake up some mornings with back or neck pain worse than the night before? Not getting a good night sleep can leave you tired and grumpy throughout the day. Many people are confused about how to create an optimal sleep environment. Straightforward and practical changes can be made to help, decrease, or prevent back pain throughout the night. If you have issues with snoring read about Zyppah which is a mouth piece that can help you stop snoring.

What Mattress Should You Buy?

Mattress shopping can be tricky and will be different for everyone. Ultimately, personal preference should be the number one factor in determining what is right for you. Your mattress should be flexible enough to adapt to your body’s shape, but firm enough to support the spine.

The coils/springs in a mattress provide the support, and the top cover thickness provides the comfort. Often, the softness of a mattress is what helps you fall a sleep, but the firmness helps you stay a sleep. Finding the right combination will differ for everyone. If you share your bed, look into buying a mattress that has independent support systems for each sleeper. It is a good idea purchase a mattress from a supplier that allows you to try it in your home risk-free for a few nights before making the commitment to buy it. Another great tip is to test out different hotel mattresses when travelling to determine what you like.

Knowing when to buy a new mattress is also important. If it is no longer comfortable, or if your mattress sags in the middle, this might give an indication that you are ready for an upgrade. Keep in mind that the price of the mattress does not always mean it will be better for you. Go to many stores and test out several before spending big dollars assuming it will be the best.

What is the Best Sleeping Position?

There is no single best sleeping position. Often what works for one person, may not be the best for another. Sleeping on your stomach is not the best option. This position causes your neck to be twisted awkwardly for an extended period. Stomach sleepers who wake up in the morning with headaches may find it helpful to try and sleep on their back or side. Furthermore, sleeping on your stomach contributes to a flattening of the spine’s natural curves, which increases the load on the surrounding muscles. If you insist on stomach sleeping, try putting a pillow under your hips to increase the low back’s natural curve.

For low back pain sufferers, sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees can take pressure off the lower spine. If you do not find this comfortable, try lying on your side with a pillow between your legs. Do not worry about trying to stay in the same position all night. Moving around can decrease the pressure on your back over the course of your sleep.

What is the pillow to use?

If your tossing and turning at night, changing up your pillow to the best pillow for snoring could be the answer. No matter what position you sleep in, your pillow should fill the gap between your neck and the mattress while still maintaining your natural spinal curves. To maintain proper spinal alignment, most pillows should be propped up about 4-6 inches. However, if you must sleep on your stomach, the pillow should be thinner to prevent your neck from twisting even further sideways.

Since everyone is unique, find a pillow that can be adjusted to work for you. For example, water pillows allow you to adjust for firmness based on the amount of water put in them. Memory foam pillows conform to form the head and shoulder shapes. It is also important to remember that pillows lose firmness over time; therefore, changing up your pillow now and then is a good idea.

Before purchasing a pillow, make sure you are not allergic to any of the materials. Hypoallergenic pillows are available for people who are allergic to certain fabrics or feathers. At the end of the day, our pillow gives us a sense of comfort. While pillow shopping, make sure you test them out to find one that is perfect for you.

Good Night!

 

Treatment Options for Fatigue - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Treatment Options for Fatigue

There are many reasons why we experience fatigue.

A physiological issue may cause fatigue such as impaired thyroid function, lack of nutrition, hormone imbalance, lack of sleep, chronic pain or allergies among others. Emotional stresses and past traumas can also trigger fatigue.

A physiological issue may cause fatigue such as impaired thyroid function, lack of nutrition, hormone imbalance, lack of sleep, chronic pain or allergies among others. Emotional stresses and past traumas can also trigger fatigue.

Whether the reason is physiological or psychological, we can all benefit from some help to identify and resolve the underlying issues.

Physiological Issues

The first step might be to investigate any physiological issues.

Family doctors and Western medicine. Your family physician can order various tests to rule out certain diseases and to identify nutritional deficiencies such as Vit D or B12 deficiency and anaemia (low iron). They also have access to pharmaceuticals which can address symptoms and bring relief. They are not always able to get to the cause of your fatigue but can help to alleviate it.

Naturopathic or Functional Medicine. These doctors work with your family doctor. They look deeper, at root causes of ill health, and address issues such as lifestyle, diet, hormone imbalance, insomnia, allergies, celiac disease and digestive health. They use natural healing methods including diet, nutrition, lifestyle modification, acupuncture, homeopathy and herbal remedies.

Emotional reasons for fatigue

Once physiological causes have been dealt with or ruled out, you may wish to consider psychological causes for your fatigue. Whether it is from past traumas, genetic memories from previous generations or current stresses in your life, we all need some help to release these.
Some modalities to consider are as follows:

Counselling and psychotherapy can approach these emotions from the conscious mind. Make sure to choose someone that you are completely comfortable with, and has suitably experience in your type of issue.

Hypnotherapy works with your subconscious mind. During a session, you collaborate to access the subconscious, let go of the restrictions and limitations provided by the conscious mind, and bring about the release and shift of those trapped emotions. The majority of people will remain aware of their surroundings to some degree.

CranioSacral therapy accesses these traumas and emotions from the body level. A good CS therapist will sense the shock and trauma resonating in your body even after your conscious mind thinks it has been resolved. They work extremely gently, facilitating the release of these emotions and bringing the body back into balance.

Reiki, Chakra balancing and energy healing all work with your body’s energy to rebalance, release trapped emotions, bring calm and profound relaxation. During a healing session the body enters a parasympathetic state, also called the rest and digest state, which is responsible for long-term health, improved digestion, conservation of energy, and maintenance of a healthy balance in your body’s systems

Physical Treatments

Misalignment and imbalance in your body will upset the correct functioning of many of the body’s systems.

Chiropractic, Massage and Osteopathy all work with the physical body including the muscles, ligaments, spine, joints and organs, releasing these tensions and bringing balance to your structure. Working on your physical body will allow your body to work in the most optimal way and healing to take place.

These therapies also address physical pain. Relief from chronic pain can go a long way towards improving energy levels.

Acupuncture is one modality that can help both physiological and emotional issues. It is an ancient method that rebalances the body, allowing the correct function of all your body’s symptoms and healing to take place. It can be used initially for symptom relief and longer term to bring lasting healing.

Want to know what’s best for you? Book for a free, no obligation introductory health coach session to discuss your needs.

Disclaimer

This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Fatigue? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact