Complementary Therapies For Headaches
There are many causes of headaches pain, as well as different types of clinically named headaches dependant on their severity. Some people suffer from this type of condition for many years without getting any help or relief. This article looks into three evidenced based therapies that may be of help.
Headaches can affect people across all ages and are a complex form of illness. As such can have an impact on the daily life of the person. Due to this, headaches are some of the most requested appointments to the local GP practices. According to UK figures showing an economic burden of £956 million due to servicing and management of headaches and £4.8 billion including lost employment days. These are likely to be underestimates because many people experiencing headaches do not consult their GP.
What Are The Headache Triggers
Headaches may have a variety of triggers for instance, hormones, genetics, viruses, bio-chemicals and bacteria. A neurological chemical serotonin usually blocks pain in a person, however, headache sufferers tend to have low levels of serotonin.
Different classes of headaches
- Migraine headache pain, usually affects one side of the head and some people are know to see colours and require darkness or shading from light. Migraine can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life and working life of a person. Current medication for migraines are NSAIDS, caffeine, triptans and antiepileptic medications, however, with all medication no research has been carried out into their long term negative effects.
- Cluster headache pain, these can be daily recurrent severely painful headaches lasting a short time.
- Sinus headache pain is usually caused by blocked or infected sinus. The area affected may be around the forehead, temple and nasal regions.
- Rebound headache pain caused by consumption of too much headache medications. Therefore, the headache symptoms and intensity is increased by taking the medication.
Natural Therapies That May Help.
Acupuncture is a traditional natural therapy that helps to bring balance to the bodies energy systems. World Health Organisation (WHO) has validated acupuncture for its efficacy in aiding and treating headaches. Linde et al. review showed after 3-4 months of acupuncture recipients had few episodes and severity of migraine headaches. The most common acupuncture points used were li3, st36, gb34 and gv20.
A recent methodological review for treatment of headaches with hypnosis found it may have relevance in the empirically supported therapy for reducing the tension type headaches and migraines.
According to Hemandez-reif (1998) massage helps reduce migraine symptoms. Having massages for a period of 5-8 weeks has proved effective in reducing stress, easing of pain, more pain free days, better sleep and increased serotonin levels.
Nick from Fusion Therapy provides a mobile complementary service for the locals in the Leeds area.