Nearly everyone gets headaches. A headache is simply pain that occurs in any part of the head that would normally be covered by the scalp, or hairline (whether or not the person has hair). This kind of pain can severely disrupt a sufferer's personal or professional life. Read this article to learn more about headaches and the best methods of treating them.
Depending on the severity and the length of time the headache lasts, an individual may engage in routine daily activities with mild discomfort. Or, alternatively, if the pain is intense enough, a person may be completely incapacitated during the hours or days before the headache finally resolves.
The best method of treating this pain depends largely on the type of headache from which a person is suffering.
Differentiating between different types of headaches can be very tricky. Some headaches are merely annoying and relatively easy to treat, while others can be temporarily disabling and very difficult to resolve.
Headaches can be either primary or secondary. A secondary headache is a result of another health problem or disease process. In comparison, a primary headache is one that occurs in the absence of any other illness or condition. Three types of primary headaches are most common. The first of these is the tension headache.
headaches are most common, and experienced at some point in time by eight out of
ten adults worldwide. People who suffer from tension headaches experience
tightness in the back or scalp muscles. These headaches are typically caused by
stressful situations. These headaches can last from half an hour to an entire
day. Frequent headache sufferers may experience these daily. More commonly,
these occur two to three times per month.
Typically, tension headache sufferers report their experience of headache pain
as a constant band of pressure wrapped around the head. Conventional treatments
for tension headaches include the use of anti-inflammatory medicines such as
aspirin or ibuprofen, stress management therapy, or relaxation exercises.
The cluster headache is the second type of primary headache. People who
experience these headaches have sharp, stabbing pains near their eyes or
temples. These headaches can last for only 15 minutes, or they may in some
situations last for as long as three hours. Typically, cluster headaches occur
in cycles; sufferers may experience no pain for several days or weeks, and then
abruptly experience a renewed onset of the headaches. They may have several
headaches in one day during a cluster cycle.
Doctors disagree about the cause of cluster headaches. Some argue that the
headaches occur in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. Others maintain
that they are caused by irritation of a nerve in the face known as the
Cluster headaches are typically treated with concentrated, inhaled high-flow
oxygen, or with medicines classified as abortive drugs. This means that the drug
is designed to stop, or abort, the headache, just after it begins. Medications
such as Imitrex, Depo-Medrol, and Deltasone are included in this class. Other
medicines, such as blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, or
anticonvulsants, are often prescribed to prevent the occurrence or at least
decrease the frequency or severity of these headaches.
Migraine headaches are the third type of primary headache. Migraines are caused
by a dilation of blood vessels in the brain. This dilation is accompanied by the
release of chemicals that result in pain, inflammation, and further arterial
The pain of a migraine headache is usually experienced behind one eye, at the
back of the head, or along the side of one temple. Most of the time, these
headaches occur on only one side of the head or the other. Persons who
experience this pain consistently on only one side should ask their doctor to
test for other health problems, like a tumor or aneurysm.
Often, these headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity,
or other vision problems. These attacks may last for four to 72 hours, and can
be incapacitating during that time. Some conventional non-medicinal treatments
for migraines include ice, relaxation exercises, and biofeedback. Medications
used in the treatment of migraines include anti-inflammatory drugs, Prednisone,
Imitrex, and Midrin.
The treatments for each of the types of headaches listed here are successful to
varying degrees; however, none of them completely eradicates the problem. Two
other alternative therapies offer more success in helping sufferers alleviate
the pain caused by these headaches. These treatments, hypnotherapy and
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), are easy to learn and to use. Furthermore,
they are very successful in helping most clients to significantly reduce or
completely resolve the pain caused by these types of primary headache.
Trained professionals called consulting hypnotists practice hypnosis to teach
clients to relax and eliminate stress from their lives. Alternatively, people
can use self-hypnosis to achieve this same objective. Through this process,
sufferers can obtain pain relief by learning the valuable NLP technique known as
the "flash" to relieve stress. Soon, they find themselves relaxed in
nearly any situation.
Clients can also be taught to remember calm, relaxing situations in which they
felt stress-free. They then learn how to anchor these feelings of calm and
relaxation. When they encounter stressful situations, they can trigger their
anchor to instantly re-create the calm, tranquil state of mind. Soon, they find
themselves able to instantly de-stress in nearly any situation.
Migraine suffers can learn how to mentally warm their hand by increasing the
blood flow to their extremity. By doing so, the blood pressure in the brain
decreases, and the migraine dissipates. It's also possible to mentally increase
the flow of endorphins, which will eliminate a headache or migraine.
Nearly all headache suffers who undergo hypnotherapy or NLP treatment report
significant, if not complete, stress and pain relief. The success rate of these
treatments is considerably higher for patients who respond well to these
approaches. The success rate, in fact, is considerably higher than that reported
by those using only the conventional medicines and therapies that have
traditionally been used to help headache sufferers.
Summary: Headaches are painful, and sufferers experience a wide spectrum
of severity, ranging from minor annoyance to complete incapacitation. Three
types of common headaches include migraine headaches, tension headaches, and
cluster headaches. Traditionally, these headaches have been treated with
relaxation exercises and medications. The newer alternative therapies that use
NLP and hypnosis appear to be significantly more effective in reducing stress
and alleviating headache pain than these conventional therapies do.
list of the common uses of hypnosis.
© 2008 By Alan B. Densky, CH. This
document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved.
Alan B. Densky, CH has been helping
people with hypnosis
pain control since 1978. A famous authority in the hypnosis field, he offers
management hypnosis & NLP CDs and free self
hypnosis resources on his Neuro-VISION website