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 Homeopathy: Headache Relief at Last! 
Headaches. Just thinking about the word can give you one! Headaches are an annoyance to some of us and incapacitating for others. The causes for headaches can be very simple or enormously complexa, ranging from the every day stress of life to malignant brain tumors.

We see many people in our practice who have headaches. The most common causes are muscle tension, fever, circulatory imbalances leading to migraines or cluster headaches, and sinus congestion. Drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and birth control pills can all cause headaches. Headaches often accompany drug overdose or withdrawal symptoms as well. Food or environmental allergies can be a major cause of headaches, and determining and removing the offending allergen can often provide dramatic relief. Other causes may be high blood pressure, spinal misalignments, eyestrain, poor posture, temporomandibular joint syndrome, dental problems, menstrual problems, lack of oxygen, pollution, trauma and brain tumors.

When you have a headache, it is much better to treat the cause rather than simply to make the headache go away.There are many alternatives to these common pain medications like aspirin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol, which may have side effects such as gastro-intestinal bleeding, ulcer and skin rashes. Why not try simple, natural remedies and methods without side effects, instead of automatically reaching for the aspirin? However, if a headache persists or doesn't respond to home treatment, do seek help from a doctor to make sure it's nothing serious.

Our approach to headache treatment will depend to a great extent on the cause and specific symptoms of the headaches. We use a wide range of treatments including the "four H's" (homeopathy, hypnosis, herbs and hydrotherapy) as well as dietary changes, massage, acupressure, spinal adjustsments and spiritual healing. For simple headaches from anxiety or muscle tension, we will recommend relaxation techniques, massage, acupressure and hydrotherapy. We most often use homeopathic medicine as our main treatment for chronic headaches, because it is our most effective and long-lasting treatment for headaches. Acupuncture can also be beneficial.

Here are some simple techniques that you can use to relieve headaches yourself:

Acupressure: Rub each point firmly with your finger tip. Apply about 10-20 pounds of pressure. Sensitive points are the ones that need treatment. Move the skin over the following points with a rotary motion, rather than just rubbing over the surface. 1) In the web at the point where the thumb and first finger join.2) At the inner corners of the eye sockets at the root of the nose. Press upward as you massage the point. Also along the upper edge of the eye sockets. 3) All along the flat ridge where the skull and neck meet. 4) Two thumbs above the wrist crease on the back of the forearm in line with the middle finger. 5) The pads and the sides of the thumbs and big toes. 6) Other tender points on the head and neck.

Homeopathic Medicine: If the symptoms of your headache match the indications listed below, that remedy may help your headache. Use only for acute headaches. To treat chronic headaches homeopathically, consult a homeopath.
Belladonna: Intense headaches, often right- sided, with a red face, dilated pupils and, sometimes, a fever. Pain is worse from noise, light and motion and better lying quietly in a dark room.
Bryonia: Steady, aching pain which is worse from the least motion of the head or eyes. The person is generally quite Irritable and wants to remain alone and perfectly still.
Nux vomica: Headaches from indigestion or abuse of drugs, alcohol or caffeine or from overwork or insomnia. The person is irritable, impatient, and chilly.
Gelsemium: Headaches from anticipation or the flu. The person feels "dizzy, drowsy, droopy, and dull". and is not thirsty. The pain is often in the back of the head. Muscles are tired and achey.
Kali Bichromicum: This is the classic homeopathic remedy for sinus headaches .

Herbal Medicine: Feverfew, periwinkle, and chamomile are used for migraine headaches. For tension headaches, a mixture of valerian, passiflora, skullcap and hops is often effective.

Hydrotherapy: Place the feet in hot water and wrap the head in a cold, wet towel, or apply ice. Visualization: Imagine that the head pain has a size, a shape and a color. Experiment with changing these characteristics, ie. make it small, smooth and green, like a pea or a small dot, then quickly zoom it out of the head until it disappears over the horizon or out into space.

Hypnosis: It can be very useful to contact the part of you which is in charge of your headaches, find out what purpose they serve, and find painless alternatives to accomplish the same thing.

Here are several headache cures we have seen which will offer hope to headache sufferers.

One of our patients brought in her 10 year-old son because of his back to school headaches which he developed every fall. The pain was in both temples and was aggravated by bright lights and by fumes. The headache usually came on about l:00 in the afternoon. He felt feverish with the headaches, even though he had no fever. He always seemed overheated. His ears were red, hot, and burning at night and his face flushed during his sleep. Normally he was rather pale.

We gave the child one dose of Belladonna and he has been free of headaches ever since.

Ethel, a 73 year-old woman, called us from Kansas last year after hearing us on the radio.

She hadn't been to a doctor since 1956 when she had her last baby at age 40. She was a vegetarian of 35 years described her health as good, except for smoking (she said she didn't inhale!) and her chronic headaches which began in 1968. They started when she was exposed to a laundry tub full of hot water with Chlorox and ammonia. The fumes were terrible. Her eyes watered for a week, she developed severe headaches, vomited, and blacked out. She stayed in bed for 24 hours but never saw a doctor. They gradually subsided, but she continued to suffer from recurrent "bad spells" of headaches. She had had excruciating headaches, so painful that she couldn't talk or sleep, for the six weeks prior to her calling us. She described it an exhausting "explosion of pain". After careful study, we prescribed Glonoine (homeopathic nitroglycerine). She called two weeks later to say she was headache free and she continued to be free of the problem.

Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are naturopathic and homeopathic physicians and cofounders of the Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, WA. They are coauthors of The Patient's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine and Beyond Ritalin: Homeopathic Treatment of ADD and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. They can be reached at (206) 774-5599.

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 About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSWJudyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
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