There are many possible causes of headaches. Some common causes include muscle tension, sinus issues, eyestrain, and dehydration. Migraines, a severe type of severe headache, can be triggered by a variety of factors, including certain foods, drinks, stress, hormonal changes, and changes in sleep patterns. Other potential causes of headaches include illness, injury, and the use of certain medications. In some cases, the cause of a headache is unknown. If you’re experiencing frequent or severe headaches, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.
Relieving muscle tension
To the extent that headaches are often caused by muscle tension, it’s a good idea to consider how the tension can be released. Here are some ideas for how to release muscle tension to have fewer headaches and hopefully get your life back:
Relaxation technique #1: The Bates Method
Technically, the Bates Method is designed for people to regain their eyesight but I found that applying the techniques helped me reduce eyestrain and other forms of muscle tension, including headaches. The Bates Method relies on the logic that most vision problems are caused by muscle tension and if you can release that tension then you should be able to achieve better eyesight. Ophthalmologist, William Bates, developed several techniques that could be used to improve eyesight naturally. An example of one of the techniques called “palming” is shown in this picture from his 1920 book. For resources, I recommend you start with Eyesight Coach Greg Marsh’s introductory video series and go from there. I was able to apply the technique back in 2014 and went from 20/300 vision to 20/40. I was able to pass my driver’s license vision test without glasses.
Relaxation technique #2: Trigger point therapy
This is a technique that I’ve successfully used to relieve both my own muscle tension and that of others. My wife was actually nearly immobilized by arm, neck and shoulder stiffness. Trigger point therapy was the only thing that helped. The basic idea is that if you can sort of needle your “trigger points” it forces the muscles to relax and restores your mobility, flexibility and perhaps most importantly, your comfort. The interesting thing for me was learning that the trigger point is often at the opposite end of the muscle from where the pain actually is. Also getting one muscle to release can have a huge impact on other muscles (sometimes good and sometimes bad). I highly recommend this technique.
Relaxation technique #3: Magnesium
While calcium plays a huge role in making muscles contract, magnesium is the mineral most responsible for helping them relax. Your diet may be deficient in magnesium. You can get magnesium supplements from any any natural grocery store, such as Natural Grocer.
What if I need more help?
If none of these techniques work for you, you may need to see a medical provider. A board-certified neurologist has special tools and training to deal with severe headaches.
Photo credit: Carolina Heza