There are so many directly effective and clinically studied techniques, therapies, nutraceuticals and diets we can use to relieve our pains and heal our brains. But some like ear stapling are far more on the fringe side, often sought out by those who have gone the medication route and not found relief. In this article I will explain what ear stapling is, how it connects to regular migraine ear piercings like the tragus and daith and what you need to know.
What is ear stapling?
Ear stapling is a process by why you insert a small staple into acupuncture points of the ear for continued relief and stimulation of the reflex point.
Often with tragus and daith piercings the healing process may deter some people from use and they may only work while the ear is healing.
When you ear staple you are not actually going all the way through the cartilage and this may help maintain stimulation to the reflex point the auriculotherapy is working on.
Auriculotherapy – also known as ear acupuncture is a subset of acupuncture that uses treatments on the ear to affect the reflex points that connect the body together. In acupuncture, the ear is seen as a micro system that represents the macro system of our entire body and reflex points from our organs, glands and system run through the entire body including the ear. By applying techniques to the ear they are supporting the affected organ, gland or system.
See the picture below to get an idea of the ears microcosm.
Is ear stapling for migraines different from a daith or tragus piercing for migraines?
With traditional daith and tragus piercings, the area that is pierced through is complete and forms a hold whereas in ear stapling it is not a complete whole.
This may be less painful, may heal easier and may provide more stimulation to the reflex points than simply a daith or tragus piercing.
Just like the tragus and daith piercings, ear stapling for migraines is a long shot. We do not have any clinical studies to show that it is or is not any more than placebo. See my post above on tragus and daith ear piercings for migraines with reviews to get a better idea of the successes and failures of others who’ve tried them.
But, even if it is only placebo, the placebo that gets activated during intensive therapies like surgery, injection or piercings is much stronger than the placebo from taking a supplement. Even if it only relieves your pain for a few months or few years, it may be worth it for those who are still looking for the education to heal their brains.
We always want to make sure we are correcting the function of our bodies before we are adding extras on top, but we also have to make sure we can have the clarity and energy to do so and this may require some searching and guidance.
When in doubt, its a fairly simple and mild pain compared to some migraines so it may be worth a try.
See the ear stapling review video below:
The more we can educate ourselves about migraines the more likely we will find the linchpin(or linchpins) holding our brains back from fully healing and maintaining a pain free life.
If you need guidance then reach out to me for consulting so that I can show you what your brain is missing from your diet and lifestyle that can make it function optimally.
Quality sleep is important to your physical and mental health, but getting any kind of sleep can be difficult when you’re in pain. That’s especially true when you’re struggling with migraines. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to function optimally. Getting anything below that can significantly impact your mood and health. But how can you get quality sleep when you’re dealing with a migraine? Let’s take a look!
Know This Trigger
If you know that you commonly have migraines, make sure that you do everything you can to avoid triggering one before you go to sleep. That’s not a foolproof solution, of course, and it’s easier said than done. Consider keeping a notebook of your migraine times and triggers as much as possible to help you plan your nighttime routine around them. For example, migraines have a 50% chance of starting between the hours of 4 a.m. and 9 a.m., for those who suffer from chronic headaches. So be aware of when you can expect them, and aim to take preventative measures.
One of the most common triggers that can set us off as we get into our nighttime routine is circadian rhythm dysregulation and having a flipped cycle. Normally, we should wake up and within 30-35 minutes our cortisol(stress and energy hormone) should be sky high. As the day goes on our cortisol should start to drop down ending with a tenth the amount we would have in the morning.
If this doesn’t happen in the evening, we run into very big problems. Two of the most common causes of this cycle being flipped? Eating foods that are not balancing our blood sugar and staying too stimulated whether that be from work, emotionally or from screens.
Do you best to bring yourself into tune with the natural cycles of night and day.
Consistency is Healing to The Migraine Brain
It can be tempting to sleep whenever possible, especially if you’re struggling to fall asleep at night. However, it’s important to do your best to sleep at the same time every night, and that’s especially true if you’re struggling with a migraine. Start your nighttime routine early and try not to deviate from it. The consistency helps your body relax and ready itself for sleep even when you’re not feeling your best.
The migraine brain is one that loves consistency. It loves keeping things the same and keeping everything even and moderate.
The migraine brain does not do well with big changes or disruptions because it is already on the edge of its threshold.
Luckily as you follow the steps and guidelines through the Migraine Professional blogs you can easily bring yourself far below your threshold and heal your trigger happy brain.
Skip the Caffeine
No matter how much you enjoy a mug of coffee in the morning, it’s a good idea to cut out as much caffeine as possible from your routine. You don’t want anything to get in the way of your sleep, and caffeine can serve as a detriment. You don’t have to stop drinking it entirely – substantially cutting down could be enough to help make falling asleep easier.
With our constant go-go-go produce produce produce culture its very common that our neurohormonal systems will be burnt out. The biggest sign of it is dependency on a stimulant like caffeine. The problem is that caffeine is not a nutrient and doesn’t add to our bodies reserves to actually create energy. It creates an energetic debt.
At the end of the day, it takes more resources than it gives and even though that may work today, eventually our body will start asking for the debt back.
See our video to understand the connection between coffee, feeling great and rebounding here.
These oils are essential
Aromatherapy is an all natural, home remedy that’s been used for centuries to help with various health issues, and aid in relaxation — and people still practice aromatherapy today! Consider investing in quality essential oils and giving them a try. Rub them on your temples before bed, to promote relaxation and soothe your pain.
My favourite oils to use for relaxation are frankincense, lavender and myrrh. They are easy to use and go great with a relaxing epsom salt bath.
Use the Right Pillow or Mattress
Having a supportive pillow and mattress are vital components for getting a good night’s rest, and helping with chronic pain. Additionally having a proper bed structure can help you maintain a better sleeping position, and one that prevents tension in your head at night. If you’re wondering which type of mattress would be most beneficial for your needs, take a mattress quiz to determine the best mattress for you based upon your unique sleep style and personal preferences.
Unplug for the Night
Sometimes, electronic devices can make migraines worse. Consider unplugging for the night and leaving your phone or computer out of the bedroom. Devote the room to sleep and relaxation. You might be surprised at how much it helps.
Our body can take 1-2 hours to properly adjust to darkness and wind down. For millions of years we have been dependant on the amount of light in the environment and we are tuned to it. If it’s daylight outside, our body doesn’t wind down. Similarly, if the blue light given off of electronics is not shut off, our body continues to be artificially stimulated.
This prevents cortisol(stress hormones) from dropping and allowing our sleep and repair hormones from turning on. Sleep is our brains detox time and we need to take advantage of that if we want to be resilient.
Do you know what the ideal pillow and mattress to support your sleep are?
Our headaches and pains have causes and fixes, even if they aren’t immediately apparent.
We need to know what to do, but we also need to apply it. All of the knowledge in the world is useless if not applied and turned into wisdom.
The neck is an incredibly supportive structure for our heads and in this article we will cover 13 secrets that may be leading to or improving neck pain that creates headaches, also known as cervicalgia headaches.
What is a cervicalgia headache? / Definition
The international headache society describes cervicalgia headache or more commonly known as cervicogenic headache as:
“Headache caused by a disorder of the cervical spine and its component bony, disc and/or soft tissue elements, usually but not invariably accompanied by neck pain.”
It’s simple. Neck pain or problems with the neck that create a headache.
But it can be complicated because other conditions like tension type headache and migraine also come with neck pain, making their diagnosis more likely unless there is a specific cause for cervicalgia headaches.
This can often be an injury or some sort of trauma to the neck.
This is where the diagnostic criteria come in.
These are the two main differentiating areas:
Clinical and/or imaging evidence of a disorder or lesion within the cervical spine or soft tissues of the neck, known to be able to cause headache.
Evidence of causation demonstrated by at least two of the following:
Headache has developed in temporal relation to the onset of the cervical disorder or appearance of the lesion
Headache has significantly improved or resolved in parallel with improvement in or resolution of the cervical disorder or lesion
Cervical range of motion is reduced and headache is made significantly worse by provocative manuvers
Headache is abolished following diagnostic blockade of a cervical structure or its nerve supply
As we get into the 13 secrets you will understand more about how the body can contribute to the neck, the neck can contribute to the head and the head can contribute to the neck pain and how they can all contribute to head pain.
Symptoms of cervicalgia headaches:
One sided head pain
Shoulder or eye pain
Pain while coughing or sneezing
Aggravation of pain by movement of head or changes of posture
13 Secrets of cervicalgia headaches + treatments and exercises
It is critically important to get a good assessment and testing done to rule out anything more serious, especially if you’ve had neck trauma or find a lump of any sort.
As we go through the 13 secrets of cervicalgia headaches I will list practitioners to see and exercises or other techniques.
Your head is actually contributing to your neck pain
Our neck is there to support our head and keep our head on our bodies.
Our most important nerves go through our spinal vertebrae and this makes spinal health at the very top of the priorities list for the body.
Our neck will sacrifice itself to keep the head supported but when we are constantly put into forward head posture we can develop things like dowagers hump.
This hump is very common and with the advent of electronics will become even more so.
Our head weighs about 10-12lbs when it is situated directly on top of our bodies.
For every degree that the head comes forward, this weight increases because our neck is like a lever.
See the picture below:
Not only do electronics contribute to this but so do our mental and emotional states.
A confident, strong and open person has an open chest and this sets the head on top of the body preventing it from coming forward.
But someone who is shy, reserved or closed off is more likely to be looking down and be closing their shoulders/closing themselves off from the world which contributes to forward head posture.
Does the way you think or feel about yourself or your life get reflected in your posture and appearance?
If you can change the tightness in your body, the tightness in your mind will change as well.
Where do you hold the most tension?
2. Atlas and axis misalignment
The atlas and axis are also known as C-1 and C-2.
They are the set of vertebrae at the top of the spine that hold the head up, hence the name “atlas.”
The problem is that the main nerves of our body go through these vertebrae.
But these two are easily offset and even a small degree off misalignment like 3mm can have a huge impact on your entire body.
The body will make sacrifices if this alignment is off, often causing the head to tilt, shoulders to tilt and hips to tilt, even making one leg longer than the other.
Injuries and accidents like whiplash, birth and falls are all strong enough to malign these vertebrae for a lifetime of pain and dysfunction.
The most commonly seen spinal joint that will create pain in the head is C1-C2.
“Studies have demonstrated that provocation of the first cervical joint provides a variable referral pattern and C1-C2 joint consistently refers pain to the occiput.”
But the assessment and correcting system that regular health-care providers and physiotherapists have is usually not adequate to find the problem and fix it.
On top of that, we do not want someone who isn’t trained dealing with these as we can end up with a stroke or worse.
This is where CHEK practitioners and NUCCA chiropractors come in.
They are both well trained on assessing you and finding if there really is a discrepancy.
Some migraine sufferers swear by their atlas adjustments and if you’re getting neck, shoulder, hip, knee, head or foot pain then this is something important to look into by using the nucca directory here.
3. Neck injury
If you were in an accident or suffered an injury, only to have head or neck pain show up days to weeks to even months later, then you have to get it checked out. The problem is that not many MDs can properly screen you for problems with your vertebrae or musculature.
This is why I recommend finding a highly qualified chiropractor or osteopath. They will be able to help you correct and problem and then give you exercises so that your body can be re-trained.
When something gets shifted, over time our body gets used to this and develops a compensation pattern that works for that particular problem.
But patterns are hard to undo and if you’ve had a problem for years then it can actually feel very foreign to start functioning normally again.
Correct any problem and then retrain the nervous system and it will let go of any tension it is holding onto that can be pulling the musculature in the neck, back or head.
Using feldenkrais or alexander technique can help you restore normal functioning through the feeling of movement.
4. The wrong muscles are tight and supportive muscles are loose
Next we have the standard problem of overuse and under use.
We are pulled forward and down now more than every before because of our reliance on tables, chairs, electronics, cars, phones, desks and couches.
We are no longer predominantly walking up right.
This means the muscles in the back of our neck are getting too strong and the muscles in the front are not being used.
But not only do the muscles get tight, they pull other musculature and fascia they are connected to. We have muscles all the way from the bottom of our neck attached over the head and down onto the forehead eyes and cheeks. It’s a recipe for head pain.
We want to undo this.
When we want to deactivate a muscle, we can use a strong held stretch to take the tension out of it.
When we want to strengthen a muscle we simply need to use and contract it more.
In the video below are exercises you can use to stretch the tight and strengthen the weak muscles in your neck to restore balance.
5. You’re sleeping wrong
Sleep is huge and poor sleep is a huge source of stress.
We spend a third of our lives doing this activity and not moving, if we are not supported well, we will create imbalances that are hard to undo with a few minutes of stretching or strengthening.
How often do you wake up with head pain?
Our neck needs support so that it’s not being strained.
Our back needs support so that it’s not being stretched.
Our legs need support so that they are not creating torsion or twisting in our back.
If we have a crater in the middle of our bed we need a new one.
If our pillow isn’t holding our head in a neutral position like when we stand, we need to try some new ones out.
And if we sleep on our side and have one leg out, we need to keep our knee raised so that it doesn’t pull the side of our pelvis forward.
It’s simple, but often overlooked.
See this info-graphic on sleep position.
6. Your phone
It has become the largest postural mutation in our history.
Phones are like an extra limb and connect us to the limitless information available to us.
But we are not well suited for them.
Our weak arms make us hold phones low, causing our heads to come forward and necks to have to compensate, causing stretching and grinding of our vertebrae.
It’s a big problem and any effort we can make to lift our phones up in front of our faces will take the load off and stop the programming of the pattern into our bodies.
Not only that, but we may develop nicer shoulders as well.
Go hands free, wireless devices shouldn’t be near your body anyway as they have been linked to tumors and increased temperatures within cells.
7. Abdominal wall weakness
Our body is highly integrated, just like a web, if our abs are weak or non functioning, our body will cave in.
This will bring our chest down, shoulders in and head down.
Not only can repeatedly doing forward head posture behaviors do this because our body is trying to give our neck extra room to compensate, but this can also happen as a result of closed off breathing which we will cover further down.
First we have to make sure it’s not deep tension that is causing the problem. We hold emotional baggage in our abdomen but thankfully we can stretch and breathe it out.
First start with stretching, loosen up your body, make it supple.
After a few weeks of stretching and learning how to breathe deep, if the problem has not corrected itself then you can start using strengthening exercises like hanging leg lifts, stomach vacuums and other core exercises that help you integrate your arms, legs and head with your abdomen.
Try to avoid isolated abdominal movements as the body doesn’t isolate and everything works together so using isolated exercises may make the problem worse.
8. Organ inflammation
Piggybacking on abdominal wall weakness is organ inflammation.
Our organs take priority over our bones, joints and muscles.
If they are having a problem, the body will choose their needs first.
When we have inflammation in an organ like our liver or intestines, they need lots of oxygen, nutrients and blood.
If our muscles around them are tight, they don’t have the free blood flow they need.
So the muscles get shut off.
Back gets disengaged, abs are loosened.
This causes problems up and down the chain of our bodies.
If it only happens for a few days it’s usually okay, like when we drink for example.
But if this is chronic, we lose the integrity of our body.
Everything else starts trying to compensate, we cannot breathe deeply, neck and shoulder muscles get overworked and our head doesn’t get the support it needs.
Queue tension and pain.
This is one of the countless reasons finding a holistic health practitioner for your journey is crucial and why I help those who need advanced help here.
9. Estrogen dominance
Estrogen dominance is almost synonymous with ligament laxity.
As we get more estrogen in our bodies, our protein fibres get looser.
The problem is that estrogen is everywhere in our modern environments.
Petroleum products contain estrogens and everything is made from them like plastics and rubbers.
Heard of BPA? It’s a huge problem and in most plastics. Luckily it’s starting to get banned and awareness is being brought to it, but far too slowly.
Now its simply replaced with BPS, which has the same problems.
These compounds that are in makeup, hygiene products, packaging, foods, clothing and more are endocrine disruptors.
They disrupt the function of our endocrine system which is our glands.
Glands release hormones and are incredibly sensitive.
These endocrine disruptors are also known as obesogens…
Why? Because they make you obese.
How prevalent are hormonal problems, PMS, excessive fat and other estrogen related problems?
Plus, as a bonus, if you have ligament or muscle laxity, your atlas and axis adjustment won’t stick.
It will keep coming out of place until the imbalance is corrected because the muscles are too loose.
10. You don’t know how to breathe(Most of us don’t)
You can live weeks without eating and days without drinking.
But only minutes without breathing.
It is the most essential of systems and connected to everything, like the way we think, feel and act.
It also influences our posture and vice versa.
We need to be breathing deep and down.
If we raise our shoulders when we breathe, we are doing it wrong.
Shoulder breathing means lots of anxiety problems and a huge amount of neck tension.
Our neck should not be supporting our breathing.
Our lungs go down, not up.
Retrain this immediately as I see it every day causing unnecessary head pain.
But they are this way because this is the pattern we’ve programmed into our bodies.
Just like how a professional cyclist preparing for a marathon has a rough time standing.
The pattern that we train is the one that becomes the norm.
Our body is compensating and trying to get better at what we are doing, no matter if it’s hurting us or not.
The problem is, it is hurting us.
Our breathing gets restricted, organs cannot function properly, nerves are impeded, we become lazy and sedentary…
This leads to even deeper issues like only wanting to be soothed and comforted which is the express lane for chronic disease. We need a balance of both and this means we need to function well in multiple modes.
Run, jump, walk, squat, lunge, push, pull and lift.
Use these to undo the patterns of sitting, it doesn’t have to be heavy or complicated, but it does have to move you.
As you get better at switching you will get more energy, your posture will fix and your neck will get stronger and be able to brush off any functional problems.
Use full body movements because everything in the body has to be integrated…
A bicep curl does nothing for your integration unless you turn it into a shoulder press and lunge etc.
12. Neck strain means inflammation which = anti-inflammatory support is needed
When in doubt, give the body some supplemental support to help speed up healing and take the burden off.
The migraine aura is a sign that a migraine has begun and the body is now going into protective mode.
The body will actually use a migraine to protect it from damage that is being done to the brain.
Starting a migraine is the body’s way of revving up the system and increasing the flow of blood and delivery of nutrients to the brain.
See the video below for a quick representation of a migraine aura.
VISUAL MIGRAINE AURA ANIMATION
It also causes us to stop what we are doing, in case what we are doing is causing the damage to the brain.
We want to support this process by increasing the available nutrients in our body, stopping what we are doing that may be causing damage to brain cells and giving our body and brain-specific tools to heal the damage. (To understand the damage see this article)
Also see our incredible herbal drink for migraines and headaches here.
How do we understand a migraine aura?
Migraine, just like many pains that we experience in our body are used by our body as a reflex.
This reflex is there to signal to us that we are creating tissue damage and to make us bring our awareness in onto our selves and stop what we are doing. Whether what we are doing right now is part of the cause or not.
Just like if we stub our toe on the corner of some furniture, the pain is there to make us stop doing it and teach us to not repeat the action.
It’s a very primal reflex, but it has worked for us for millions of years.
What is causing this damage to occur that our body has to respond with an aura and pain?
The patients experienced a “dramatic fall in the number of headaches per month, 85% of patients becoming headache free.”
The best part?
Along with 100% of the patients improving, food elimination is safe and inexpensive.
Food seems to be one of the biggest causes and triggers for migraines and even more for those that don’t respond well to treatments.
If we are eating food that our body is sensitive to, this can directly contribute to brain inflammation and oxidation which can lead to triggering and symptoms like aura.
Understand your food, where it comes from and how your body reacts to it.
If you experience digestive disturbances, frequent fatigue or cravings as well as headaches after meals, these can all add to triggering a migraine.
Your migraine pattern
This is the #1 area you need to recognize in your life, because few other people will be able to do it for you. Many people do not wear their emotions on their shoulder and so it is difficult to gauge what is going on from the outside.
A migraine pattern is a pattern of thought, emotion or behaviour that we take and usually repeat often.
From inside of us, if we don’t observe ourselves it can be difficult to see so we need to take a step back.
This pattern, however it shows up in our lives is a way that we initially learned to cope with a stress.
Our body uses patterns to make things easier on us so that we dont have to spend energy focusing.
But this pattern was built out of coping with a stress.
The problem is that this pattern can wind us up, build up tension and put us onto a rampage.
It becomes almost unconscious, even though it was used to deal with stress, usually becomes an even bigger stress and creates a huge amount of tension in our bodies.
We will run through the pattern and overcare. This overcare comes from our innate desire to care and to become attached to situations but when it becomes a pattern, it becomes overattachment.
We need to learn to recognize our migraine pattern, recognize our overcare and recognize our overattachment to situations, experiences, emotions etc.
If we can do that, we can recognize the pattern as soon as it starts, stop it and use techniques to drop any tension we are holding on to because of it.
Ginger is amazing and has been shown clinically to do wonders for migraines.
It is not only amazing for inflammation, but also for pain and nausea. This study found ginger to be useful as an abortive.
To top it off, it’s safe enough to use while pregnant or breastfeeding which makes it an amazing tool.
So how do we use ginger?
It can be taken as a fresh herb, as a dried powder, in a tea, through a home made ginger beer, ginger candies and even ginger capsules.
The goal is to get enough of it and this can be tricky with things like ginger beer and ginger tea.
This study found that 250mg of ginger was as effective at stopping migraines as sumatriptan.
This article states the needs based on the types as:
250 mg of ginger powder
1/8 tsp. of dried ginger powder
1/4 tsp. of freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp. of freshly grated ginger steeped in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes
1 tsp. of fresh ginger (not grated) steeped in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes
1 cup of ginger tea from 1 prepackaged ginger tea bag
Ideally, you want to take any abortives as soon as prodromal symptoms start coming but even during the aura and actual migraine may be effective.
For a super simple and delicious recipe see our ultimate herbal migraines and headaches drink here.
3. Stop what has already started
Once the aura has already started it can get tricky.
If our brain is creating a migraine because it is trying to protect itself, then stopping its protective mechanism may make matters worse.
It may even be responsible for why so many abortive medications leave migraine sufferers in “hangover” states for days.
But if we can go with the body, instead of against it…
And if we can help it do what it’s trying to do with a migraine which is:
Decreasing oxidant production
Upregulating antioxidant enzymes
Facilitating mitochondrial biogenesis
Releasing growth factors in the brain
Then we may prevent brain damage, full blown and even future attacks…
So we want to do what a migraine makes every migraineur do, just a little better.
Hydrate: But instead use brain friendly minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc.
Grab a big bottle of water, give it a sprinkle of sea salt, some raw honey and the squeeze of a citrus like lemon. Close the bottle and give it a good shake. This water will be much more hydrating, absorb into your body easier and provide way more nutrition than just toxic tap or bottled water.
Bonus: If you have magnesium supplements like most migraine sufferers should, add it to the water. Magnesium is like a fire fighter for your brain cells, it helps cool any fires going on.
Kill stimuli: Environmental stimuli are completely normal for the average person but once the brain has become fragile enough to get migraines, all stimuli can aggravate the brain. This means we want to have a blacked out room using black out blinds or garbage bags and tape over windows and doors. Cut out all sounds with ear plugs or muffs as well as any odours but we all know that.
If our abdominals are tight because of over-training or a mental desire to have a “flat stomach” we can end up limiting our breathing.
If we are constantly stressed or anxious, chances are, we are “chest breathers.”
A chest breather is someone who breathes with their chest.
Even though this may logically sound like the right thing to do because our lungs are in our chest, it’s not.
Our lungs are actually supposed to expand down more than they expand out.
They are only supposed to expand up a little…
Nowhere near enough to cause tension on the neck, head and shoulders but if we have a bad breathing pattern, this is a very common cause of headaches and poor oxygen intake.
To make matters worse, if we are breathing into our shoulders and neck then we are triggering stress receptors that will contribute to anxiety and bad sleep.
We want to breathe about 2/3 into our abdomen and only have the last 1/3 go into our chest which means NO neck or shoulder breathing.
How do we do this?
It takes time to retrain a breathing pattern especially if we have been doing it for 30 years, have social blocks preventing us from releasing our abdominal wall, are a nervous or anxious type of person or have stressed organs.
But it’s amazing what we can do with just 5-10 breaths, 2-3 times a day.
Ideally, we would do this anytime our migraine pattern starts to creep up.
To start and sensitize yourself, lay down flat with your back to the ground.
Grab a water bottle and place it on your stomach.
Your goal is to breathe a 6 second inhale and 6 second exhale without forcing anything.
On each inhale raise the water bottle with your stomach by breathing down into your belly.
On each exhale the bottle should come down.
Repeat this 5-10 times, nice and slow without tension for force.
Do this when you think you may be triggering, you can continue up to 30 breaths but don’t do more than that as you may relax too much and fall asleep. (Wouldn’t want that)
As a regular, do this twice per day minimum to retrain breath.
Usually, it is just a big life trigger that puts our body over the edge and into regular migraines.
Some common “straws that break the camels back” are:
Illnesses and infections
Because it takes so long to build up to creating the migraine brain and we are often unaware until it’s too late, it can take more than just dietary and lifestyle changes to reverse the brain’s fragility.
This is where getting a high quality holistic healthcare practitioner like myself, NUCCA chiropractors, CHEK practitioners, naturopaths, functional medicine practitioners etc can make a world of difference.
But we can boost the brains functioning ourselves if we just know where to look.
This review suggests that magnesium should be tried in every migraine patient because as much as half of all migraine patients may be magnesium deficient.
This double blind placebo controlled study of vitamin B2 riboflavin found that it significantly decreased frequency and duration of migraines.
“The results from this study indicate that folate(vitamin B9) intake in the form of FA may influence migraine frequency in female MA(migraine with aura) sufferers.”
This study found that pyridoxine supplementation(vitamin B6):
“Led to a significant decrease in headache severity and duration of migraine with aura attacks compared to placebo”
So magnesium as well as vitamins B2, B6 and B9 have all been found to be effective in some study’s and many including migraine with aura.
It’s awesome because these are all vitamins and minerals, have great safety profiles as long as they aren’t abused for months on end and are simply adding to our bodies nutrient reserves. In essence, we are supporting the body to do what it is trying to do with a migraine.
Each of these nutrients has been found to fit into brain cells metabolism and support the energy generation and “clean up” of any damaging particles.
The doses used in these studies were:
B6: 80mg/day (P5P is the best form)
B9: Dietary folate was assessed in the above study but this study found 5mg/day effective when combined with B6 (methylfolate is the best form of B9)
All of these nutrients are available in food and food comes with many more that are brain beneficial so this is why I always recommend developing a solid dietary program first.
None of these should be taken without the supervision of your healthcare provider as they will know your case best.
See the video below on Understanding the causes of Aura Migraines here:
When in doubt, abort.
Migraine pain can be incredibly difficult to bear and nobody wants to go through it.
When nothing is working and you feel it coming on, use all the safe abortive measures you have available.
It can be incredibly frustrating seeing healthcare providers that are not specifically dealing with migraines daily as they do not know what will be effective and it’s usually just a list of “to use” meds they choose from.
But when you find the right practitioner that checks you over for underlying root causes of migraines and gives you a solid nutritional protocol to help the brain repair and rebuild stronger cells, your life can change in a few weeks to months.
Migraines can come from many different sources and because of all of the misinformation I created a special free webinar presentation here to help you understand more about WHY you are stuck in chronic pain than ever before.
This webinar entitled the 3 linchpin areas that destroy hormones and leave your brain in pain will teach you more about brain health and what to do to fix it than you will find anywhere else on the web.
To see the webinar and more information on it click here.
Share this post and let me know in the comments below…
Then Stage 2 comes and we still feel great, but our hormones start coming down because just like a car, they can’t maintain full throttle forever.
In this stage, things like a need for coffee and stimulants will come and we get cravings for foods full of sugar.
This is where our triggers start showing up, we start getting a high threshold and lots of tension in our bodies just waiting for something to break us into a migraine.
What you can do about it:
– This is when you need to re-evaluate if destroying your body is worth the stress
-You can use different superfoods known as adaptogens to help balance the body’s stress response
– See your functional medicine practitioner as it may be a good idea to supplement with DHEA which is well known to help migraines as well
– Pick up a practice of meditation and breathing to drop cortisol levels and ease your fiery brain
If we continue burning ourselves up Stage 3 comes along.
Stage 3 is when our body stops creating things that aren’t absolutely necessary like sex hormones.
Instead, it will use the resources for stress hormones and we will start getting a lack of energy, cloudy headed, suppressed immune system and just poor enthusiasm for life.
This is when everything starts falling apart, hormonal migraines are huge, migraines will completely drain you and triggers are just growing.
What you can do about it:
– In this stage, it’s very important to go into what is called a ‘fall’ or ‘winter’ phase of life and bring in a whole host of recuperative and healing foods, exercises, supplements, behaviors and deep healing
– Look for support as making changes yourself can be very hard and seem impossible
These all play key roles and turmeric curcumin is an all star for each of them.
Every single one of our brain cells has mitochondria which we use to take the building blocks from our food and create energy.
If we aren’t receiving enough nutrients or our mitochondria are becoming dysfunctional from things like:
– Poor circadian rhythms
– Chemical toxicity
Then the chain of conversions our mitochondria has to go through to create energy gets cut off.
If the chain is going:
And it runs out of the necessary nutrients to go from C=>D then it will start to create byproducts which can create oxidative stress and start to damage the cell and the brain around it.
This means we want to keep nutrients flowing and dysfunction down.
And guess what?
Turmeric is there for us in the study titled, “Curcumin alleviates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes.”(21)
Regularly, our brain cells go through periods of being excited and periods of being at baseline.
This is needed for them to properly conduct messages, repair and clean out any waste build up.
But when a brain cell gets a signal from something like glutamate that causes it to excite, if the glutamate doesn’t eventually leave or if too much shows up at once, this excitement can lead to excitotoxicity.
We want to avoid this because excitotoxicity can end in brain cell death and the creation of migraines.(22)
This little spice that’s used so liberally in eastern cultures is actually protective for our brain cells against excitotoxicity.(23)
Inflammation is a big buzzword and one of the most well-known benefits of turmeric curcumin.
It’s a natural reaction created by our body to prevent infection, heal and repair.
Small acute amounts of inflammation are absolutely necessary.
But long-term exposure to inflammation on a chronic scale can become very detrimental to our brains and tissues.
Even the next generation migraine drugs that target CGRP are doing their part to reduce the inflammation caused by CGRP.(24)
It’s a no brainer when you suspect oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction or excitotoxicity…
So how do we use turmeric curcumin for migraines? + recipe
The indian culture has used turmeric for over 4000 years in every dish imaginable.
But there are a few rules to get a strong therapeutic effect:
– Combine it with a healthy fat
Having a good fat source with turmeric helps the body absorb some of its nutrients as they are mostly fat soluble.
– Make sure to add some fresh cracked black pepper
One of the active ingredients in black pepper called piperene has been shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.(25)
– Heat it for a short period on low
Heat has the amazing ability to release nutrients from hard bonds that make them less absorbable by the body. Using a low temperature for a short period gives it a good boost without destroying the beneficial nutrients.
– Use the whole turmeric root when possible
There are many beneficial nutrients that all work synergistically to create the effects of turmeric apart from just curcumin so whenever you can, use the entire root as opposed to an extract.
Essential oils are one of the most amazing man made creations from regular plants and herbs, especially for headaches.
Thousands of migraine headache, cluster headache, tension headache and sinus headache sufferers swear by essential oils ability to give them relief from a number of different symptoms like:
In this article we are going to be covering the all-star pain reliever for headaches, peppermint. As well some essential oil recipes that it works well in.
Studies / What essential oil works for migraines?
There are too many benefits to essential oils to list here so we will focus on the main ones used for headaches.
Peppermint is the most common and is well studied because of it.
The active ingredient in peppermint that works so well on pain is menthol.
In these two studies peppermints active ingredient menthol was used during attacks:
– This study found that 28% of the migraine sufferers had no more pain and another 28% had only mild pain.
– In this study they actually compared it to placebo and found that, “the menthol solution was statistically superior to the placebo.”
This study on tension type headache found peppermint oil to be just as effective as 1000mg of acetaminophen.
Then there was this study that used Stopain which is a menthol gel and found that it “showed a significant improvement in headache intensity by 2 h after gel application.”
Peppermint and menthol are all-stars in the pain relief game and especially for headaches and migraines.
Look at our Migraine Professional communities post on essential oils here.
How it works
Peppermint has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and we know that all headaches are connected by oxidative stress.
It also relaxes muscles which can lead to relief of neck and shoulder tension created headaches.
It was also found that menthol relieves pain by activated the TRPM8 receptor which has been linked to migraine patients and relief of over sensitive pain receptors. TRPM8 is also connected to CGRP which is the basis for the new migraine drug erenumab.
But of course just like anything, personal tolerance to peppermint and menthol can still change and there are small risks of allergy or aggravation from it.
What else is mint good for?
Menthol from mint has also been found to be popular for:
Again the roller is one of my favourite ways to use essential oils and you can also carry it around with you in your car or purse when you are out instead of having a bunch of bottles.
Open the empty roller
Add 10 drops of each:
Top up with a carrier oil like sweet almond, close and shake.
How to use
Using an essential oil roller is super easy and just requires rolling it around on pain areas and then massaging in with your fingers.
The most commonly used areas are:
– Back of head
Oils can also be inhaled or used in other ways like:
I love my diffuser and use it every few days to add scents to my room for sleep, relaxation or focus.
– Spray/Room mist
This is a great way to get scents into your environment and some like Fighting five are actually great for killing molds, parasites and bacteria in your environment, bathroom, kitchen etc.
– Essential oils migraine bomb
This is an amazing way to boost the ability of an epsom salt bath to kill pain and bring loads of relaxation. The magnesium in epsom salt is amazing for migraine sufferers as they are fairly deficient and the sulfur in epsom salt is great for detoxification.
Below is a video on how to make your own bath bomb with essential oils.
Some even take them internally but this is not recommended unless you speak with someone knowledgeable on brands and types of oils as some should not be taken internally. Peppermint oil is different from peppermint essential oil.
Common headaches these oils are used for:
– Cluster headaches
Cluster headaches are a huge problem and peppermint is great for dealing with some of the accessory symptoms such as; nausea, stress, congestion, runny nose and muscle pain.
– Kids headaches
Because children are more susceptible to the damage caused by medication essential oils can be an easy way of engaging with them and giving them safe relief.
– Hormonal Headaches
According to Dr. Axe some essential oils such as lavender and rosemary “are used to treat PMS symptoms and hormonal imbalances, including headaches and migraine attacks.”
These can be very tricky if our trigger levels are high and we are just getting started on our healing journey so using essential oils can give us the relief to keep moving forward and figure out what’s going on while we start taking steps back to health.
There are many amazing natural ways we can get relief that are safe for our bodies and provide long term relief from the causes of migraines and headaches.
In the Migraine Professional community we are dedicated to finding and uncovering the root causes that lead to pain, inflammation, oxidation and diseases like migraines.
Sleep is also the master healer in our bodies which without we would break down and die.
The majority of the repair and cooling of the inflammation that goes on in our bodies happens during sleep.
Our body temperature drops and our brain shrinks to squeeze out all the built up waste from the days thinking.
Without sleep, headaches are unavoidable and there’s a reason why.
Bringing it all together
What are the pieces of the puzzle?
Some of the most common medications for ice pick are anti inflammatory
The american migraine foundation says “The cause of ice pick headache is unknown but it is believed to result from transient breakdowns in the brain’s central pain control mechanisms.”(3)
Headache and migraine disorders are commonly connected by oxidation and inflammation
One of the most common supplemental treatments is melatonin which is a strong antioxidant
When we start to look at it like this everything becomes more clear.
Break down in the brain doesn’t happen for no reason. For a tissue to stop working and degrade, unless there is an acute physical injury, it goes through a process of chronic inflammation or “fire” first.
If we want to be healthy and avoid inflammation and oxidation that can wreak havoc on our bodies we need to follow simple steps that keep our body cleaning out waste and delivering nutrients.
Now let’s talk about the 5 special tips I have for you:
Of course first and foremost is a simple hormone that you can buy at your health food store.
Usually, a dosage of 1 or 2 mg taken sublingually is enough and studies have been done on ice pick and other headache disorders like migraine here and here respectively.
But taking melatonin sublingually(under the tongue) is just scratching the surface of what’s going on here.
If melatonin is producing relief that means our body may well be deficient in it.
How does our body become deficient in a hormone that we absolutely need for sleep, repair and keeping oxidation and inflammation at bay?
Here are a few reasons that should be corrected before you become dependent on melatonin from outside of your body:
– You aren’t actually getting into deep sleep
– Circadian rhythms are out of whack and adrenal hormones are upside down
– Blood sugar is dropping and spiking at night
– You are deficient in proteins which give you the precursors to melatonin like tryptophan
– Excess fluoride in the water supply or diet lowering melatonin(4)
– Too much blue light from screens before bed
– Stress is keeping you out of relaxation and being able to wind down
2. Hot/Cold Technique
If an ice pick style headache is lasting longer than a few seconds you can quickly go for exposure to hot/cold.
The simplest way is warming your hands but this may not be enough.
Many headache sufferers use hot or cold on their head, neck, shoulders, hands, and feet.
One of the most common methods is to get your hands really warm and put your feet into cold or ice cold water.
Showering with cold is a great way to give your body the hunters reflex and change its blood flow pattern to take any heat and inflammation off the head.
3. Some Quick Minerals
Another simple trick that has worked quite well is a quick dose of minerals.
Taking a small cup of water, juicing a lemon or lime into it and giving it a good sprinkle of sea salt(Not table salt).
This mix provides you with a massive amount of minerals, enzymes, cofactors, and important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vitamins like vitamin C.
Juice it, stir and down.
This has been reported to work for other headaches as well and the minerals provided by the sea salt have been well studied for relief with various headache disorders.
4. The Ultimate Herb For Inflammation
There is an amazing herb out there, used all the time and for thousands of years before any of the anti inflammatory drugs existed.
This herb has an amazing safety profile but as always, make sure to check with your doctor before making any changes.
The neat thing about this herb is that its actually been studied and found more effective for inflammation than many of the drugs on the market.
Taking a thumb sized piece of turmeric root and blending, squeezing or crushing it for fast absorption is an easy way to deal with inflammation daily.
You can also get it in a powder and in a liquid in some places for easy use.
Pro tip: If using fresh turmeric, break it down, mix it with fresh ground black pepper and some healthy fats like coconut oil and let it simmer in a pot for a few minutes.
The piperine in the black pepper extends the effects of turmeric by 300% and the fat + cooking helps to activate them and make them available by the body.
When an ice pick headache hits, you want to be prepared.
If you’re lucky it will only be a few seconds, but if not, focus on bringing down inflammation.
Experiencing them regularly means you should start looking deeper at what is going on and creating stress in your body because stress leads to inflammation.
Finding the root causes of stress, supporting the body in how it functions and giving it extra boosts and support so that it can heal itself and return to normal functioning is what we work towards in the coaching I do with migraineurs here.
Your brain is constantly building new brain cells and replacing old ones, make the new ones stronger.
If you want to learn more about migraines and headaches than you’ve ever known because you want to get better, join the community here.
Let me know what works for you when you experience sudden head pains in the comments below and make sure to share this post because it helps others find new strategies.
I suffered for years trying anything I could get my hands on to get relief.
After going through many health courses and learning what causes migraines and headaches I’ve been migraine free for 7 years now.
Migraine sufferers are always on the lookout for effective ways to find relief from their debilitating symptoms. One method that has gained popularity in recent years is ear piercing, specifically tragus and daith piercings. Though still considered a non-mainstream solution, many people swear by their effectiveness in alleviating migraine pain. In this article, we will explore the reasoning behind these piercings, the science (or lack thereof) supporting their use, and the testimonials of those who have experienced relief like the one below.
What is the tragus/daith ear piercing and how does it work to stop migraines?
There are two ear piercings that are gaining a lot of attention in the migraine treatment world because so little is focused on dealing with the actual causes of migraines like neuronal excitation and inflammation.
The two piercings are:
There are some differences between the two but there is far too little scientific literature on either to make clear distinctions.
Daith piercing is the more popularly discussed method of preventing and relieving migraines and headaches.
The Migraine Professional community definitely vouches for daith piercings’ effectiveness more than the tragus.
It is also little known about why they work or if they are simply placebo but here is what we do know.
Acupuncture uses similar areas to treat diseases which we will talk about further down…
These areas go through arnold’s nerve that is connected to the vagus nerve which has been implicated in migraine.
Some conditions like depression and epilepsy have been proven to be relieved by vagus nerve stimulation and some of the common devices for migraines like gammacore are specifically used on the vagal nerve for relief.
Stimulation of the vagus nerve has been shown to have analgesic effects in some studies, which could potentially explain the perceived relief from migraines with these piercings.
Acupuncture, acupressure and vagal nerve stimulation are the closest reasons we have that connects the possible migraine relief to tragus and daith piercings. But make sure to read our huge warning below.
It’s fairly simple.
You find a reputable tattoo shop, get the piercing done and take care of it so that it heals well.
Some even advocate pulling on the piercing when you feel pain coming on to stimulate the vagus nerve further. See video below:
A Huge Warning
Adding metal into your body is not to be taken lightly.
Providing you take care of the hole and it heals up well without infection and with a quality metal that won’t poison you…
It’s important to understand that our bodies are electromagnetic and run on biological electricity.
When we add a metal into our bodies tissues, we turn that metal into an antenna for any radio, internet or other electromagnetic frequencies in the area.
Our cells use a very small amount of energy to communicate with each other so when we introduce a large amount of stimulation into an area we develop chaos in the system.
The best materials to use to avoid this include insulating and neutral substances such as:
See the video below on one of the world’s most renowned health experts Paul Chek talking about the dangers of piercing, metals, implants and radiation below:
Which side is the best for tragus or daith ear piercings to help migraines?
Generally what is recommended is that you get the piercing on the side where you experience the most pain.
If we take what we know from the information above then we would make sure that if we have a one-sided piercing we get a piercing on the other side to help balance the pull of radiation.
For the musculoskeletal system, compensating for tension on both sides is easier than just one.
This is especially important if we have an imbalance like TMJ which can be made worse by one sided stress.
Is the daith or tragus ear piercing working through acupuncture?
There are some that say acupuncture is at work here and others not.
An interview on ear piercings with Dr. Foster says:
“”Yes I have heard of that piercing,” said Foster, an acupuncturist. “Whether it’s effective for all people suffering from migraines is an interesting question.”
Dr. Foster says it really just depends on the person and the type of migraine that they get. He says that point on the ear is associated with digestive organs. So if your migraine stems from digestive issues, the piercing could work.
“There are zones on the ear that correspond directly to zones on the body,” he said.”
And acupuncture is well known to work for migraines and headaches of all kinds.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and treat various health conditions. Some studies have shown that acupuncture may be effective in reducing migraine frequency and intensity (2). It is hypothesized that these piercings could stimulate acupuncture points that target migraine relief, but more research is needed to confirm this theory.
Even sham acupuncture works really well because needles have a huge placebo effect.
This study on acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis found that, “the mean (SD) frequency of attacks decreased in the true acupuncture group by 3.2 (2.1),
in the sham acupuncture group by 2.1 (2.5),
and the waiting-list group by 1.4 (2.5);
a greater reduction was observed in the true acupuncture than in the sham acupuncture group.”
My perspective is that it’s far better to use a systematic approach to health than just take shots in the dark.
It works much better and you know what’s happening so you can track and alter course for even more benefit.
How to change daith ear piercings, earrings and jewelry
By popular demand I’ve also attached a video on how to change daith ear piercings, earrings and jewelry below.
Reviews for tragus and daith ear piercings for migraine relief
Now we will talk about all the amazing and not-so-amazing reviews for these ear piercings and if they prevent migraines for others.
Now let’s see some reviews left in the comments of tragus and daith piercing videos:
Although scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of tragus and daith piercings for migraine relief is scarce, the power of personal experience cannot be underestimated. Many people who have undergone these piercings have reported significant improvements in their migraine symptoms. While it’s essential to approach such anecdotal evidence with caution, these personal testimonials can offer hope and inspiration to migraine sufferers who have tried other treatments without success.
These reviews are amazing, but what do the studies say?
Daith Piercing migraine studies
First off let’s start with one of the only actual scientific studies done on daith piercing. Sadly none have been done on tragus.
This study presents a case of a 54 year old man with “refractory chronic migraine with medication-overuse, who substantially improved after bilateral ear daith piercing.”
Of his own free will he decided to get the daith piercing.
“After that, he experienced a reduction of migraine attacks, which became very rare, and infrequent, less disabling episodes of tension-type headache.”
But this doesn’t tell us much because it’s only one case.
The first is a survey done by migrainebuddy which involved 70 users who shared their experience, made simple in the graph below.
This shows that 41% experienced no change but the rest did.
Next we have a survey done by migrainepal which included a much larger 1107 participants.
This shows that 36% of people who participated and had the daith piercing had their migraines stay the same or increase since the piercing.
The rest reduced or eliminated their migraines.
These studies are basically showing that it’s fairly 50/50 hit or miss.
What can we learn from this?
Taking all of this information into account, it’s important to understand that this little and seemingly insignificant piercing in the grand scheme of migraine can make a huge difference in a person’s life.
That said, it doesn’t seem to be addressing the cause of migraine that often goes untreated and can create neurological damage later on.
In my personal practise I’ve seen much better results in taking a systematic approach where you address all the factors that are adding oxidation, inflammation, stress and tension into your life.
Doing this alone often relieves migraines by half or more unless there is a deeper pathology going on.
But it’s simple, the body is always trying to heal and always attempting to repair damage that leads to pain.
If we can remove what’s causing the damage and give the body the support it needs through its 6 foundation principles…
Then add in some supplements to fill in the holes and pain disappears.
When nothing else works, we need to learn simple steps we can take to heal our brain, recover our digestive capacity and fix our hormones.
This is exactly why I created the 10 steps program which takes you step by step over 10 weeks to developing a strong foundation on which your brain can recover.
Our brain is about 90% immune cells so as much work as we need to do for our neurons, we also need to fix our immune system or the inflammation will keep on coming.
Click the picture below and learn the simple system that works without drugs or invasive procedures.
Have you ever had your daith or tragus pierced for migraine relief? Let me know in the comments below.
See our facebook discussion and what everyone has to say about their experience here.
Every once in a while you can end up with a headache and think no big deal, I’ll just sleep it off…
But then you wake up and it’s still there.
It just keeps growing and getting worse.
Building and throbbing until you feel like you are going to break.
It’s really scary.
I’ve had a few of them throughout my life and even though they were doozies, I’m still here today and now migraine free for over 5 years.
In this article I’m going to be talking about the headache that won’t go away and 9 things to do about it.
1. Double Check
First and foremost it’s important to make sure we aren’t causing the headache with rebound drugs or medications, because these can continue to create headaches no matter what we try.
When we take a substance that causes vasodilation or vasoconstriction, if the amount taken is more than the body can compensate for then we may experience a “rebound” effect.
Chronic migraine and other chronic headache sufferers know that medications can be life savers, but when we end up taking medication:
– In excessive doses
– The wrong type
– Too frequently
We can end up with rebounding headaches.
So first and foremost double check your medications and sources of vaso constrictors and dilators like chocolate, histamine, tyramine, caffeine etc.
Watch the video below to hear Dr. David Hills advice on how to make a headache go away.
2. Remove sensitive or trigger foods
One of the first places to look and one of the biggest clinical relievers of headaches is removing sensitive foods.
There are different types of sensitive and trigger foods that can continue aggravating our brains and bodies.
But there’s a catch, they are different for everyone.
Some people do well with coffee, others are sent into rebound by it.
Some people do well with high histamine foods, others cannot tolerate them.
But there are a few common links between most people with food triggers:
– The gut isn’t functioning properly
– Immune system is aggravated
– Detoxification is overloaded or compromised
Now when we talk about sensitive and trigger foods we can get into an amazing discussion about the gut-brain connection and how the health of our gut is directly proportional to the health of our brain.
But that is beyond the scope of this article as it would take 5000 words to cover and if you’d like to learn how food triggers can make or break your head healing program, click here to join our food triggers guide
To make it simple we can cover what are called the common 10 trigger foods.
These foods are what some food studies have found to be the most commonly aggravating foods to migraine and headache sufferers.
This list is definitely not an end all be all list but includes:
Coffee and Tea
If all of these are sensitive then it’s important to remember that something deeper is going on that is disrupting gut function which needs to be addressed first.
See our article on 7 great tips for complex and complicated migraines here.
3. Have you checked your sleep ergonomics?
One of the common contributors to headaches that won’t go away is what are medically known as cervicogenic headaches.
Cervico meaning neck and genic meaning created.
These neck-created headaches can continue giving us pain day-after-day-after-day if we don’t address the source of their caused imbalance.
Musculoskeletal imbalances, poor ergonomics and bad sleep posture can all add to tension on our shoulders, necks and heads that can aggravate pain and keep it coming back.
If you have chronic headaches it’s incredibly important to get a full physical assessment from an advanced physical practitioner like a CHEK practitioner.
They can not only help you determine imbalanced muscles but also help guide you to if they are being caused by poor organ function.
With more and more desk jobs, posture and ergonomics are at the forefront of creating health issues and helping us prevent them.
Sitting is the new smoking so we need to be wary of how we are positioning ourselves for hours a day.
If we are placing too much weight on a given area of the body we can end up with pinched nerves and this can lead to a host of problems including radiating pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and even organ dysfunction.
See the picture below for sitting posture.
Then we have sleep ergonomics.
If your mattress has a crater in the middle of it, throw it out.
Your pillow should also be ergonomically designed so that you’re comfortable and in a neutral position to not exert tension on any part of it while you sleep.
There are a few different sleep positions and your ideal position will be different from the next person depending on your needs.
Using tools like a pillow between your legs and towels rolled up under your neck and back can take 8 hours of stressful sleep off your body.
I have attached a video below from Dr. Axe that goes into some detail about sleeping positions and which ones work best and worst.
4. Do you experience abdominal fullness, bloating, gas or pain with it?
We know everything in the body is connected and each system works off of every other system.
When 1 system is compromised, the stress from that system can spill over to all the others and tax the body.
This is often the case with the digestive system.
If we are experiencing digestive symptoms throughout the day, even little things like frequent burping or gas, it can point to a compromised system, parasitic infection, dysbiosis or help point us to another system that may be causing the issues.
This is why I always advocate and teach that you need to listen to your body.
It cannot talk to us directly, instead, it uses signs and symbols.
Mood swings, drops in energy, acid reflux, loose stools etc. are all pointing to systems that are having problems running their operations.
Start adding up the symptoms and see where they are pointing, do some research and if you need help then find a good holistic medicine practitioner that can connect the dots for you.
For a way to address all the different factors that go into the creation of high trigger levels that may lead to migraines start the 10 steps program by clicking here.
5. Is something else flaring at the same time?
This is a graph showing the percentage of migraine sufferers with comorbidities in 2017.
There is no surprise here.
One of the most common triggers that get reported to me is emotional stress.
Because of all the hormones like cortisol released during these stressful times, our body thinks we are dying and shuts off any cleaning or digesting which severely impairs our ability to prevent other triggers from sneaking up as well.
Now take a look at this graph showing all reported comorbidities.
These are huge.
If one of these is flaring at the same time, then you have a place to go and explore further for the cause.
Always look at the whole picture, what systems are compromised and where the big stressors are coming into your life.
6. Is there too much heat or too much cold in your body?
Do you find yourself getting really hot, have redness or inflammation anywhere?
Or are you cold, get cold easily, feel tired and fatigued?
These can both point you towards what you should work on.
When we go too far into either side of the picture above we can suffer.
But by using the opposite side we can create balance in our bodies again.
Workout a lot? Get better rest.
Feel tired often? Use energy building exercises and foods.
Think too much? Schedule time to not think.
These two forces will constantly impact us no matter who we are or where we go.
A simple trick for if you are too cold is to start regular infrared sauna sessions a few times a week.
If you are too hot and wound up then take some cold showers or try an ice plunge to help reset your body’s parasympathetic nervous system.
7. Support the brains detox mechanism
The brain goes through a process of detoxifying all of the waste that gets created, every day.
There is a system in the brain called the glymphatic system which removes waste through the cerebrospinal fluid.
When we go to sleep and our stress hormones drop(if they drop) then the glymphatic system goes to work, opens up and clears the brain of waste that accumulated throughout the day.
This is why the brain looks like it’s working just as hard during sleep as it is during the day.
It’s working really hard to clean out waste that’s linked to neurodegenerative diseases like alzheimer’s and dementia.
How do we optimize our sleep so that our brain can clear the gunk?
Watch this video then read the tips below:
Always sleep in complete darkness and if you are sleeping in make sure there is no morning light in your room. If light touches your skin, the stress hormone cortisol gets produced to wake you up, cut the light.
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, this means it needs to be limited to the morning so that blood levels are low during sleep. Caffeine will prevent stress hormones from dropping and sleep hormones from rising.
Have a balanced meal before bed, not just carbohydrates and don’t have binge dinners. A fair amount of protein with some complex carbohydrates and healthy fats make for a deep sleep and no night waking.
Exercise as early in the day as possible so that the stress hormones created from it will drop by bedtime.
Stay hydrated but don’t drink loads of fluid before bed as this can cause you to have to pee in the middle of the night. Tip: Add some sea salt to your water before bed to prevent having to pee.
Keep a regular sleep schedule. Our body is run by circadian rhythms which work off of a 24 hour light/dark cycle. When we wind down with the sun setting and wake up with the sun rising, while doing it at the same time every day, our body can prepare all of our stress and sleep hormones accordingly.