There are so many different types of headaches, many of which are very rare but they all have common causes.
Oxidative stress is a linking connection to all triggers of head pains and understanding how to stop it, avoid it and protect from it is the key to freedom from pain.
In this article, we will cover 3 practical tips for nummular headaches which are often found around the temples.
What are nummular headaches?
Nummular headaches are a much less studied and rarer condition.
The word nummular means coin-shaped or coin-sized and this is exactly what nummular headaches are.
Headaches that are usually the size of a small to large coin.
The size usually ranges from a penny to a lime and most often occurs on the sides of the head and temples.
I could go into more details about how nummular headaches present but it’s important to understand that the naming behind headaches is not because this has actually been found to be different from other headaches in what is causing it and treating it but because different pictures of symptoms require different “labels.”
It is strictly for the purposes of medical doctors having labels to classify things under that some headaches like nummular headaches exist.
This means that even though it sounds like a different headache, the causes, contributors, and ways to relieve it are largely the same.
Research also shows that those with nummular headaches will often experience migraines as well, only supporting the fact that the individual that has the headache is much more important than the headache the individual has. (Study)
3 Practical tips for nummular headaches
1. Flip the switch
When we are understanding headaches we need to understand that the trigeminal nerve often plays an important role.
But this nerve, just like all of our nerves are on a “chain of command.”
This means that they are slaves to everything the body prioritizes above them.
If our brain is having issues, it can “vent” the problem out into the nerves, just like a breaker would, to prevent overload in the brain and a power outage.
This is very common with head pains as well as other chronic pains like back pain.
So if our brain is running on “high” and this is causing a massive output of energy that it can’t handle. It has to let go of it somehow which can end up as head pain…
This means we need to turn our brain down. Flip the switch from high to low.
This is most often caused by sympathetic overload.
Our body has two modes that it is constantly switching between if we are healthy.
1. Fight or flight mode
2. Rest and digest mode
Fight or flight is lead by our sympathetic nervous system and activates when we are stressed, in danger or even when our body thinks we might be in danger. This is the mode that is on when our brain is overloaded and can contribute to pain.
Rest and digest is lead by our parasympathetic nervous system and activates when we are calm, relaxed, sleeping, meditating etc. This is the mode that switches off the high output.
So we want to stay in rest and digest and out of fight or flight, simple.
But staying in rest and digest means a few things.
High-quality breathing throughout the day
This means we should be breathing through our nose most of the day and night with deep belly breaths. No raising the shoulder when you breathe and little to no mouth breathing.
Low toxic load from food pesticides, junk foods, environmental toxins, hygiene products, heavy metals etc
Our body takes in stress as a “total.” If there’s a heavy burden on its detox systems because of poisons, it will think it is in danger. Use natural products and eat whole foods. Read labels. (See article)
Quality restful sleep
Do you feel refreshed? See our article here on sleep.
Stable blood sugar
No yoyoing. If your waist measurement is over 80% of your hip measurement then your carbohydrate intake should be low and only include complex carbohydrates.
Enough exercise to send yourself into sympathetic for a short time but give yourself a strong parasympathetic rebound
When we exercise, our body gets very fight or flight because it thinks we are stressing. But this is good if used the right way because when the exercise is over, our body will rebound the opposite way, causing us to go into a repairing and regenerating rest and digest state much better than before.
Keep the switch on calm, cool, collected and “yin.” Stay out of the aggressive, stressed, reactionary mode that drains your body’s resources.
2. Understand migraines
Instead of thinking of migraines as a condition, it’s much more useful to think of them as a mechanism.
We all have this migraine mechanism that can be triggered in the right conditions. (Study)
Just like we all get pain if we put our hand on a hot stove.
Keep it simple and address the cause of the load on your body. You most likely know what it is.
Tune in to yourself, stop for a moment and get out of your “monkey mind” and get into your body.
What is it saying and what is it asking for?
Migraines function on a trigger level and threshold. If our trigger level which is the total of stresses on our body crosses our threshold which is the amount of tolerance our brains have, we will get a migraine.
Take some time, preferable right when you wake up and right before bed to tune in. Don’t reach for your phone because this just causes you to tune in to other peoples lives.
Tune into your own and ask yourself how you feel and what’s going on.
What emotions are the first to come up?
Are you stressed? Most likely…
What is it about?
Stress is like an open tab on your computer. It will keep draining the total energy of the computer unless you deal with it.
Take the thought and emotion to the end, find a logical conclusion or solution that will put your mind at ease, at least for now.
Stressing over an issue will do nothing but take away from your ability to actually deal with it when it is most important.
Save yourself for the most important time to deal with something that is stressing you. Do not hold on to it.
Mental and emotional stress is one of the biggest factors that add to our trigger level and trigger the migraine mechanism which may be responsible for your headaches.
Tune in every day, at least once but ideally when you wake up and before bed.
Nobody will be there for you more than you.
If you need to know more about the migraine mechanism see this article.
3. Kill inflammation
Inflammation is one of the very first and last pieces of disease and pain.
Where there is pain, there is inflammation.
This is especially true for headaches.
Even though the exact area of the pain may not necessarily be inflamed because our bodies are highly integrated, the source of the pain usually is.
Inflammation is a reaction used by the body to repair itself, but when this inflammation continues over a long period of time it can actually become counter-productive and cause our tissues to break down.
This is often seen in the brain where inflammation responds to the break down of our brain cells but then if the source of the breakdown isn’t fixed, this inflammation continues and our migraine brain can end up with those scary white spots. (See below)
We need to stop this.
This means stopping the cause but also soothing the inflammation that is already there.
Here is a simple step by step to start with:
1. Do you have food triggers?
One of the most common causes of headaches is food sensitivities. This is an absolute must area that you have to spend time investigating. A minimum of 1-3 months of intensive dietary testing should be done because one of the root causes of inflammation is from food. See our food triggers guide here.
2. Are your hormones out of balance?
Hormones are huge players in our health, they are the big signalers behind our entire body’s systems and if they are out of balance, they can take a small inflammatory spark and turn it into a large inflammatory firestorm. Have them tested. See our 5 mistakes of hormonal migraines guide here.
3. Have you been checked for structural issues?
Function follows structure. If our structure is out of balance we can literally be causing a chronic short circuit. Our body functions on bio-electricity and because of this, it needs to be wired properly. Get a NUCCA chiro to check your cervical spine and see our article on cervicogenic headaches here.
4. Did an accident start the pain?
If this all started after a physical trauma, you know where to look. But you have to find the right practitioners to deal with it and only seeing a GP and a physical therapist usually is not enough. See a CHEK practitioner, osteopath, cranio-sacral therapist and neuromuscular therapist.
5. Could trauma have begun the process?
The patterns of mental and emotional behavior we experience when we are young get imprinted onto us. If we don’t recognize unhealthy patterns and work to release and replace them, we can literally continue acting ourselves into trigger day in and day out. If you think trauma plays a role make sure to see a trauma release therapist.
6. Brain metabolism break down?
When the above seems to be okay and we’ve been inspected by some of the best integrative medicine practitioners, then we need to look at brain metabolism. If our brain is not receiving the right nutrients to go from A to Z then it will create by-products at B and C and D and E and these byproducts can literally result in the death of brain cells and a “blackout.” This needs to be resolved and you can learn more about it in our article on how to stop a migraine with aura here.
Headaches can be complicated if we go to the wrong sources who don’t investigate what is actually causing the issue and instead just numb pain.
But when we can understand the root causes and give our body support, we may become completely free of chronic pain and because of this, you should join the migraine professional community here.
Have you ever had a nummular headache? Comment below and share this post with someone who may be experiencing headaches right now.
Holistic Health Practitioner
Mark Canadic is a writer, speaker, holistic health practitioner and migraine community leader. Read Mark’s inspiring comeback story, “My Burnout and Brain Fires that Lead me to the Root.” Feel free to send Mark a message here.