Wednesday, October 15, 2008


There are a fair number of different kinds of headaches. First, many people recognize that it is not the brain that aches. It has no pain receptors in it. However, the head, outside of the brain can hurt, and this can be disabling.

Muscle tension headaches are among the easiest to treat without medication. Learning to tense and relax muscles is an important skill for people who have this variety of headache. Muscle tension headaches can also be relieved by progressive relaxation, by hypnosis, or by meditation.

Vasoconstrictive headaches are caused by increased blood flow to the vessels around the head. Roughly two thirds of these can be stopped by reversing that blood flow in a simple way without medication. The idea is to move blood away from the head. This is done by dilating (opening) the blood vessels in parts of the body that are away from the head. Taking a warm bath is a good idea. Running warm water over the hands is another. Make a cup of hot herbal tea (non-caffeine) and wrap your hands around it.

The psychologist was working at a secondary school in eastern North Carolina. The child stopped taking a test, complaining of a headache. He took a chance that it might be a vasoconstrictive headache (a good chance/guess because of the circumstances). The student and the psychologist went to the only nearby place with warm water, a sink in the teacher's lounge. The student held her hands under warm running water for a few minutes and her headache disappeared!!! She completed the testing without a complaint of head pain.

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