This chapter is an extract from book: Headaches Begone! A Systemic Approach To Healing Your Headaches.
Chapter 11. Holistic Therapies
The following therapies require you to work with a professional practitioner. While you could be trained in any of those and go DIY-style, when someone else treats you, you often get a better outcome.
Access Consciousness Bars suggests that a certain kind of headache happens when a certain aspect of life force is blocked. This can be an issue with abundance, sexuality, control, awareness, etc. This modality can release the block and allow the energy to flow and thus almost instantly eliminate the headaches. The practice is of a gentle touch of 32 special points on your head. It can be performed by a certified practitioner or can be done by yourself. Gary M. Douglas, the founder of this modality, wrote several books on this subject.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science of healing. It identifies two causes of migraines: excess of Vata and of Pita in the body. As a treatment, an Ayurvedic practitioner may prescribe a special diet, Ayurvedic herbal oil massage (Abhyanga), pouring herbal oils on the forehead (Shiradhara), and other traditional treatments.
Bowen therapy is an effective method for removing the congestions that lead to the symptoms of various types of migraine headaches. Bowen treatments are of a very gentle nature.
Color therapy typically uses two colors to treat headaches: violet to calm the body, and blue to cool and soothe it. A color therapist will have special color emitting devices to shine on your body, but you can also surround yourself with these colors, eat natural foods of violet and blue colors, and meditate while visualizing these colors. Other hues of colors might be suggested to you by your practitioner depending on your specific circumstances. Darius Dinshah wrote an excellent book on color therapy: “Let There Be Light” if you can get a hold of it.
Chiropractic manipulation may help at migraine prevention if the onset of the migraine comes as a result of spinal misalignment. Chiropractic treatments also help to strengthen and balance the nervous system, which promotes healthier body functions.
Colon hydrotherapy is a gentle washing of the large intestine with purified water to clean and remove mucoid plaque (built up fecal matter). It’s suggested that when digestion and elimination is improper, it leads to an unhealthy colon, which, instead of eliminating toxins retains them, and they get re-absorbed into the blood stream, leading to many different diseases and issues, including headaches and migraines. For more information, see “Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management Paperback” by Dr. Bernard Jensen.
Cranio-sacral therapy uses a very gentle touch to enhance the function of the craniosacral system, which is comprised of the membranes and the fluid that protects your brain and the spinal cord. Through minor adjustments, this therapy can eliminate migraines and other types of headaches.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) involves gentle finger tapping on various points around the body, often combined with affirmations, to release various energetic and emotional blockages in the body that cause the pain. You can work with a practitioner and you can also learn how to do it on your own by studying Nick Ortner’s book “The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living”.
The Feldenkrais method helps you identify your movement patterns and incorrect postures that may be a contributing factor to headaches. This method teaches you body awareness in stillness and movement, and how to be in charge of all the movements of your body. The whole body is addressed in this approach when working on headache relief. Tiffany Sankary published a visual guide to the Feldenkrais method in her “Feldenkrais Illustrated: The Art of Learning”.
German New Medicine suggests that migraine headaches happen due to an inner conflict caused by an unanticipated event in the past. When you have migraine, you are actually in a healing phase, except it’s stuck in so called “tracks”. The therapy is about identifying and understanding the nature of the conflict and then releasing the “tracks” and any body memories around that event, providing an instant resolution.
Homeopathy uses extremely small amounts of substances, which in large amounts can induce the symptoms which are being treated. Other substances that don’t trigger headaches can be used in homeopathic treatments for migraines and headaches. The following homeopathic remedies are used for various types of headaches: arnica, belladona, Bryonia alba, china, cimicifuga, Cocculus indicus, cyclamen, gelsemium, Ignatia amara, Iris versicolor, lachesis, Natrium muriaticum, Nux vomica, Ranunculus bulbosis, Sanguinaria canadensis, sepia and spigelia. Consult your homeopathy practitioner to find which one should be used for your condition. Homeopathy is not a symptom-oriented science, and approaches the whole system to eliminate the cause, providing a long-term resolution, rather than continuously trying to deal with symptoms.
Hypnotherapy is reported to help sufferers to either dramatically reduce the frequency and the intensity of the headaches, or to completely get rid of them. Hypnotherapy is well-established in mainstream medicine and has been well researched and studied. Even though hypnotherapy can be used to treat both the physical and emotional causes of headaches, it’s recommended that you see a doctor first to ensure that your headache is not a symptom of an underlying disease, such as a brain tumour.
Depending on your circumstances, hypnotherapy could either resolve and remove the cause of the headaches (e.g. emotional struggle) or teach you very simple ways to work with your subconscious mind to eliminate or reduce pain. There are many consumer hypnosis products out there:, but you probably will have a much faster and profound change if you work on your unique circumstances with an experienced hypnotherapist.
Head, shoulder and neck massage. Seeing a professional is ideal, but self-massage of the temples, neck or back too can relieve a headache. To become a “pro” at self-massage, read Sarah Jason’s book “Self Massage Therapy: How You Can Effectively Use Acupressure Points To Treat Migraines and Headaches At Home”.
Also try to consciously relax your jaw and facial muscles, and ideally all of your body. You may want to study a very simple Shavasana technique from yoga, which teaches you how to completely relax your whole body.
Myofascial release works best if a headache is the result of myofascial or connective tissues damage due to bad posture, lack of stretching, prolonged repetitive motion, stress, trauma, inflammation and injuries. Myofascial release brings the fascia to a balanced and free state and provides long-term headache relief.
NeuroCranial Restructuring (NRC), developed by Dean Howell, successfully treats chronic headaches and migraines. The focus of this therapy is skull and spine alignment through a combination of various holistic modalities. Dean wrote a book called “NeuroCranial Restructuring: Unleash Your Structural Power“.
Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) works on releasing the energetic imprint of old emotional patterns and reducing stress. This in turn can help eliminate headaches and other bodily pains that happen due to stress and emotional blockages. It uses muscle testing for diagnosis, and acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments for releasing the blockages.
Neurofeedback. The essence of neurofeedback is to teach someone dealing with chronic pain how to encounter stress without adverse physiological effects. Through progressive relaxation, visualization and breathing techniques, you can train your body to relax and make the process a consistent and unconscious habit. Having low body tension throughout the day might help you to have fewer headaches.
Oxygen multistep therapy by Manfred von Ardenne and Revici’s method by Dr. Revici both connected migraines with hypotension. They suggest a nutrient and oxygen therapy model to address the cause. For more details see The Migraine Hypotension Connection.
Another related therapy is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, where one breathes pure oxygen in a pressurized room. According to several studies, a significant relief from migraines is received after about 45 minutes of this therapy.
Pulsing electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) promotes normal brain electro-physiology and can help alleviate, and in some cases even prevent, many types of headaches. The therapy is approved in many countries and quite a few successful scientific studies were done. Here are the books on the subject of PEMF and devices.
Prolotherapy (sclerotherapy, reconstructive therapy). Prolotherapy is minimally-invasive, non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction. The goal of prolotherapy is to re-tighten the ligaments and tendons of joints and other painful areas by shorting the collagen fibers within the connective tissues. When it is performed, the structure causing the pain regains its normally-taut configuration, thereby eliminating the root cause of pain. Prolotherapy lends well to dealing with headaches. Dr. Elisabeth recently published an easy to understand book called “Chronic Pain and Prolotherapy – Why you have chronic pain and what you can do about it”.
Reflexology. In reflexology, different areas of the feet, hands and ears correspond to different parts of the body. By stimulating those specific parts through massage, it’s possible to heal the corresponding body parts. While it’s the best to see a reflexologist, you may try massaging all around the middle and the top of the big toes and thumbs to treat your headaches.
Shiatsu. Similar to Acupressure, this is a Japanese modality, but it works in a very similar way. For more information please refer to Paul Lundberg’s “The Book of Shiatsu: Vitality & Health Through the Art of Touch”.
Somatoemotional Release (SER) works primarily with past traumas that haven’t been resolved on the energetic and emotional levels. It works with the concept of “Energy Cysts”, which are “pockets”, where your body stores the residual effects of the past traumas and unresolved emotions around it. Each such energy cyst consistently consumes your life force and, if you have a lot of unresolved traumas or if your body is not in a good shape, over time they will start manifesting themselves in the form of various pain symptoms and dysfunctions. This modality has been created by John E. Upledger, DO, OMM, and biophysicist Zvi Karni, PhD in the late 1970’s. A good introduction text to this modality and craniosacral therapy is John E. Upledger’s book “Your Inner Physician and You: Craniosacral Therapy and Somatoemotional Release”.
Su-Jok. This modality originates in Korea and these days has found a new home in Russia. It combines many Eastern healing arts such as acupuncture, reflexology, mind power, colors, seed therapy and much more. It could be tricky to find a Su-Jok practitioner in your area, therefore read the following instructions to learn how to perform the headache removal procedure by yourself How To Get Rid Of A Headache with Sujok.
Traditional Chinese medicine is a very old whole body healing system that simultaneously treats both the causes and the symptoms. It works with organs, meridians, elements and other internal systems. Its intention is to balance the whole body. Disease has no place in a balanced body. Various modalities are used: massage, herbs, QiGong, acupressure, etc.
Acupressure and acupuncture. If you can’t see an acupuncturist, you can try on your own using acupressure; there are many different acupressure points that can be used, depending on the triggers, type and location of the headache. Two major points are between the webbing of the thumb and index finger, and also between the big toe and second toe. Find a sore point in these areas, press, hold and work the point in a circular motion for 3 seconds, release and repeat. Do that on both hands and optionally feet. If your headache is acute, these points will be very sore and may even throb under your pressure. Continue pressing the points until soreness dissipate. Small magnets can also be used to activate these points.
Another suggestion is pressing the cheekbone (zygomatic bone) up and out from within the mouth on the afflicted side of your head with the help of your thumb. Follow that procedure by placing both thumbs on your upper palate inside your mouth and pressing the sides out. Do each procedure for a few seconds with moderate pressure, and then let go. Repeat several times.
You can learn more techniques of self-acupressure from books on this subject.
This chapter gave you a sample of holistic therapies that can help you with various types of headaches. If none of the introduced ones seemed to resonate with you, or you cannot find a practitioner in your area, there are other holistic non-invasive modalities out there that can help with your condition. Almost any holistic therapy that works to bring the whole body to balance, rather than dealing with just the symptoms, can be of great help.
Use your intuition to see which methods appeal to you the most. Read books on the subject and their reviews, so that you can have a better idea of what method you’d like to invest your time and money in before you see a practitioner.
Read the remaining chapters of the book: Headaches Begone! A Systemic Approach To Healing Your Headaches.