Headaches. Just thinking about the word can give you one!
Headaches are an annoyance to some of us and incapacitating for others. The
causes for headaches can be very simple or enormously complexa, ranging from
the every day stress of life to malignant brain tumors.
We see many people in our practice who have headaches. The most common causes
are muscle tension, fever, circulatory imbalances leading to migraines or
cluster headaches, and sinus congestion. Drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and birth
control pills can all cause headaches. Headaches often accompany drug overdose
or withdrawal symptoms as well. Food or environmental allergies can be a major
cause of headaches, and determining and removing the offending allergen can
often provide dramatic relief. Other causes may be high blood pressure, spinal
misalignments, eyestrain, poor posture, temporomandibular joint syndrome,
dental problems, menstrual problems, lack of oxygen, pollution, trauma and
When you have a headache, it is much better to treat the cause rather
than simply to make the headache go away.There are many alternatives to these
common pain medications like aspirin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol, which may have side
effects such as gastro-intestinal bleeding, ulcer and skin rashes. Why not try
simple, natural remedies and methods without side effects, instead of
automatically reaching for the aspirin? However, if a headache persists or
doesn’t respond to home treatment, do seek help from a doctor to make sure
it’s nothing serious.
Our approach to headache treatment will depend to a great extent on the
cause and specific symptoms of the headaches. We use a wide range of
treatments including the “four H’s” (homeopathy, hypnosis, herbs and
hydrotherapy) as well as dietary changes, massage, acupressure, spinal
adjustsments and spiritual healing. For simple headaches from anxiety or
muscle tension, we will recommend relaxation techniques, massage, acupressure
and hydrotherapy. We most often use homeopathic medicine as our main treatment
for chronic headaches, because it is our most effective and long-lasting
treatment for headaches. Acupuncture can also be beneficial.
Here are some simple techniques that you can use to relieve headaches
Acupressure: Rub each point firmly with your finger tip. Apply about
10-20 pounds of pressure. Sensitive points are the ones that need treatment.
Move the skin over the following points with a rotary motion, rather than just
rubbing over the surface. 1) In the web at the point where the thumb and
first finger join.2) At the inner corners of the eye sockets at the root of the
nose. Press upward as you massage the point. Also along the upper edge of the
eye sockets. 3) All along the flat ridge where the skull and neck meet. 4) Two
thumbs above the wrist crease on the back of the forearm in line with the
middle finger. 5) The pads and the sides of the thumbs and big toes. 6) Other
tender points on the head and neck.
Homeopathic Medicine: If the symptoms of your headache match the
indications listed below, that remedy may help your headache. Use only for
acute headaches. To treat chronic headaches homeopathically, consult a
Belladonna: Intense headaches, often right-
sided, with a red face, dilated pupils and, sometimes, a fever. Pain is worse
from noise, light and motion and better lying quietly in a dark room.
Bryonia: Steady, aching pain which is worse from the
least motion of the head or eyes. The person is generally quite Irritable and
wants to remain alone and perfectly still.
Nux vomica: Headaches
from indigestion or abuse of drugs, alcohol or caffeine or from overwork or
insomnia. The person is irritable, impatient, and chilly.
Gelsemium: Headaches from anticipation or the flu. The person
feels “dizzy, drowsy, droopy, and dull”. and is not thirsty. The pain is often
in the back of the head. Muscles are tired and achey.
Bichromicum: This is the classic homeopathic remedy for sinus
Herbal Medicine: Feverfew, periwinkle, and chamomile are used for
migraine headaches. For tension headaches, a mixture of valerian, passiflora,
skullcap and hops is often effective.
Hydrotherapy: Place the feet in hot water and wrap the head in a cold,
wet towel, or apply ice. Visualization: Imagine that the head pain has
a size, a shape and a color. Experiment with changing these characteristics,
ie. make it small, smooth and green, like a pea or a small dot, then quickly
zoom it out of the head until it disappears over the horizon or out into
Hypnosis: It can be very useful to contact the part of you which is in
charge of your headaches, find out what purpose they serve, and find painless
alternatives to accomplish the same thing.
Here are several headache cures we have seen which will offer hope to
One of our patients brought in her 10 year-old son because of his back to
school headaches which he developed every fall. The pain was in both temples
and was aggravated by bright lights and by fumes. The headache usually came on about l:00 in the afternoon. He felt
feverish with the headaches, even though he had no fever. He always seemed
overheated. His ears were red, hot, and burning at night and his face flushed
during his sleep. Normally he was rather pale.
We gave the child one dose of Belladonna and he has been free of
headaches ever since.
Ethel, a 73 year-old woman, called us from Kansas last year after hearing
us on the radio.
She hadn’t been to a doctor since 1956 when she had her last baby at age 40.
She was a vegetarian of 35 years described her health as good, except for
smoking (she said she didn’t inhale!) and her chronic headaches which began in 1968. They started when she was exposed to a laundry tub full of hot water with Chlorox and ammonia. The fumes were terrible. Her eyes watered for a week, she developed severe headaches, vomited, and blacked out. She stayed in bed for 24 hours but never saw a doctor. They gradually subsided, but she
continued to suffer from recurrent “bad spells” of headaches. She had had
excruciating headaches, so painful that she couldn’t talk or sleep, for the six
weeks prior to her calling us. She described it an exhausting “explosion of
pain”. After careful study, we prescribed Glonoine (homeopathic
nitroglycerine). She called two weeks later to say she was headache free and
she continued to be free of the problem.
Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are naturopathic and
homeopathic physicians and cofounders of the Northwest Center for Homeopathic
Medicine in Edmonds, WA. They are coauthors of The Patient’s Guide to
Homeopathic Medicine and Beyond Ritalin: Homeopathic Treatment of ADD
and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. They can be reached at (206)