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by Todd Pennington, LMT

Headaches ­ A diffuse or specific pain in portions of the head, which may be acute or chronic. They are frequently classified as tension, cluster, exertional, migraine, and histamine. Headaches can be a signal of major medical problems, if all other concerns are controlled or if it is really bad, consult a doctor. This is a general caution as most headaches are not a symptom of other medical conditions.

Causes ­ Most headaches are caused by muscle tightness, toxin buildup, or bones being out of place. The occasional headache is easy to take care of by use of pain pills or just letting the headache go away with time.

Toxin build-up is most likely due to physical exercise, to a change in diet, release of a lot of muscle tension, environmental causes such as work, pesticides, cleaners, preservatives, etc. A good way to relieve it is to drink more water. A general rule is if the pain is there, drink a quart of water. If it continues drink another quart of water. Many sources say to drink at least two quarts of water a day and many dietary cleanse regiments say to drink a gallon of water a day. The average person in our culture does not drink enough water. Drinking pop, coffee and other such beverages give us liquids but each has their own additives which the body must then take care of. If the headache is due to environmental toxin buildup (heavy metal and man-made chemicals), I suggest that you see a Naturopathic Doctor for help in getting rid of them.

Bones out of place ­ The brain and spine get their oxygen and food from a special fluid derived from blood but separate from blood. If the spine is pinching on this fluid flow, it can cause the pressure in the spine to increase, which can increase the pressure in the head, sometimes producing a headache. Also, if the head bones are out of place, the pressures within the head are changed and in some people this can produce headaches, even migraines. Chiropractors are good at getting the bones to align side to side. If you are going to a chiropractor more than a few times a year, then muscles are pulling the bones out of place, and moving the bone is not getting the muscle to relax. Control Muscle Release Therapy looks at the muscles that control bone and muscles at a distance. The goal is to release the muscles easily and gently. The easiest way to release the whole body is to relax the key regions of the body.

Tight muscles ­ Everyone has tension in their life; in many people this results in tight muscles. Take a hand and grasp your hair, now move the hand and feel if your scalp is loose. If it is tight this same process done all over the hair can loosen the scalp and it frequently can relieve a headache. Muscles in the neck can pull on the bones hard enough to cause headaches. Sometimes the neck vertebrae get pulled out of place enough to disrupt the head and the back. Control Muscle Release Therapy can find muscles that cause bones to get out of place and relax them so that they can slide back to their normal location.

Trauma ­ Any time the head is hit or the neck moves uncontrolled, fluid flow in the head is affected. Either of these events tightens muscles all along the spine and in the head. If the spine is pulled out of normal shape anywhere along its length, it can affect the fluid flow around the brain. We are set up to keep the brain supplied with oxygen and sugar; if the flow is not enough, then the pressure increases so that it will be enough to keep the brain alive. Sometimes the increase in pressure will cause a headache. In many cases a fall long ago started tightening muscles and you lived with it such that you no longer even feel the pain; all you can tell is that mobility is not as good as it could be. Control Muscle Release Therapy massage and some other forms look for ways to get the tension out of the muscles and allow the head to work normally.

Migraines are a signal that the body is way off normal. It is one way that the body has to get our attention and say NO to something that is going on. The trouble is trying to find the trigger and a way to take care of it. Read the scalp movement test at the top of this article. In many cases it helps the headache a lot. Migraines can be helped; it takes finding the cause and making the changes to correct it. In many cases specific massage such as Control Muscle Release Therapy can find what needs to change and to make the change. Each form of medicine has part of the answer; in many cases not enough variables have been considered to find some of the answers.

Even if you have been told that nothing can ever be done, there is hope of change if the problem is due to muscle tightness. Frequently this improvement can last for many years. To have long term results, the entire system must be relaxed and not just a part of it.

Free testing ­ If you want to be tested for any of these conditions, call for a free 10-minute appointment. I work on and all the issues that I have talked about. If that interests you, call and schedule a regular one-hour appointment.

For more information or an appointment call
Todd Pennington, LMT
(503) 244-4427