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Pain is not normal – even headache pain

Fit to Farm: There is no need to think that pain of any kind is a routine part of life

So many people experience headaches that we’ve almost come to normalize them, but they are often very relievable. Remember, pain of any kind, even something as normalized as a headache, is not normal, nor is there any need for it to be a routine part of your life!

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with headaches:

Hydrate

The lymphatic system holds about 15 litres of fluid, and the circulatory system is another six litres of fluid — the entire body relies so much on water to stay functioning and healthy.

Most people drink less than four glasses of water a day, so muscle pain, joint pain, chronic pain, headaches, and energy troubles are common. The body must be hydrated! An optimally functioning adult should be drinking two to three litres of water per day at a minimum.

Breathing

Yes, that thing I talk about so much… that we all do. Another basic life process that is highly underrated when it comes to how we function.

Tension around the neck leads to trigger points being activated and headaches resulting. Think “tension” headaches at the base of the skull, forehead, and behind the eyes.

Migraines can be classified in a few ways, one of them being ischemic (restricted circulation) meaning something is causing a decrease in circulation to the brain or soft tissue around the skull. One of these causes can and often is connective and soft tissue tension in the upper body closing in on arteries and lymphatic vessels in the area.

Working on breathing mechanisms and taking some time to lay on your back or stomach with your head resting in your palms and doing some deep diaphragmatic breathing can make a huge difference in symptoms of headaches and migraines.

Movement

Movement helps circulate lymphatic fluid which is a big factor in inflammation and pain (if it isn’t moved around). Movement also increases circulation to those tense muscles and helps to relieve undue tension. Pain in movement? Pain will stop you from moving and that is not OK. Find a professional who knows how to get you moving pain free again.

Nutrition

We are designed to eat a variable diet of whole foods. Does that mean there isn’t a place for certain styles of eating? No — certain ways of eating can be very beneficial to help alleviate symptoms of many complaints like headaches and body pain, as both of these can connect back into general inflammation somewhere in the system. Finding the help of someone who understands health as a whole and using food as medicine can be very beneficial. Look into different options of registered dietitians, holistic nutritionists or functional medicine practitioners and do your own research. Try things.

Headaches often come from neck tension, postural dysfunction, lack of hydration, and sometimes inflammatory conditions in other areas of the body causing a chain effect.

Don’t get stuck in a negative pain loop around your pain/headaches. Never stop looking for a solution. Do stop sourcing quick fixes. Believe that there are ways to break the pain cycle — there always are!

About the author

Contributor

Kathlyn Hossack runs a clinical practice, Integrative Movement in Winnipeg, Manitoba and consults clients throughout Alberta on a regular basis. For questions or consultations email her at [email protected].

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