Category Archives: Headaches

Why Drink More Water? Top 10 Benefits!

waterCommit to drinking more water!  There are so many health benefits to drinking water and it’s so easy so free yet so overlooked.  Water makes up about 60% of the body there for you need water to function properly.  We begin to show signs of early dehydration (thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, etc.) as soon as that figure begins to drop. Your brain alone is actually  90% water!!

The amount of water each individual needs is different but some suggest 8 (8oz) glasses a day.  While your activity level, environment (temperature and humidity), and diet (including other beverages) all affect your required intake but if your urine isn’t mostly clear or you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you most likely aren’t getting enough H2O.

I find it helpful to fill a 1-liter container that I can use throughout the day to better monitor my intake. Seeing that container go down motivates me to keep drinking! The visual goal really helps. If you don’t care for the taste of……nothing, then try adding slices of citrus fruit (lemon, lime, or orange), cucumber, pineapple, or even mint leaves if you need a hint of flavor.

Like any new lifestyle change, it is best to start small: if you aren’t drinking any water, try for just a glass in the morning and one in the afternoon; gradually increase your intake each day.

Check out some of the Benefits of Drinking Water:  Don’t Medicate, Hydrate!

  1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue- Our brain is 90% H20 so drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate.
  2. Promotes Weight Loss- Removes by-products of fat, reduces hunger, raises metabolism and zero calories!
  3. Detoxifies-by flushing our toxins through sweat and urine.
  4. Improves Skin Complexion- Best Anti-aging treatment around!
  5. Maintains Regularity in Digestion
  6. Boosts your Immune System by how it speeds the process of flushing out toxins
  7. Natural Headache Remedy- Headaches are commonly caused by dehydration.
  8. Prevents Muscle Aches & Cramps by lubricating the tissues to become more elastic.
  9. Puts you in good mood because your body is functioning at it’s best!
  10. Save you money$ Water is free!!

After a Massage Therapy Treatment you will often hear us say “Drink plenty of water” this is to help flush and remove the waste and lactic acid build up that is released in the tight muscles through out the massage.  When you drink plenty of water after a treatment you help this process and it prevents excessive stiffness or sore muscles 48 hours after a treatment.

Cheers to good health:)

*Avoid storing your water in plastic containers due to the dangers of BPA– Stainless steel or glass is best; be sure to regularly wash reusable bottles.

 

Stress in your jaw can create headaches

Some individuals, when stressed will grind their teeth during their sleep or clench their jaw, either during the day, night or both.

When muscles of the jaw are contracted for this extended period of time, trigger points are created in the muscles.  One of the predictable pain patterns for trigger points in the jaw are headaches.

Self help tips:  temporalis-trigger-points

  • refrain or limit the amount you chew gum. Chewing gum requires you to contract the jaw muscles that can cause them to be overused.  Overused muscles will develop trigger points.  Trigger points will create symptoms of a headache.
  • Stay away from hard candies or nuts as the pressure required for you to chew these foods will create more tension.
  • Speak to your dentist to find out if an appliance will help with your symptoms.
  • Massage therapy to the neck, shoulders, jaw and head are very helpful in relieving symptoms
  • Self massage and warm compresses will reduce tension
  • Meditation for general relaxation will help with overall feelings of stress, which in turn, may reduce the frequency of clenching or grinding.

Stress and Headaches

Headaches develop for a number of reasons.  Some are caused by changes to the atmospheric pressure while others may be caused from hormones, medications, lack of water, or sensitivities to certain foods or beverages; but what about stress?

When people encounter stress whether it is emotional or physical, there are changes that occur to our muscles.  For example, stress may cause a person to hold their shoulders in a shrugged position, as though wearing their shoulders as earrings.  When our muscles are placed in this state they contract more forcefully or constantly than when we are relaxed.   Muscles that are contracted continuously develop stress which in turn develops trigger points.   Trigger points, in simple terms, are irritable spots located in specific areas of our body that cause certain symptoms in predictable locations.   Our trapezius muscle, often referred to as the traps, is a common muscle that develops trigger points when we are stressed.  This muscle lifts our shoulders up.  When trigger points develop in this muscle, symptoms that can develop are headaches at the temples, or base of the scull.    Additional symptoms that may occur from this trigger point are pain behind the eyes, dizziness, neck pain or intolerance to weight being placed on your shoulders.

upper trap trigger point Self massage for upper trap

Massage, heat and stretching can eliminate the trigger points.  Self-massage can also work to treat a trigger point.  Gently sink into your tissues at the top of your shoulder using the pads of your fingers until you find a spot that creates a headache, then hold this pressure at a tolerable pain level and wait until the headache decreases.  If the pain does not decrease in a short time frame, discontinue and apply heat and then gently stretch the muscle.  Or using the pads of your fingers, place the hand over the top of your shoulder in a cupped position, then gently sink into the tissue and pull the tissue towards the front of your body.  Repeat this move a number of times until you feel a softening in the tissue or a decrease in the intensity of the headache.  Stretch upper trap

To stretch the right upper trapezius muscle, place your right hand behind your back, then gently tip your left ear towards your left shoulder and with your left hand place it at the side of your right temple and gently pull your head to the left until you feel a mild discomfort.  A stretch should not be taken into a position that causes pain.  Hold the stretch for 20 – 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Heat application to upper backThe heat application should be moist heat placed on the top of the shoulders and upper back region.    When placing heat over the shoulders, be careful not to let your head project forward, rather keep the neck in a more upright position.   Leave the heat on the shoulders, back and neck for  approximately 20 minutes.  If heat remains on the area for periods of time longer than 20 minutes, it can cause irritation and increased pain symptoms.