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Headache

How to ease a headache.

Question

I suffer from frequent headaches in my temples, with a cloudy brain and light-headedness. I have tried lots of remedies, but nothing seems to work for long. Can you help?

Answer

Headaches can appear in different parts of the head, although some are all over. People often forget that the face and scalp can score stress: your jaw and temples may get tense and sore if, say, you have had to talk a lot - particularly in a pressured situation - or if you have been eating a lot of nuts, chewing tough food or grinding your teeth at night. It's a type of repetitive strain injury.

For your head aches, I recommend these methods of self-diagnosis and treatment. Put your thumb in front of your ear lobe, at the hinge of your jaw joint. Open and close your mouth a couple of times as if you are yawning. If the pain increases where you are pressing, you have an inflammation of the jaw joint. Massage the area with white tiger balm . If it is very sore still, you can apply a salt poultice: heat half a cup of sea salt in the microwave (or in a pan for five minutes), tie it up in a handkerchief and put on the joint. If it's too hot put a flannel round the handkerchief. Do this for ten minutes two or three times daily for two days, then once a week.

Alternatively, the cause may be a sore spot in your neck sending a one-sided headache through the artery of the neck. Place your fingers just below your ear lobe on the affected side, then palpate( press) right down the side of your neck to your shoulder. Massage any sore spots with tiger balm and do the yoga exercise below.

Headaches at the front of the head may be caused by a sinus problem. Place your thumbs at the inner edges of your eyebrows. Press hard: if the pain is excruciating you probably have blocked sinuses. Other symptoms include postnasal drip, frequent bouts of sneezing, a stuffed nose, sensitivity to bright light or a throbbing head when the weather changes. Try my favourite mixture of sesame and mustard oils (Dr Ali's Sinus Oil,) or organic sesame oil: put two drops into the nostrils twice daily and sniff. Also massage the pressure points on the eyebrows. Constipation can contribute to blocked sinuses, too: eat papayas and prunes, drink lots of still room-temperature water and suck liquorice root.

If you have an ache at the base of your head, press the occipital area where the muscles of the neck are attached to the bottom of the skull. Tenderness here is caused by tension. The most common causes of this are working at the computer, sleeping with two pillows rather than one or none, gardening or a whiplash injury. Massage all around this area with massage oil or balm; improving the blood flow to the muscles and ligaments should help the ache. People who suffer this sort of headache should also get their blood pressure checked.

Here are my suggestions:

    Exercise

  • Place your palms fiat on the floor beside your shoulders.
  • Take a deep breath in, lift up your torso and look up to the ceiling.
  • Use your back muscles to help your entire body arch; your arms should give only minimal support.
  • Hold four breath for five seconds - do not tense your shoulders.
  • Breathe out and gently return to the original position with your forehead on the floor.
  • Repeat this five times.

Fir for the new term:

    Going back to school is always stressful. You can help your children with these simple measures:

    Healthy Diet
    For most youngsters, holidays mean lots of processed ‘junk' foods and Coca-Cola, so it's very important to go back to a fresh, wholesome diet. They should eat lots of organic fruit and vegetables, and avoid bread and any other products containing yeast canned, frozen, processed or refined foods; very cold foods such as ice cream, chocolate and sweets; any items containing additives and/or preservatives.

    Extra Nutrients
    I recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement such as vitasorb drops for under tens (eight drops daily with food) or Dr Ali’s Multivitamin and mineral supplement is also good for over tens.

    Sleep
    Go back to a regular early bedtime as soon as possible so that children can cope well with the demands of school and homework.

    Massage
    Improve blood flow to the brain by massaging the shoulders and neck with gentle-smelling massage oils, such as lavender; using thumbs and fingertips, rub and stroke as deep as possible down the side of the neck and around the shoulders, circling with the pads of the fingertips on any sore spots. Do this once or twice a week before bed for day school, or daily for three or four days before boarding school.

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