Natural Help To Relieve Tension Headaches By Eliminating The Root Source Of The Pain
If you're experiencing prolonged tension headaches or migraines then you should always consult your doctor first just to get it checked out, this article is to help you ease tension headaches and not a substitute for professional medical advice. However most headaches are tension related and they can be averted by making a few simple life style and habit changes.
Tension headaches are the most common form of headache, some of the symptoms you may experience are pain and tightness in the upper back, neck, behind the eyes and the forehead. At the first sign of a tension headache most people reach for a tablet and although they are OK to take to give you temporary relief if you are experiencing persistent tensions headaches.
If your headaches a frequent then it does not matter what you do for quick relief, because unless you address the root source of them then the relief will probably only be temporary and there is a good chance that your tension headaches will soon return.
Tension headaches can triggered by stress, nervousness, tension and negative emotions, tension in the mind can results in a physical symptom in the body.
Each person reacts differently, for some the output of stress can effect the digestive system for others it can effect the heart and for some it can manifest itself as a tension headaches.
However even though emotional arousal can be responsible for your tension headaches, most of them are posture related with the biggest contributor being forward head posture.
So if you do find some method of temporary relief, unless you have corrected the bad posture the temporary relief will be short lived because your neck will probably still be stiff because it is too straight.
The Root Of Many Tension Headaches Is Poor Posture Or Stress
We have many layers of muscles in our neck, if any of them become contracted then it can result in tension and pain spreading up the neck and into the head.
To solve your headaches you need to find the root source of the contracted and stiff muscles in your neck, this is usually a result of forward head posture, once you address and correct your mechanical posture you should get quick relief from your headaches.
Sometimes tension headaches are a direct result of us having a bad day, perhaps you felt a bit more stressed or tense than normal or it could be due to the fact that you have been bending forward a lot.
But there are now an increasing amount of people who are developing forward head posture which causes tension and pain in the neck and upper back region as well as the head.
Life is constantly pulling us forward due to poor working practices as well as spending long periods of time on digital devices, reading books, some hobbies and chores looking down with our heads to far forwards.
Forward head posture where the head is not correctly aligned and positioned in relationship to the body is responsible for many tension headaches.
Try to avoid bending forward or dropping your head down, hold the device up a bit with your hands or make sure your working or performing your leisure activities with a good relaxed but aligned and balanced posture .
Forward head posture puts a lot of extra load on the neck and upper back muscles causing stiffening of the neck and if left untreated then it can lead to more severe pains and structural damage to the neck.
If you have forward head posture then there is no quick fix and the only way to correct is to first stop dropping your head and bending to far forward as well as fixing your forward head posture by performing a sequence of daily exercise routines and exercises.
The Long Tern Treatment For Tension Headaches
If you have forward head posture then it will take time to correct it depending on how advance it has become but if you have it then it needs fixing otherwise it can eventually lead to more severe problems and even structural damage.
Some of the best ways to get long term natural tension headache relief is through understanding and addressing the root cause of your tension headaches.
It's fine to use medication as a temporary solution but it is also important to address and fix the underlying root cause of your tension headaches if you want to prevent them from returning.
Learning how to manage your emotions and reduce your stress is a good place to start as well as learning to correct your posture if necessary. Meditation is a great way to help you lower your stress levels.
Learn how to slow down a bit, the only thing you gain from rushing and hurrying is stress and more tension. Rushing and wanting to get things done to quickly will work against you in every way.
Set aside around twenty minutes per day to relax deeply and you will greatly benefit from this as it will lower your stress and anxiety levels as well energizing you and helping you to perform better and be more productive.
Getting your head and body back into it's proper alignment so you can ease the tension in your neck and head should be achieved through a series of alignment techniques or specially designed posture correction exercises!
Listen To Your Body
When your experiencing pain or discomfort it is your bodies way of trying to indicate to you that something is not quite right and it needs addressing. We should all learn to listen to our bodies a bit more and pay close attention to the signals it is trying to relay back us.
Pain is an emotional sensation which is actually registered in the brain, people who suffer with stress, anxiety, depression and tension may experience more painful symptoms while people who are happy, calm and content tend to experience less severe troubles.
When we are stressed, tensed, nervous or anxious our body becomes out of it's normal balance and free flowing energy. Sometimes tension headaches are caused when our bodies have a reaction to the chemistry of stress such as adrenaline and cortisol, other times it can be down to poor posture habits, bad body mechanics or the tightening of your muscles.
When you feel challenged or emotionally over whelmed adrenaline is pumped into your body, this causes physical changes in the body, including tightening of the muscles with the end result being another tension headache.
After the release of adrenaline, it forces blood to your outer extremities, your heart rate increases and your breathing becomes shallow, your muscles will then become tense and you may start to feel tension and pain in your body including the forehead, temples and neck regions.
You might be stressed because you're worried about something or maybe your running late for an appointment. Anger is also another emotion that causes tightening of the muscles and tension headaches, so it is vitally important to keep your emotions in check.
To combat your stress and manage your negative emotions you will need to learn how to relax on a regular basis, meditation is one of the best ways to calm your worrying mind and relax your stressed out body. When we are relaxed and calm, our body returns back to it's natural balance and we start to feel at peace again.
Learning how to relax is the key to controlling your emotions, other forms of activities that can help reduce your muscle tension are exercises or taking up yoga, having a massage is a great way to relieve tension in the neck, upper back and shoulder regions.
You can now purchase electrical massages that are as good as the real thing and they will quickly ease all that muscle stiffness and pains in the forehead.
Another cause of tension head aches are caused from nervousness and stress, if you have got something important about to happen in your life especially if it's something you want badly or something that your depending on to go well in order to improve your life or maybe you worried about something then it can make you nervous and tensed.
Try and look forward to things and learn how to enjoy the moment, sometimes to move out of worry we have to accept what is then let it go.
Relax Your Neck And Align Your Body To Reduce Tension Headaches
Poor posture and bad body mechanics is more often than not the trigger behind your tension headaches, a drooped or forward head posture can quickly resort into tension headaches and neck pains.
When we go into a slumped posture it can cause muscular strain to the neck and shoulders, eventually the continuous stiffness and excessive strain on the muscles in the neck region can result in the spine become distorted and compressed.
The constant pressure which is put on the nerves can manifest itself into spasms, pain and tension headaches. Once you develop a balanced and aligned posture where your neck becomes relaxed and free then your tension headaches should start to fade.
The good news is, when you go back to a good balanced, aligned and relaxed posture, because of the mind body connection you will have less trouble with negative emotions and stress as you naturally begin to feel more relaxed, more happier and you will feel more confident.
The relationship and connection between our head, neck and torso plays a key role in how our whole body functions and operates. Further more our posture is directly linked to the fight or flight response, when your holding tension in the neck and shoulder region you are putting yourself into the startled mode.
Although you should not slouch or droop forward, you also have to becareful that you don't arch your back and overstretch your body, there is a lot of advice about having a so called perfect posture, however you have to make sure you don't enter into a stiff and rigid military type of posture because that will cause even more harm and tension.
Even though you should sit and stand upright in a relaxed position, you should never have to push, pull, physically hold yourself up or force yourself into a posture, otherwise it will lead to tightness in the neck, head and back muscles. Tilting your head upwards for to long periods can also lead to tension in the neck and head regions.
We tend to hold a lot of tension in the neck and shoulder region, to relieve tension of the neck your head should rest on top of your body and your body should be supported by your legs. If your in a good posture then you will not have to make any effort to support yourself, because your bones will be doing all the work.
Think of yourself as a column, your bones should hold you up and your muscles should be relaxed, when your body becomes out of align and balance or you stand or sit too straight and rigid then your muscles will have to do all the work to hold you up. If this this case your muscles will soon tighten up and you will feel tension in you back, head and neck.
Ideally your feet should be flat on the ground, your weight should be evenly distributed over your big toe, your little toe and your heel, keep your knees nice and relaxed, because if you lock them it will push you forward and keep your hips neutral and aligned, meaning not pushed too far forward or too far back either.
Sit Properly To Reduce Tension Headaches
Your head is fairly heavy so ideally it should be balanced over your body and not protruding too far forward.
If you look down like the image to the right then you will start to put extra load on your neck and your muscles will have to tighten up to compensate for the dropping of the head.
When your head is more over your upper body it will allow your neck to become free and relaxed, although you should not allow your head to droop forward to much you should also avoid looking up for long periods because both these postures will cause tension in the neck and then the head.
When you are sitting your butt should be slightly higher than your knees, when your butt is higher than your knees it will allow your spine to maintain its natural curves. If your seat is to low for you, raise it up, if it has no height adjustment, to compensate for this, you may have to bring your feet under your chair.
This posture will allow your shoulders to sit right and relaxed and it will keep your head back in it's natural position, your chin should be tucked in, this does not mean looking down.
It just means it should be slightly eased back, you can gently push it back with your two fingers, so your head does not protrude to far forward. This will prevent your head from dropping forward and your back going into a unnatural curve.
Allow your seat to take the weight of your head and body, sit upright but relaxed and comfortable nothing should be forced or unnaturally help.
You should not try to physically hold yourself up, do not try to sit up to straight, if you have a lumbar back rest you can gently lean back into it but avoid arching your back.
Always sit on your sit bones, avoid allowing yourself to roll onto your tail bones, otherwise this will cause your spine to curve and your head will stick too far forward, equally don't roll to far forward onto the front of your sit bones.
When you slump forward and your head protrudes it causes your spine to lengthen, in this posture your back and neck muscles will have to tighten up to take the strain of your head being out of alignment.
If you stick in this posture for to long, you will start to develop tension in the neck and shoulder region, as your neck becomes tight you can start to develop a tension headache, which can begin at the bottom of your neck and then spread up to the base of your skull and down into your forehead and temple regions.
The video below will demonstrate how to sit correctly.
To successfully reduce your stress and anxiety it is important to relax deeply everyday because it is a gradual improving process, it is not that easy to go from stress and anxiety to calm in a very short period of time so it is advisable to set aside at least twenty minutes each day where you will relax deeply.
The Secret Garden - FREE Guided Meditation is one way of reducing stress and anxiety long term. The good thing about regular deep relaxation is, it will make you feel calm so you will find yourself coping much better in those once stressful situations much better and when you feel good, life and the world treats you good.
Avoid Tilting Your Head Forward
Some of the main causes of tension headaches are from spending to long with a forward posture stance where your head is sticking out and forwards or you are spending long periods looking down or bending forwards with your head tilted causing a curved and unnatural spine position.
Tension headaches can be caused while you work or rest, either by spending long periods on the phone or even thing's like reading while you have your head tilted down for long periods of time or tilting your head upwards.
If you spend of time on a computer make sure you don't have to bend your head forward to view the screen, if you are reading a book or magazine again don't slouch with your head bent forward.
The same applies for using laptops and it is not advisable to have them positioned on your lap with your body stooped and your head bent so you can see the screen. When you bend your head forward you will but more physical stresses on the neck and upper back, these muscles will have to work harder to keep the head supported.
Exercise For Relieving Tension In The Head Neck And Shoulders
The Correct Body Alignment Can Reduce Muscle Spasm
Bad posture and poor body mechanics, incorrect body movement and alignment, stress and tension, maintaining a sedentary position for long periods will inevitably result in muscle tension, soreness and stiffness and, tension headaches. The tension does not always manifest immediately so by the time you start to notice the tension the damage has already been done.
The above actions can result in tightness and shortening of the trapeziums muscles. It is these muscles are used for a lot of movement, trapeziums muscles work the head, shoulders and arms, when the trapeziums muscles become tight or shortened it can lead to stiffness in the neck and tension in the head.
When the trapeziums and neck muscles become stiff they pull on the head which restricts blood flow, aggravates the nerves and as we have already mentioned according to Chinese medicine this causes blocked energy which all contribute to the pain, spasms and headaches
Like most muscle tension poor posture, whether it be at work or from recreational activities like, sewing, texting on mobile phones, computers, slouching and hunching while sitting can causes your neck, shoulder and upper back muscles to tighten up leading to the development muscle spasms and tension headaches.
Our head needs to be in correct alignment with our body and resting on top of the body so the body supports the weight of the head, long periods of tilting our heads downwards at work or at home on devices such as computers can cause stress on the spine making it curve, causing tension in the head which results in tension headaches, also avoid tilting your head backwards or pushing your head forward.
To avoid tension headaches you need to prevent this from happening, when sitting try to get up go more than an hour every thirty minutes if possible, take a break, have a walk round. Make sure you do some head circles to keep those neck muscles flexible so you don't allow them to tighten up.
Turn your head to the left, then to the right, and then to the middle and bend your head forward and then backward each time making the stretch a bit further. You can tilt your head from side to side several times.
Touch your toes and do some stretches, don't hold your head down for long periods, avoid hunching or sitting uncomfortably. As long with taking regular computer breaks and doing some stretching exercises the best way to eliminate headaches and tension is to improve and correct your posture, do not sit in a rigid stance and avoid tensing your shoulders.
Be Careful Not To Dehydrate
Dehydration has also been linked to persistent headaches; more than 65% of the body's cells are made up of water. One estimation suggests that up to 75% of Americans are almost constantly dehydrated this is believed to contribute to headaches and muscle pains.
To make matters worse besides being dehydrated a lot of people only drink coffee which contains caffeine which is a diuretic which can actually cause your body to lose water to a small degree.
Many people think coffee is sufficient enough for their water consumption and claim they don't even like the taste of water. If you stop watering a flower for several days you can soon notice how they deteriorate without water and begin to shrivel up, yet keep a flower well watered and they will bloom, look healthy and radiant.
To demonstrate how dehydration contributes to headaches, alcohol is well known to cause dehydration and we all know how bad our head feels after drinking too much. However you have to be sensible to how much water you drink, some medical experts believe that drinking too much water can be bad for you, so although it's bad to dehydrate you need to keep a sensible balance and pace your intake.
We lose water all the time, everybody's circumstances can be slightly different and so need to replace it can depend on your circumstances and even the surrounding environment.
Most people will need to drink more in the hot weather than in winter; other factors that can determine your intake of fluids are what job you are doing, the temperature of where you the amount of physical activity you are performing.
So the intake of fluid can vary from person to person, during hot weather or exercise more should be consumed as dehydration can lead to bad breath, emotional imbalance, tiredness, headaches and a higher risk of bladder infections.
The general rule is if you are going to the toilet more than once every two hours, that might be too much, especially if your urine is too clear which can signify that you are over hydrated and risk water intoxication.
However your urine should not be to dark either. As a rough guide the ideal colour of your urine is a light yellow colour which typically signifies healthy urine. The light straw yellow urine will have a low odour and have a clear urine consistency.
Although you should not dehydrate do not consume excessive amounts of water in short periods of time, the rule with drinking water is to be sensible.
If you suffer with frequent tension headaches then you need to uncover the root cause of your tension headaches and find out why you're having them because if your experiencing constant pain and tension then it is your bodies way of letting you know that there is an underlying cause.
If you want professional help and advice then I would highly recommend that you enroll in chiropractor Dr. Paula Moore's crash course for correcting your forward head and slouched posture and addressing the root cause of your tension and pain.
Watch the video below then enroll in Dr. Paula Moore's free posture correction program.
Eat Plenty Of Good Nutrients And Healthy Foods
When we have been experiencing prolonged periods of stress and muscle tension the blood from our digestive system gets pumped to our major muscle groups. This can cause our digestive system not to function efficiently resulting in a depletion of the good and healthy nutrients and minerals that the body needs to keep us functioning at our most optimum and efficient rate.
It is believed two of the major causes of muscle tension are, poor posture a nutrient deficiency. If your suffering from headaches you may also need calcium, other foods that are believed to help relieve headaches are banana's because banana's are rich in magnesium which can be helpful to control headaches.
Some more foods that are recommended are spinach, mushrooms, almonds, apples and water melons as they help to keep you hydrated, salads also have high water content.
Tea has antioxidants that are believed to be beneficial for removing toxins, many people claim that their headaches reduce when they cut out or limit the amount of caffeine they consume.
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