Toni Creevy- Essex Bowen Clinic
All details given are for information purposes and was compiled by my own personal study into headaches and migraines and should not be used to replace a medical consultation.
Possible Symptoms: Pain/pressure that begins in the back of the head and upper neck - a band-like tightness or pressure. The pain usually affects both sides of the head / Spreads to encircle the head Intense pressure may be felt at the temples or over the eyebrowsThe pain can vary in intensity but usually is not disabling, meaning that the sufferer may continue with daily activities
Possible Causes/ Factors: DehydrationDiet – poor diet / lifestyleExcessive consumption of alcoholExcessive consumption of sugarExcessive consumption caffeineFood allergies / drinks – or components they contain Physical stress often arising through misalignment of the spine and neckPoor posture and/or muscle tension of facial and neck muscles. Staying in one position for a long timeWorking in an awkward position for a long period of time Emotional stress triggering the body’s fight/flight response, increasing adrenaline and reducing endorphin levelsJaw clenching -contraction of muscles in the neck and scalp.DepressionAnxiety
How Bowen Can Help: Bowen helps calm the nervous system, moving the body out of the stressed fight/flight mode. Assessment of posture and alignment can help determine whether there are any physical stressors and help to bring the body back into alignment.
Migraine is a chronic headache in which blood vessels constrict and dilate, releasing inflammatory substances that can cause intense painful pulsations.
Possible Symptoms:Disabling/recurringUsually occurs on one side of the headSensitivity to light, noise or odursBlurred visionFatigueNausea or vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal painBright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged linesPalenessLoss of appetiteDizzinessModerate to severe painThrobbing or pounding sensations in your head. Sometimes lasting for a few hours, sometimes for a few days/a week
Possible causes /factors: Hormonal, Sleeping patterns (7-9hrs) Neck and jaw tightness, Exercise, Travel, Lack of food, Alcohol can be a triggerCertain foods or components e.g. Tyramine & HistamineFood allergies Stress levels Three times as many women suffer from migraines with a belief there may be a link to their menstrual cycle. Changes have been noted through adolescence, pregnancy and menopause.
How Bowen Can Helps : Bowen moves help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine. In Bowen Therapy the entire body is addressed as a whole rather than treating an aliment in isolation. This is particularly effective in the treatment of migraines, which may have multiple potential causes. Work around the coccyx (tailbone) are commonly used to support migraines, especially those with a hormonal link.
Possible Symptoms:Occasional headache/migraine – take tablets to relieve pain Headache then becomes more frequent possibly everyday/ tablets do not help
Possible Causes/Factors:Medication Overuse Headaches or rebound headaches, are a common problem that develops when people who have migraines or tension headaches use acute headache medication too often to treat their headaches. Acute medications are those intended to be taken when a headache occurs, rather than prevent them. Often the sufferer then takes more medication, starting a cycle of relief and rebounding headache, because the triggers remain.Rather than address the cause of the headache, it often seems easier to keep taking pain-relieving medications. Overusing certain medications can actually lead to a worsening of headaches.
How Bowen Can Help Bowen Therapy helps rebound headache sufferers by treating the original source of the headache/ migraine. Addressing the cause of the problem, together with weaning off medication, helps to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Medical support may be needed to reduce the dependence on some medication
Possible Symptoms:Pain at side of face radiating from TMJ/ Tender at jaw joint Spreads to ears, behind the eyes back of head or into the neckChewing or Yawing can make pain worseJaw Stiffness Jaw clicking/ popping/ grinding noise
Possible Causes/ Factors:Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or the jaw, often seem like a tension headache or a migraine, and are known to trigger migraines in those who are susceptible to them. This could be caused by dental issues, wisdom teeth removal (jaw dislocation), jaw clenching, and stress, resulting in muscle tension in the jaw area.
How Bowen Can Help: Bowen addresses the problems with the jaw, helping re-gain alignment. A few Bowen sessions can help headaches subside significantly
Possible Symptoms:Forehead pain / cheeksHeavy headEyes watery/ itchyFace feels swollen/ tender Fever
Possible Causes/ Factors:Inflamed SinusesCongested SinusInfection /Sinusitis
How Bowen Can Help:While antibiotics are often needed to treat the infection, Bowen Therapy can also help sinuses. Specific moves for the upper respiratory system and sinuses help ease congestion, allowing the sinuses to begin to clear.
Possible symptoms: Cluster headaches come in groups (clusters) Typically occurs once or twice daily Each episode lasts 30-90 minutesAttacks tend to occur the same time every dayMay wake you in middle of night Excruciating stabbing pain located around or behind the eyeEye may become red, inflamed and wateryThe nose on the affected side may become congested and runny May experience a headache on a daily basis for weeks/monthsThe headaches are separated by pain-free remission periods of months/ years This type of headache affects males more frequently Often begins in adolescence but can extend to those in middle age
Possible causes/Factors:Mainly unknown Abnormalities in the body’s biological clockNot associated with foods/hormones/stress
How Bowen Can Help:Bowen treats the body as a whole helping the body to naturally heal and re balance.
A good diet of fruit, vegetables, minerals and fibre might help reduce the intensity and frequency of your headaches. Avoid foods with high Histamine (smoked fish, cured meats, cheeses, it is a chemical found naturally in the body but some people are not able to excrete it properly. Avoid preservatives added to foods e.g.: hot dogs, sausages, bacon as they contain Nitrates and Nitrites. Nitrites may trigger headaches as they cause the expansion of blood vessels. Limit the amount of processed meats choose nitrate free products where possible. Elimination diet for 4 weeks removing one food at a time e.g. coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits.Ginger Root Tea- contains antioxidants /anti-inflammatory substances reducing migraine pain, reduces nausea and vomiting
Increase activity level helps reduce frequency of headachesYoga and Pilates -create flexibility and strength throughout the body. Releasing tension and engaging core muscles which improves balance and posture creating mobility throughout the body. This helps to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal and physiological dysfunction which catalyses the onset of the headache.
Magnesium – helps control blood sugar and nerve transmission studies have shown help to reduce both frequency and severity of migraines. Vitamin B- B2/B12/B6 help with some types of migraine/ headaches. Coenzyme Q10 – powerful antioxidant may help reduce frequency/severity and length of headache/nausea
Studies have shown that chronic dehydration is a common cause of headaches and migraines. Alkaline water is know to hydrate and have other health benefits see my Alkaline Water page for more information
Headache -Peppermint oil applied to temples Migraine- Lavender oil applied to upper lip and inhaled
Perfumes and some cleaning products can cause some people to develop headaches
Hot or cold showers – One person may benefit from a hot shower, others may find a cold one gives better results. Cold compress to decreases inflammation constricting blood vessels to help reduce pai
Keep a diary to help you identify the headache triggers. When headache started. What you drank and ate during the previous 24 hours. How long you had slept/ whether it was a good night’s sleep. What was happening in your life /were you under unusual stress. How long the headache lasted.
Alternatives to Bowen Therapy