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Headaches & Migraines
DR. Veronique Theriault
Do excruciating, debilitating or nagging chronic headaches & migraines prevent you from accomplishing everything and spending quality time with your loved ones? You’re not alone! That was me too – and many patients just like you – until I discovered Naturopathic Medicine. Together we can uncover the root cause and triggers of your headaches and migraines (my big one was food sensitivities). This allows you to navigate and avoid them better, and reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines and headaches so you can get back to doing more of what you love – headache and migraine free!
– Dr. Veronique Theriault, ND
Migraines and headaches are a common complaint yet can be debilitating for some. There are more than 300 types of headaches. Symptoms can vary based on type but the most common type is tension headaches. Migraines and headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Common symptoms of headaches include:
Various types of pain:
- Temples, forehead, back of head, neck, behind or over left or right eye, right or left side of head
- Sinus pain
- Dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck
- Sharp pain in jaw or temples
Migraine is a neurological condition that is intense or severe and often has other symptoms in addition to intense pulsing from deep within your head. This pain can last hours to days.
Symptoms associated with a migraine headache include:
- Pain or throbbing behind one eye or ear or temple
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Numbness and tingling in your
- Changes in vision
- Fatigue and difficulty concentrating
How to Tell if You Have Depression?
People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, and can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way. We are all familiar with the mental emotional symptoms of depression, but depression can have many physical symptoms as well.
Common symptoms include:
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping or trouble staying asleep
- Aches and pains
- Anxiety and restlessness
- You are angry or irritable
- Difficulty concentrating or finishing tasks
- Digestive problems
- Fatigue and low energy
- Shame and guilt
- Loss of appetite
- Hopelessness, sadness or emptiness
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Persistent thoughts of something bad happening
What Causes Headaches & Migraines?
A primary headache is caused by overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn’t a symptom of an underlying disease. Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels surrounding your skull, or the muscles of your head and neck (or some combination of these factors) can play a role in primary headaches.
Although not the same condition, headaches and migraines have many of the same causes and triggers:
- Allergies and histamine issues
- Sinus infections and congestion
- Muscle tension – especially in neck and TMJ
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Food sensitivities/intolerances
- Eye strain
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Hormonal imbalances (periods and ovulation)
- Concussion & traumatic brain injury
- Rebound headaches from medication
- High blood pressure
- Lack of sleep
- Not eating
- Sensory overload
What Causes Depression?
There are several possible causes of depression. They can range from biological to circumstantial.
The chemical imbalance theory may work for some patients, but for many, the root cause of depression is down to underlying health issues. Investigating these issues, and tackling them directly, can help provide a more permanent solution that medication may be unable to provide.
Common causes include:
- Family history
- Early childhood trauma
- Certain medical conditions such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or ADHD
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Inflammation and food sensitivities
- Stress and burnout
- Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies
- Change in season
- Hormonal imbalances (PMDD and perimenopause) & low thyroid
- Leaky gut and dysbiosis
- Chronic infections (like Lyme)
Treatments for Headaches & Migraines
There are no cures for headaches or migraines. HOWEVER, the more you understand the causes of your headaches or migraines, what they mean, why you struggle with them, and what you can do to stop and prevent them, the more you’ll be able to start making real progress.
By using a holistic, personalized approach, we can get you headache relief.
Several studies show a beneficial effect of acupuncture on reducing the frequency of headaches and migraines. Acupuncture works well as a complement to other interventions.
Common supplements that we use to treat headaches and migraines are vitamins and minerals such as B complex, magnesium and Vitamin D; botanicals such as Ginger and Kava, and fish oil.
Foods are often a major trigger for migraines and headaches. Improving nutrition can improve headaches by balancing hormones and blood sugar, and by reducing inflammation.
Massage Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy & Breathwork
Manual therapy like cupping, massage and craniosacral therapy can support your nervous system and improve migraines and headaches by reducing muscle tension and improving blood and lymph flow, improving relaxation and providing a sense of relief. It is best used as a complementary therapy as part of an integrative approach.
Lifestyle habits such as improving sleep, reducing stress, yoga, exercise and ergonomic work spaces can help reduce headache and migraine frequency and severity.
Other tools that can help with headaches and migraines include stress management, sleep, mindset, meditation and spending time in nature.
Treatments for Depression
The best way to deal with depression is to understand it. The more you understand what causes your symptoms, what they mean, why you struggle with them, and what you can do to stop them, the more you’ll be able to start making real progress on your mood.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Embracing a root-cause-based Functional Medicine approach to depression may help you get relief, potentially without the use of antidepressants.
Our practitioners don’t just look at the symptoms but try to dig deeper and find the underlying root cause of a health issue such as depression.
There have been several studies done about the effects of acupuncture on depression and low mood. Acupuncture works well as a complementary treatment to others interventions.
Common supplements that we use to treat anxiety are vitamins and minerals such as B complex, Mineral complexes and Vitamin D; botanicals such as St John’s Wort, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, and fish oil.
Improving nutrition can improve depression by:
Balancing hormones and blood sugar
Providing nutrients and antioxidants
Reducing inflammation by removing food sensitivities
Massage Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy & Breathwork
Manual therapy like massage and craniosacral therapy can support your nervous system and improve depression by creating a sense of relief, empowerment and mind-body connection. It is best used as a complementary therapy as part of an integrative approach.
Lifestyle habits like exercise, have been shown to be one of the most effective interventions for depression and low mood.
Other tools that can help depression include stress management, sleep, mindset, meditation and getting out in nature.
Are you struggling with headaches or migraines?
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