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What is a Headache?
Headache also known as cephalalgia, is a pain that typically occurs in the region of the head, scalp or neck region. It is considered as a disorder of the nervous system. The majority of people experience symptoms of headaches during their life. Many of these individuals suffer from around their teenage years until into their fifties.
Headaches affect people across all geographic regions. Roughly, 47% of people are believed to have experienced a headache during the last year. Headaches can influence the quality of life and productivity for individuals and could be disabling to the extent that it can cause sufferers to skip school and or work.
Types of Headaches
- Migraine Headaches
Migraines are suffered by about 1 in 7 people globally making the condition the third most common disease in the world. Chronic migraine affects about 2% of the global population. Children can experience it as well as adults, although it is usually first experienced in puberty.
The most common age range for people suffering it is between 35 and 45 years old. People tend to experience migraines as a throbbing pain at the front or the side of the head. There are usually warning signs, described as aura, to indicate a potential migraine. These include flashing lights or zigzag lines in the eyes, nausea, and temporary loss of vision or tiredness. Women tend to suffer more migraines than men. These headaches are moderate to severe in pain. They can be triggered by hormonal changes, emotional anxiety, physical factors, medicines and diet. A migraine starts from chemical reactions in the brain and is likely to have a genetic cause.
- Tension headache
The tension headache is the most common type of headache. More than 70% of some populations experience them and they are described as feeling like a band tightening around the head. Attacks usually start in teenage years. Three women for every two men experience tension headaches. In some people they can be episodic but for others they can be chronic (about 1 – 3% of people).
- Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are usually felt as severe pain to one side of the head and focused around an eye. About 1 in 1000 people experience this type of headache and it is more common in men than women. For every six men that experience a cluster headache, one woman experiences it. People start to suffer from them while they are in their twenties or older. They can occur at the same time of day and often during the night. Symptoms can persist for up to an hour at high intensity although cluster headaches can be chronic for some people. As well as pain, people can experience a red and watering eye, sweaty face, blocked nose and smaller pupil in the eye. The cause of these headaches is linked to the hypothalamus, an area of the brain related to some metabolic processes and the nervous system. Triggers can include alcohol, exercise, smells, paint and hot temperatures.
- Sinus headaches: Sinus headaches are the result of inflammation in sinuses. They usually feel like a throbbing pain to one side of the face by the eye, cheeks and forehead. This headache tends to be at its worst first thing in the morning after a buildup of pressure and because of mucus in the nasal region. It can be triggered by, colds, flues, hay fever and sinusitis – congestion and inflammation in the sinuses.
- Medication and painkiller headaches: These headaches are caused by using painkillers frequently – more than two or three times a week. The pain can result in chronic migraines which the patient suffers for at least half the month. This type of headache usually occurs when a person is using the painkillers to treat headaches so it is thought of as a secondary headache. Patients can suffer from withdrawal symptoms from the medicines that can result in prolonged headaches. Many common painkillers can cause this such as paracetamol or NSAID. These can affect up to 5% of the population in some countries.
Neurofeedback, biofeedback and heartmath training:
If you suffer from symptoms of headache a quantitative EEG assessment (QEEG) can assist in identifying some of the underlying issues related to your symptoms. Our trained clinicians will customize a treatment plan that will include a combination of effective neurofeedback treatments (lens and traditional neurofeedback treatments) with heartmath training and counseling.
Some of the benefits of training with heartmath for headaches:
Training with heartmath and learning to control anxiety can be truly life-transforming. The following are among the key benefits of training.
• stress hormones decrease.
• energy level increases.
• decrease negative thinking and procrastination.
• improve the overall quality of life.
• improve test preparation/job performance
Some of the benefits of training with LENS and traditional neurofeedback for headaches:
It helps to re-train the brain and or optimize the functioning of the entire brain by removing barriers and improving the connections and brainwave activity in a certain region of the brain or among different regions of the brain. It releases the old stuck or abnormal patterns to create new and more effective, stronger and organized patterns. Training protocols are generated from the initial QEEG brain mapping. Training involves audiovisual feedback that involuntarily teaches the individual to self-regulate the abnormal brain wave patterns that are presented to them on a computer screen in a number of ways.
Types of neurofeedback therapy used: traditional neurofeedback. Coherence (communication) training. Z-score training
Make an appointment today to find out how QEEG guided neurofeedback treatments with Heartmath training can assist in improving your quality of life and give you a long term relief from headache symptoms.
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