Ten Ways To Stop Migraine Pain

Ten Ways To Stop Migraine Pain

Migraine pain

Migraine pain can stop you in your tracks. If you have had a headache you know how much it can drain you, steal away the moment and right out make your day suck. Having a migraine is like having twenty headaches all at once.

Migraine Pain Can Control Your Life

The pain is so intense you feel like someone is using a drill inside your head. It does not stop there for many. Your stomach feels like you have eaten bad or spoiled food.

Seeing straight is impossible. Your vision is blurred and bright halos sear into your eyes – it’s a migraine.   Acupuncture aside, which is the single most powerful natural medicine for pain management and relief there are things you can do to help alleviate or stop a migraine right at home.

10 Migraine Triggers To Avoid

Headache PainThis is our “Dirty 10” Migraine Triggers to avoid from Denver Acupuncture Health.

  1. Avoid Emotional Stress – is one of the most common migraine triggers. Using  mindfulness applications for smart phones and computers are abundant. Sit for 5 minutes, breathing or listening to soothing music, and good things happen. Experts say it can eliminate pain, reduce weight, and increase your longevity by 21%.
  2. Fatigue – Lack of sleep increases migraines by 30%.[1]
  3. Allergy problems –All types of headaches. [2]
  4. Sinusitis – Like allergies head congestion adds to the problem.
  5. Eyestrain –Ophthalmologists report Computer Vision Syndrome causes causes this in  48.83% of patients with 45.68% experiencing some form of headache.  [3]
  6. Poor Posture – 1 in 4 migraines I treat are from hunching over, sitting bent instead of straight and other position issues.
  7. TMJ – A study reported by Pubmed states that “53% of those with TMJMD-type pain had severe headache/migraines.” A Dental directory notes that few TMJ dentists consider a relationship when working with patients. This is alarming to say the least.
  8. Low Blood Sugar – Be sure to eat regularly! Migraine triggers like dieting or skipping meals start with light-headedness.
  9. Hormonal Imbalance – The American Heart Association [4] of all places, has a great article on the relationship between migraines, hormones, and stroke. In summary if you’re hormones are off and you suffer migraines this can lead to serious problems later. Hormonal migraines along with weight loss are two top client complaints.
  10. Constipation And Nutritional Deficiencies –If I combine all nine other triggers, they each have roots in poor eating habits and bowel problems. Sounds stupid, I get it. My migraines did not stop until I did – get it.

Migraine TriggersEmotional stress leads to eating on the run, overeating, or skipping meals. All of these often create unfortunate food choices. Lack of sleep leads to fatigue so does worry. I did both, do you? I did not want to face the facts that some food just does not like me and my gut did not care for those foods either!

I sit for long hours at the computer, taking breaks became essential so did sitting up and not sliding down in my chair. Remembering to eat or rather graze on healthy snacks it takes a few moments to plan in the morning; it is better than going for something like cookies, chips or other junk food. Dental work produced TMJ for me; jaw exercises along with a mouth guard worked. What was the cause of my migraines? Hormonal imbalance.

All these other problems with the exception of jaw pain can affect your hormonal levels. Hours staring at a computer that turns brain chemistry off and off at the wrong times leads to wacky estrogen and testosterone. Food, nutritional deficiencies like salt, yes salt can all stop you in your tracks with migraine pain. This is why virtual health coaching works I look at life and health as one complete you.

Migraine headaches are no laughing matter. They takeaway your life, I know as a past suffer. They are on the rise, affecting many Americans. Approximately 50% of patients at Denver Acupuncture Health seek relief. About 30% of our virtual health coaching clients report some form of head discomfort. If you suffer migraine pain, you are not alone.

Here are stats.

  • Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine.
  • Amazingly, over 10% of the population – including children – suffers from migraine. That is more than diabetes and asthma combined!
  • About 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraine.
  • Migraine is most common during the peak productive years, between the ages of 25 and 55.
  • Migraine tends to run in families. If one parent suffers from migraine, there is a 40% chance a child will suffer. If both parents suffer, the chance rises to 90%.

Virtual Health Coaching

Where To Start – Two Ways Virtual Health Coaching Can Help

Changing your diet and using the right natural supplements for you can end your pain. We can assist you with these, talk to us about our virtual health coaching.

The first step is to look at the triggers that may be part of the problem. Think of ways to reduce these and begin today. Next up we’ll talk about foods and nutritional supplements to stop or help with migraines. Spend time with a virtual coach for your migraines, and you will wonder why you waited so long!

[1] http://www.scielo.br/pdf/anp/v51n4/01.pdf

 [2] http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergy-sinus-headaches.aspx

[3] http://www.computer-vision-syndrome.org/statistics/

[4] http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/35/11_suppl_1/2652.full

The large extent of research makes it impossible to cite all studies here are a few others.

Migraines and TMJ – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21837286 – http://www.dental–health.com/tmj_depression_treatment.html

Photos are purchased – copy-written: PresenterMedia

Relieving TMJ By Treating The Root Problem

Relieving TMJ By Treating The Root Problem


It is a busy day for you four meetings and one of your children is home ill. The pain starts without much notice. A tingle then tension in your jaw; it is a tiny thing compared to the searing pain that travels up your skull from your cheek. Then you notice it. You’ve clenched your teeth tight. You have TMJ or temporomandibular joint pain[1].

The voice inside your head whispers, not today.

TMJ Pain Leads To Migraines And Neck Pain

TMJ can cause migraines, headaches, neck pain, and facial pain. Stress is the primary cause of temporomandibular joint disease or TMD although many clients complain it started dental work[2].

temporomandibular joint disease

Many clients try mouth guards wearing these at night. They do little for the daytime stress that leads to TMJ accompanied by head or neck pain. Often they do not fit well or cause more problems. Acupuncture can effectively decrease pain, ease tight muscles along with massage.

Adding some simple life changes will help you end TMJ permanently. Acupuncture can treat the symptoms although getting to the root will ensure long-term success.

These three tips can help you stop your TMJ pain.

Temporomandibular Joint Relief With Breath Meditation

We’ve all heard meditation can help calm your nerves; it is real. It is a practice of taking a moment to let go of the drama in your life. Meditation is helpful for anxiety and sleep too. Breathing meditation is one of the best and simplest ways to start reducing TMJ pain.


  • You can do this just about anywhere and several times daily. It does not matter if you take 1 minute or 5 minutes.
  • Take a seat that is comfortable for you. Place your tongue behind your upper front teeth stretching your cheek muscles
  • Let go of the air in your lungs. Slowly breathe in keeping your mind on the air coming in your nose while you count to 4. Next hold the breathe gently for a moment before you begin to release your breath threw your mouth pushing your lips out. Then relax your face before taking another breath in, in the same manner.
  • If you only do this 3 or 4 times, you’ll notice your jaw muscles relaxing. Doing this 4-5 times daily in the beginning can have an immense impact on your TMJ.

Relief TMJ with Jaw Exercises

temporomandibular joint diseaseStrengthening your temporomandibular joint is helpful.

  • This first exercise will strengthen the joint with pressure and tension.  Use the palm of your hand pushing up gently under your chin. Carefully try to open our mouth without causing pain. This is a gentle stretch. Do this several times daily at first until your pain subsides.
  • You can also use your fingers to push down on your lower teeth, softly.  Carefully try to close your mouth. Just be sure not to bite down on your fingers! This exercise is the opposite of the first.
  • Stretch the neck muscles.  Stretching the neck muscles helps to relieve pressure.  A smooth move is to act as though you are creating a second chin.  Lean your chin down toward your neck, but don’t bend the head downward.  Doing this for ten seconds elongates the neck, stretching it to loosen the muscle.

Use Acupuncture To Reduce The Pain

Acupuncture is a bonus when you are in pain. For TMJ, it helps ease the pain by reducing inflammation, and tight cheek muscles. If you are experiencing headaches or neck pain acupuncture with massage is essential.

TMJ disorder does not have to be a permanent problem.  Implementing these three steps will help eliminate your pain. When you relieve your jaw pain and headaches you will sleep better and feel a sense of freedom from the underlying problem.

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/basics/definition/con-20043566

 [2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002207/

 Images for this article: Fotolia, Bigstock, Pixabay Free, Google free to use license.

Definitions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tension_headache


Littleton Acupuncture For Back Pain – A Patient’s Story

Littleton Acupuncture For Back Pain – A Patient’s Story

You Can Recover From Back Pain

back pain

A new patient phoned today and asked me if I do acupuncture for back pain. His sciatica had become worse and was disturbing his snow skiing and sitting down. It was crucial to his recovery that we began acupuncture treatment immediately. Sciatica or lower back pain is something most acupuncturists have treated at least once. I’ve found nearly every patient that visits my Littleton acupuncture clinic mentions they’ve experienced lumbar pain of some nature.

Littleton  Acupuncture For Back Pain

Concerned his pain would become chronic or require surgery he was motivated to invest in improving his health. I assured him that he could do many things to prevent the situation from becoming chronic. As for surgery, always try everything you can before you do this. Surgical procedures are permanent.

Acupuncture is one of the most effective treatments for pain, especially in the back. Most cases are soft tissue or muscle tension. Chinese medicine has a long history of working to relax tight muscles even spasms.

The gentleman’s sigh of relief was almost audible over the phone as he scheduled for the next day.

Types of Back Pain

Littleton Acupuncture

His name was Sam, and when he arrived, he walked a bit stooped forward. He explained it hurt more to stand straight up to his full 6 foot height. He’d had the same pain some dozen years ago, and it had gone away by itself.

The problem began four weeks ago and felt different. His pain was dull and radiated down the side of his leg. It started in his waistline as he called it. The area was the sacroiliac joint [SI joint] or the bony spot at the waist on the back of the body. It hurt more when pressure was applied to the gluteal muscles confirming it was sciatica. This pressure on the buttock muscle caused the side of his leg to go numb, tingle, and then began to ache. All signs of nerve impingement, which is what sciatic pain, is.

It had started shoving snow just like last time after a big storm. Sam [not his real name], was an active man who wanted to go skiing with all the great snow, but knew that was out of the question.

His medical doctor had done testing. It showed only a minor bulging of a lumbar disc. The doc had told him to take it easy and gave him a muscle relaxer. The pills made Sam sleepy and worse he could not work when taking them.

He decided to try something that would help him heal and stay on the job. His career complicated the problem. He worked in finance and sat at a desk all day, right on the pinched nerve putting pressure on the SI joint.

Littleton Acupuncture And Healthy Habits

healthy habits

Sam began acupuncture treatment twice a week for a few weeks, then once a week, and then bi-monthly for a few more weeks. He was motivated to not cause the bulging disc to displace further and be able to resume skiing next season.

He knew that some healthy habits would need to change. First he would use an alarm on his work computer to signal that he should get out of his chair and stretch. He did this every 30 minutes at first. The plan was to move to every 60 minutes once his back healed.

Also, he started eating inflammation reducing foods. These are alkaline not acidic which cause inflammation in the tissues. He crowded out tomatoes by adding root vegetables like yams. Sam loved fruit, so we concentrated on balancing acidic fruit with alkaline fruits. If he ate an orange [acidic], he added a banana [alkaline].

He loved apple juice every morning. It is a very alkaline food and creates an acid imbalance in the digestion. This was leading to joint inflammation. Using food to heal is natural and free. Sam loved the simple changes.

Next habit, we enhanced, was drinking more water. Sam was not a big water drinker choosing soda more often. After reviewing studies on sugar in pop, he wanted reduce his sodas by one a week and drinking more water. It took him a month to get off diet soda. By then his pain level was down 75%, and he was sleeping better at night a bonus he did not expect.

Acupuncture for back pain alone could have helped Sam. He wanted to learn healthy habits to be at his best too. He’d had a wake-up call about taking better care of himself.


images are from BigStock and Free for use and share Google images

The First Step To Better Health – Drink Water

The First Step To Better Health – Drink Water

The first thing most new clients ask me is what can I do to lose weight and feel better fast. It’s really as simple as look at your water. It’s not just about intake.


How Much Water Should You Drink?

I will be sharing 12 steps with you over the next few months. These tips are to help you have better health and invest in your wellness for the future. When I suggest you ‘invest’ in your wellness, I’m not talking money but habits of a healthier lifestyle.

As a baby boomer myself, I know the time to start thinking about living a higher-quality life should begin when we hit about 35 or younger! I’m here to share that I started much later and so have many of my clients. It’s okay, just start.

I love it when I have a new client wanting to be part of the ripple effect of good health decisions and pass them on to family and friends – regardless of your age. My oldest client as I write this is 88 years old, and my youngest is a family of twenty-something’s with an 18-month-old. They want to ensure their child has a healthy upbringing and my senior clients wish to regain health or maintain it.

I am not going to recommend some expensive treatment system for your home.


What Is The Best Water For Me?

Everyone has heard that you should drink more water at some time in your life. But how much, what kind is best, and doesn’t my coffee or tea have water in it, many people wonder.

Everyone needs two liters or 8 – 8 oz. glasses daily. If you exercise, you need more. If you are nursing or sick, you need more, if you are in a dry climate you likely need more. So how much is more?

I live in a dry area and exercise. I try for 3 liters daily when I exercise and in summer months.

Water varies from tap, to spring , to filtered, and reserve osmosis or RO. My nephew works for a city municipality.  He would be the first to tell you his “out of the faucet product” is excellent; they have the perfect mix of chemicals to keep bacteria from growing. You have to choose if you want the chemicals.Springs

While visiting one of the most famous spring waters in the USA, I notice that spring was recycled to water the local wine vintage. The water also washed the pesticides sprayed on the plants back into the water system. They boasted that they removed the chemicals through ‘a treatment’ of adding iron and other minerals. The tour guide felt this made the water ‘spring’ water once again.

Filtering your H2O is necessary for some cities like Los Angeles and Houston I am told. A noteworthy system is Britta that you replace the filters on every month or so. There are whole house systems too.

My personal favorite is RO or reserves osmosis. This process is over 40 years old. It creates a mineral free drinking beverage. My feeling is you should add minerals you need to your eating. You don’t need a bottled water company deciding what minerals you should have or make the choice that their spring water is healthy for you.

If you use RO water, eat healthily and use only the supplements you personally need you reduce inflammation, sickness, and possible other problems. On the topics of losing weight, water is needed for weight loss. It helps you detox and shed pounds of unwanted fat stores. Remember RO is acidic however so adding an enzyme and some say calcium to your diet is important.

The best choice many feel is distilled water. This is pure without anything added and has a pH balance. It also only comes in plastic gallon jugs. You can purchase 5 gallon container from certain companies that deliver to your home for a luxury price.

Adding Minerals To Water

Painful joints

Let’s quickly talk about iron. When you see drinking water enhanced with minerals or spring with minerals, it often means iron.

Iron is essential for good health. The balance in our body is vital. Too much and you experience inflammation of the joints and digestive tract. If you continue, it can cause a disease called Hemochromatosis[1].

Too little iron promotes Anemia, which is also a disease. Both have inflammation, pain, and low energy as symptoms. Don’t leave your mineral levels up to bottle water.

Some places or types of RO are Aquafina. There are other brands, but you will need to read the labels. Many have in small print that they enhance with minerals, be a wise consumer.

If you live near Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, they offer RO water in bulk! We purchased a clean water system tank at Costco and then fill our 5-gal PBA free containers for pennies having free, clean water to drink and cook.

Do you need a full home system? We don’t have one but if you can afford it, do it. Do change out your showerheads to shower filter systems. You find these at hardware stores, online, or health food stores.

What about the water in our beverages, or foods, doesn’t this count? It doesn’t. Our body considers coffee, tea, and soda drinks to be food. Our digestion has two settings. It’s either food or water and only real water is all our body recognizes, not flavored.


I believe if tap is your only source use it. If you drink tap, know how your city’s water is doing. This report about over-treatment highlights some problems[2].

Also, if you drink tap, consider the pipes. How old are they and the materials. Lead is the leading problem with older homes and pipes.

So can you still have coffee and tea for instance? You bet! I drink tea daily, it’s just not part of my water consumption. If you do drink caffeine or alcohol, it is important to increase your H2O intake. This is because these are astringents[3].

This constricts body tissues and leads to dehydration. This adds to inflammation or heat in the body especially joints.

Here are a few quick facts about bottled water.

The first documented case of selling bottled water was in Boston in the 1760’s. Global consumption of bottled water goes up 10% each year. America drinks more H2O than milk or beer. Some government studies say 47% of bottled water is derived from tap water. These studies don’t mention that bottled H2O labeled for ‘drinking’ is from the tap but is ran through reverse osmosis systems to remove the chemicals found in tap. Aquafina [Pepsi] is one brand doing this.

The bottom line the first step in the 12 steps to better health is adding more water. You decided the best water for you.

Other resources for drinking water.

Lead Pipes and Safe Drinking Water: http://www.webmd.com/women/home-health-and-safety-9/safe-drinking-water

Reverse Osmosis Water http://www.allaboutwater.org/reverse-osmosis.html

 [1] http://www.hemochromatosis.org/

[2] http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/01/flint_water_has_high_disinfect.html

Or http://www.watertechonline.com/articles/169307-flint-issues-notice-of-disinfection-byproducts-in-the-citys-water-system

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astringent

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