Ready to Heal Your Headache?
I recently got ahold of the popular (at least on Amazon) book, Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program, written by Dr. David Buchholz, M.D. I was looking for a new view on migraines and headaches, and like you, was tired of the “everything on the planet can cause a headache, and everything else on the planet can cure a headache.” I was hoping for a different view on the world of migraines, and some advice on how to heal your headache.
I finished the book, taking time to thoroughly read through the book several times, as I didn’t want to miss anything.
The general gist of Dr. Buchholz’s theory is that migraine is a term that needs to be redefined. You wouldn’t say “I have a migraine”, you would say “My migraine has kicked in”. You wouldn’t say “I feel a migraine coming on”, you would instead say something like “I’ve triggered my migraine reaction.” In this case, migraine is being redefined so that migraine kicks in when enough of your headache triggers are activated, which causes the various migraine symptoms (pain, eye pain, neck pain, nausea, and all the other horrible side effects). For each of us, the triggers that cause migraine are different, and for each of us, the effect each trigger has, is different.
I don’t know about you, but that theory resonates with me. Some days, caffeine affects me differently than on others. Some days, barometric pressure affects me differently than on others. Some days, motrin and other migraine treatments work beautifully and on others, I’m screaming in pain trying to hide the world through my black out curtains. We discuss theory further on our migraine basics page.
Three Steps to Control Migraines
The three steps in the plan are pretty basic:
- Get rid of any sort of “quick fix” for migraine relief. Unfortunately, this includes my favorite – caffeine. It also means dropping motrin, tylenol, and other NSAIDs, as well as sumatriptan (and the other triptans). The idea being that these “quick fixes” actually rebound your migraine – making your body not feel the pain through pain receptors, and then when they wear off, the effects can be worse.
- Reduce and identify your triggers across the board. This could be stress related, hormone related, or something to do with food and dietary. You might need to work out more (or start!), reduce headache inducing medications, and get rid of MSG. Not sure what causes your migraines or what your migraine triggers are? Don’t worry, we have a list of some of them. Like movie preferences, they vary from person to person.
- Raise up your threshold so that you can do more before migraine kicks in. This step may or may not be required, depending on how frequently the headaches are at this point. Perhaps the most confusing part of this process is that now, in this step, we’re adding back in some of those “quick fix” drugs, though never caffeine. The goal is that you can use reduced quantities, or try other more effective drugs or migraine treatments, such as aerobic exercise.
Bottom Line: Get a copy of the book. There’s some invaluable information inside of the book, even if you don’t agree with the basic premise. The dietary triggers (page 74 – 76) are pretty good to have on hand, though you’ll note that it includes just about all of the yummy food that you’d want to eat. I love how he lays out that migraine sufferers / victims need to get out of that thought process, and become more empowered, and he’s trying to give you the tools to do so.