Stress triggers the vast majority of headaches and migraines. For those individuals who regularly experience stress-related symptoms, it should come as no surprise that a reduction in stress equals a decrease in the frequency of headaches and migraines, as well. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t know how to reduce stress. The bright side, however, is that there are numerous ways to reduce bodily and mental stress. Acupuncture, for example, is one of the best ways to stop stress and prevent migraines. For those who suffer frequent headaches or migraines, acupuncture is certainly worth looking into.
Among the ailments caused by stress, tension headaches—commonly referred to as stress headaches—occur periodically, usually 15 or fewer times per month. Tension headaches are characterized by a mild to moderate constant pain or pressure in the head and neck that can last anywhere from minutes to days. Their severity depends on a number of factors, but these types of headaches typically do not affect balance, strength, or vision. The biggest concern for many individuals who suffer from tension headaches on a regular basis is the possibility that they could turn into migraines. Luckily, there are ways to prevent that from happening.
Options for Stress Relief
The first step to stress relief is recognizing that you are stressed. You can accomplish this by paying attention to your muscles and your breathing. Do your muscles feel tight? Do you feel tension building anywhere? Is your breathing shallow or irregular? A quick, breath-focused meditation session can help you de-stress, though you may have to take some time out of your day.
Over time, diet and exercise can play a huge role in the amount of stress that an individual experiences on a daily and weekly basis. Cleaning up your diet—balancing essential nutrients with the right caloric intake—should be the first step you take to reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines. Regular exercise should be the second. Additionally, one of the keys to migraine prevention is making sure you are drinking enough water every day. Aim for anywhere from 8 cups to a full gallon (yes, a full gallon), depending on your body type.
For those who want to combat illness and discomfort from every vantage point, acupuncture is another great stress reduction strategy. In a recent study published in the Journal of Endocrinology, stress hormones were shown to be significantly reduced in rats following electronic acupuncture treatments. Another study, published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, reveals that students who underwent 20-minute acupuncture sessions showed improved memory and less anxiety following their treatments compared to a control group. Reducing stress in this way does not have to be a long and drawn-out process because even a single 20-minute session with an acupuncturist is enough to set you on the road to de-stressing and reducing headache frequency.
Acupuncturist Dr. Litman of Miami has worked to reduce and prevent stress and headaches in her patients for years. To learn more about how acupuncture can help you with your headaches and migraines, or to set up an evaluation, please call 305-772-4386.