The causes of headaches are many and varied, and finding the cause can often be difficult.
Just some of the more common causes include dehydration, some foods, constipation, lack of sleep, eyestrain, glare, sinusitis, poor posture, neck tension, hormonal imbalances, stress, grief, worry and depression. Some headaches are structurally caused from accidents or other injuries. Headaches can result from nutritional factors. Some people get headaches from eating food that contains MSG. Some people get a headache from eating fatty food on an empty stomach. For some people, if they don’t eat for a long period their blood sugar levels can go down and this can cause headaches. A poor diet that is low in nutrients will give some people chronic, ongoing headaches. Last, but not least, if you drink coffee regularly, and suddenly stop drinking it, then the withdrawal symptoms can include strong relentless headaches.
A headache is your body giving you signals something is out of balance. Always take the time and pay attention to these signals. Many headaches are stress related, so do a relaxation, using one of the many excellent relaxation CD’s available. Or simply take 5 minutes to lie on the floor and scan your body for areas of tension, then use the breath out to let it go. While you have your attention focused inward, start to explore what is happening in your body. Physically, be aware if your body is feeling balanced – compare right and left sides of your back, pelvis and shoulders. Think of the stretches you have done in class that helped you come back into balance. Think of the habits that your body often falls into, and how you have worked with these patterns in the past.
Mentally and emotionally, become aware of what is going on, and how this is contributing to your headache. Use visualization, deep breathing and relaxation to let go of the thoughts and feelings that are unhelpful. Remember, beating yourself up will only make you feel worse – ahimsa, or non-violence towards yourself means cultivating positive feelings toward yourself and a supportive, loving inner dialogue.