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Your Health

Headaches

Headaches are one of our most common medical problems. Most headaches are the result of muscle tension due to either physical or psychological overload A headache is the body's way of alerting us that the overload we are experiencing is having an adverse impact on our physical body. Headaches have a variety of causes. They can be caused either externally or internally. Externally induced headaches can be caused from trauma to the head, over exertion, environmental pollution, bright lights, loud noises, perfume, stress, worry, conflict and anxiety. Internally induced headaches can be caused from spinal misalignment, constipation, reaction to foods or alcohol, hormone imbalances, allergies, high blood pressure, pH imbalances, anemia, low blood sugar, TMJ (teporomandibular joint syndrome), and certain infectious diseases.

Headaches come in many forms and can be categorized by their underlying causes and where the pain occurs. There are six different types of headaches:

  1. Simple headache - Hammering, buzzing, pulsing in the top of the head. Causes: stress, sensitivity to weather, high blood pressure, lack of oxygen to brain, certain infectious diseases.
  2. Tension headache - Dull, oppressive pain, pulsing in the temples of the head. This headache will usually begin in the back of the head and neck and spread to the forehead. Causes: muscular tension, spinal misalignment constricted blood vessels.
  3. Cluster headache - Piercing, burning pain. This headache will usually affect one side of the head and always in the same place. Causes: unknown.
  4. Migraine headache - Oppressive pain usually on one side of the head only. Often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and vision problems. Causes: hereditary factors, food reactions, allergies, hormone imbalances, low blood sugar, pH imbalances, expanded blood vessels, and psychological overload.
  5. Sinus headache - Dull throbbing pain in the brow of head and behind the eyes. This headache will also cause dull pain in the cheeks and nasal area. Causes: allergies, sinusitis and the common cold.
  6. Combination headache - Dull nagging, oppressive pain that usually begins in the morning, ends after a short duration and then reoccurs at specific times throughout the day. Causes: hormonal imbalances, reactions to foods and medications.

While headaches can be painful, distressing and often debilitating, they rarely reflect a serious medical condition. However, if you suffer from chronic headaches or notice any change in the location or patterns of the headache, it could be the signal of a more serious problem, so consult your physician. They can usually determine the cause of the headache from your medical history or a physical examination.

Energy Analysis:

Headaches develop as a result of psychological and emotional overload. They represent tension between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. They most often occur when there is confusion in the decision making process. Headaches alert us that we have energetic tension occurring between what our head is telling us to do and what our heart wants us to do. Energetically headaches act as distractions or a way of escaping from making decisions until we can find resolution between head and heart. They act as blocks so we will take the time to evaluate information and untie the mental knots. Each one of the headaches has a different energetic meaning. For example:

  1. Simple headache - The result from experiencing conflict and confusion over perception and interpretation of information. Being hampered by self-doubt, feelings of looking stupid or fear of appearing incompetent. Reflective of the need to better understand. Being consumed by mental chatters or overwhelmed by too many possibilities. Represents the need to take the time to deal with emotional and mental issues that are bothering them.
  2. Tension headache - Trying too hard Anxiety about things that are not being handled or frustration because they cannot get closure. Feelings of self-criticism, self-disgust and self-disapproval. The need for perfectionism and never being satisfied with their performance. Afraid to relax because they might be caught off guard. This causes energetic build-up and energetic protrusion in the head.
  3. Cluster headache - Reflective of deep distrust issues and feelings of unworthiness. Frustration around having to put up with relationships, situations, issues, pressures or people that they dislike yet feeling inadequate in being able to create change. Being really bugged about things. Fear around failures and the consciences of those failures. Resentment for being responsible and accountable to others.
  4. Migraine headache - Reflective of resentment, uncertainty, low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. Feelings of entrapment and the inability to take control over their lives. Suppressed anger, suppressed grief, suppressed desires, and suppressed hurt feelings. There is a consistent pattern between migraine headaches and a childhood where there was a highly suppressive family. Reflects the unwillingness to do anything about changing negative emotions or negative situations. Feelings of being victims and an inner crying over not being able to do anything about it. Fear of voicing feelings and thoughts.
  5. Sinus headache - Reflective of congestion in the head. The feeling that there is too much going on at once. The tendency to hang on to old beliefs and perceptions. Having difficulty making sense out of what is happening. Suppressed emotions.
  6. Combination headache - Experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed and wanting to stop the world. Unwillingness to be present in the moment. The feeling of being out of sync with the world and either awake at night or asleep during the day. Resistance to experiencing what is happening at the time. Displaying extreme excitement over something or over nothing. Chronic feelings of agitation around an unsettled condition that seems impossible to resolve. Combination headache refers to the fact that these headaches begin as tension headaches in the morning and progress to migraine headaches later in the day.

The Physical Outcome:

Each of these headaches, while their energetic patterns differ creates the same outcome in the physical body. They cause a chemical imbalance to occur in the brain and a chemistry change in the body. The result is that the brain and the body lose their capacity to communicate effectively. The brain responding to the confusion around what to do, becomes chemically agitated, and sends the message to the body that there is a problem The body reacts by going into a fight or flight (stress) response. This stress response changes breathing patterns, heart rate and adrenal activity. The heart rate increases, the breathing becomes shallow and rapid, and the adrenals increase their output of stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisone and cortisol). Each of these changes causes the blood vessels to constrict, and the brain begins to experience an inadequate flow in blood and oxygen When the blood vessels constrict we are most susceptible to simple, and tension headaches. However, if the stress response in the body is severe or lasts for a prolonged period of time, then the body responds differently by telling the blood vessels to expand. The result is the brain gets too much blood, too many stress hormones and becomes overwhelmed The result is that we experience cluster, migraine, and combination headaches.

Chakra System* Analysis:

The origin site of all headaches is the 7th chakra. Headaches are the result of the tension between the 3rd and 6th chakras, and how these chakras are energetically connected in the decision making process. Headaches are the body's way of telling us that there is confusion between the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland.

The 3rd Chakra
The 3rd chakra site is the solar plexus area of the body and includes these organs and glands: liver, gallbladder, stomach, adrenals, kidneys and spleen. The 3rd chakra is energetically designed to act as an interface to accommodate the flow of information between the left and right hemispheres of the brain Its energetic patterns represents the ability to integrate left brain processing (masculine energy) with right brain processing (feminine energy) as a means of expediting the decision making process. Its primary function is to act as a link between physical (external stimuli) and spiritual (internal stimuli). However, over the course of our human evolution, this chakra has altered itself energetically to only respond to the needs of the left brain, as that has been accepted as our primary way of thinking and our social conditioning. The result is that we tend to respond only to what our head is telling us. This behavior provides a binary perspective and a limited number of solutions to our problems. This way of decision making does not give us the whole picture and suppresses the emotional aspect of who we are. The result is that we become stressed, tension is created and that tension hinders the brain's ability to process information.

The 6th Chakra
The 6th chakra is the primary symptom site. This chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, which is the master gland of the endocrine system. The pituitary gland is located deep inside the brain directly behind the brow area of the head. This gland is our chemical pharmacist and is responsible for the (dispensing) sending chemical messages to the other endocrine glands and (prescribing) telling those glands how to regulate their hormonal output in order to help keep the body's chemistry in balance. The pituitary gland responds directly and only to emotional feedback When we are chemically in balance, then our body is less susceptible to muscle tension and the stress response. When we are chemically out of balance, then we are more susceptible to the ravages of stress and muscle tension.
Energetically, the 6th chakra is the window to the soul. Its energetic patterns are associated with the right hemisphere (feminine energy) of the brain It communicates its information through intuition (6th sense) by creating a holistic perspective of the problem and offers a variety of solutions. When we suppress emotions we prevent ourselves from seeing the whole picture and from looking for other solutions. The result is that we get struck in the decision making process. There is a direct energetic link between the 3rd and the 6th chakras and there is a direct link between the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands when it comes to stress and the creation of muscle tension in the body. These linkages can help explain why it is that when a person gets a cluster or migraine headache they will suffer from nausea and experience vomiting. It also provides insight into how food reactions, low blood sugar, pH imbalances, and medications can cause headaches.

Personality Color* Susceptibility:

All personality types experience headaches at some time, however, each personality color tends to have a higher predisposition to only certain types of headaches. For example:

Red Personality Simple, tension, and cluster headaches
Orange Personality Tension, migraine, and combination headaches
Yellow Personality Tension, simple,migraine, and sinus headaches
Green Personality Simple, tension, migraine, sinus, and combination headaches

Case Study - Jamie (Green)

Jamie has suffered from migraine headaches since her early childhood She was an only child and was told many times that she was not planned She grew up with the burden of feeling unwanted. Throughout her entire childhood there was always tremendous tension between her mother and father and she found herself taking on the role of the peacemaker in order to minimize the conflict between them. Her parents used her as the communication link between the two of them and would emotionally manipulate her to take sides with one or the other. They would indulge her with material things and at the same time deprive her of the emotional nurturing she needed as a Green personality type. In our session Jamie expressed confusion in how to make decisions and the frustration around mixed messages. Because of her personality color her decision making style was to pay attention to her emotions and follow her heart, yet her conditioning to survive and minimize conflict was to listen to her head and only do what it suggested as a child when she would get a headache her parents would back off and leave her alone allowing her time to process information emotionally.

In her current relationship, her husband sees her as indecisive and incapable of making decisions at all. The result is that he has taken control of all decision making within the family. Deep inside Jamie houses years of suppressed anger and hurt feelings and has transferred those feelings to her husband. She also experiences a low level of agitation in not being in control of her life. Her conditioning from childhood is that whenever she starts trying to make a decision, all of the old programming replays itself and supports her beliefs that she is incapable of making decisions. The confusion takes over and builds up pressure in the head and causes migraine headaches. Her headaches have become so bad over the years that when she came to see me they were lasting as long as three weeks and she had become totally bedridden during these times. Her doctors were frustrated because they had exhausted all of the medications typically given for migraines. As we worked through the session Jamie, began to see that the headaches were the result of the suppression of emotions and her fear of making decisions. She had decided it was easier to have others make decisions rather than she making the wrong decision Once Jamie understood her personality decision making style she gave herself permission to take the time to deal with her emotions. We also looked at her lifestyle, her relationship with herself, her diet, and medications to see what could be changed.

As a result of our session, Jamie made the decision to take the initiative to pursue dealing with her headache problems by first seeing a chiropractor. She then began cranial/sacral work, keeping a headache journal to look for consistent patterns of behavior that could be triggering the headaches, and working with her husband to start resolving her relationship frustrations.

Treatment Options:
Conventional medicine
Alternative choices:

Cranial/sacral therapy Chiropractic Acupuncture
Acupressure Homeopathy Herbal remedies
Soothing foot baths Massage Relaxation techniques
Nutrition/diet Aromatherapy Biofeedback
Meditation Magnet therapy Cold compresses


This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical care. As a medical intuitive, I do not dispense medical advice or advocate the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical or medical problems. If your have a medical problem, see your physician or other licensed practitioner. It is my intent to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional, psychological and spiritual well being and good health. Should you choose to use any of the options offered or implied in this information, I assume no responsibility for your actions.

Carol Ritberger, Ph.D.

*In my book, Your Personality, Your Health, there is an explanation of chakras and the chakra system and an assessment to assist you in determining your personality type by color.

© Copyright 2009 by Carol Ritberger, Ph.D., Medical Intuitive, and the Ritberger Media Group.