How to Get Rid of a Headache with Infrared
Headaches happen, and they range from tension, to cluster to migraines. While they are typically broken up into a few categories, some researchers say there are around 14 “types” of head-hurting-aches we may experience, 14! All of them causing us to notice immediately when they attack. They prevent us from doing the things we need and want to do and in some cases, they are incapacitating, zapping us of energy and the ability to even turn on a light or get out of bed.
Headaches consist of pain anywhere in your head or neck, they may even feel like they affect your shoulders and symptoms include throbbing, squeezing and pounding of your noggin. The pain comes from the tissues and parts of the body that are around the skull and brain, this is because the brain does not contain nerves that “feel” pain. So, what’s really causing your head to pound and your neck to become stiff? The thin tissue encasing the bones and muscles, near or connected to your skull, sinus cavity, eyes and ears. When this tissue becomes inflamed a headache can ensue, ranging from mild to severe. When we regularly overwork our nervous system, muscle tissue, cardiovascular, respiratory, and our elimination system with persistent mental or physical stress, not-so-healthy diets, and irregular sleep patterns we may cause more stress and headaches.
Another cause of consistent or recurring headaches can be your toxicity level. “Toxic overload is common in highly populated areas, symptoms often include fatigue, debilitating headaches, frequent illness and more,” says Dr. Aaron Flickstein. “The road to relief may require detoxification and relaxation.” The type and intensity of headache you’re experiencing may vary, but we want to explain how infrared heat can assist you with the relief you so desperately need.
How to Get Rid of a Headache with Infrared Heat
Soothing infrared sessions can provide relief from discomfort in several ways. Think warming up the body couldn’t possibly make a difference? Think again. Dr. Flickstein mentioned the detoxification process, but merely warming up the body and increasing circulation can have noticeable effects. “A low body temperature has been shown to contribute to numerous health problems, including headaches and migraines,” says Flickstein “Additionally, headaches and even digestive problems are attributed by some scientists to be the result of excess acidity in our system.” Acidity levels in the body are significant as they can alter our pH levels. Imbalanced acidity can damage the internal body and lower the defense of the immune system. An acidic surplus may be caused by alcohol and drug use, chronic stress, low fiber, lack of exercise, over-exercise, unhealthy foods, pollution and more. “The acids deposited in our blood are often stored by the body in forms of cholesterol, fatty acid, uric acid, and other villains that cause havoc in our system,” says Flickstein “Infrared sauna sessions can increase circulation and if someone is using the right alkalizing supplements in conjunction with infrared sessions this may enable the blood to rid the acidic toxins that have been deposited over years in one’s arteries.”
What about those who aren’t suffering from high acidity levels, or dehydration but still need a headache solution? Infrared can increase blood flow and bring oxygen and nutrients to any area of the body in need of pain relief, including the cranium. Infrared therapy has also been known to increase circulation and work on loosening tight muscles, which often contribute to head and neck pain. When we experience tension or discomfort anywhere in the body, it may translate to pain in the head, neck and shoulder region. Hence the reason we often end up with tight shoulders! “Infrared is phenomenal for pain relief,” adds Flickstein “As it penetrates 1.5 inches into the body, it does release toxins, but it also acts directly on irritated nerve endings providing speedy relief and tension reduction.”
FIT Tip: Pairing up your infrared session with a massage can also provide quick relief when you need it most.
As we’ve covered, tension or stress relief is much neededwhen your head is pounding. One of the most common headache types is a tension headache and believe it or not sipping some water and relaxing in an infrared wrap may just calm you down enough to feel relief. “It turns out that relaxation is much more important to health than most of us realize,” Flickstein says “The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems and the more stressed you are, the more cortisol your body produces.” Though one of the headache-causing perpetrators may be cortisol, an essential hormone produced by our adrenal glands, there are ways we can lower our cortisol levels to feel relief. Deep, rhythmic or visualized breathing as well as light, gentle stretching is often recommended for those who experience frequent or chronic tension headaches.
Did You Know? Frequent headaches are an indication of high blood pressure!
Incorporating breathing techniques, stretching and infrared sessions can have you feeling better in no time, how? “Scientific evidence shows that immersive infrared therapy helps maintain healthy levels of cortisol,” Flickstein says “While cortisol levels may stay the same or rise slightly during your infrared session, they will drop immediately afterward to leave you feeling much calmer than before.”
Because headaches can also occur from dehydration drinking water is non-negotiable, so be sure to hydrate before each infrared session! Now you know how to get rid of a migraine headache with infrared, so the next time your head begins to pound, book an infrared body wrap appointment as a self directed treatment to help your mind and body relax!
The Tension Headaches Study
The Wellington Pain & Headache Clinic at the Southern Cross Hospital in Wellington, New Zealand conducted a study with a sample size of 37 patients with tension headaches . The patients were randomly assigned into two groups. While the first group simply received advice and formal education about their condition, the second group aka the intervention group were given the same advice and education, in addition to regular sauna bathing sessions for eight weeks.
Next, in the control group, subjective pain was tracked using the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS). Moreover, sleep disturbances, depression & measurements from the Headache Disability Index (HDI) were also monitored and recorded. The results indicated that the headache pain intensity was significantly lower in the intervention group who participated in the sauna regularly. Hence, the researchers of the studies suggest that sauna bathing can be deemed as a simple yet effective treatment for tension headaches.
The study that indicates a decrease in headache intensity, holds true for both – a traditional sauna as well as an infrared sauna bathing.
- “Headache FAQ | National Headache Foundation”. National Headache Foundation. Web.
- Staff, UHN. “New Study Shows Infrared Sauna Benefits Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”. University Health News. Web.