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Headaches

Headaches

At some point you’ve probably experienced a headache. Most people do.

At the end of a long day at work, your head starts to ache. Pound even. Your neck is stiff and sore. Is 5pm too early for bed?

Sometimes it’s so bad you can’t get out of bed at all. Your day doesn’t even get started. Perhaps you’ve been stuck on the toilet floor all night.

You’re afraid to book a holiday, worried you won’t enjoy it and waste your money and holiday leave. Social events are more stressful than fun. You might have more bad days than good.

You may have been told you have:

  • Migraine
  • Tension headache
  • Cluster headache
  • Cervicogenic headache
  • Sinus headache
  • Post traumatic headache
  • Sex headache
  • Hypertension headache
  • Hangover headache
  • Chinese restaurant syndrome

Headaches can be complex. With over 150 different types of headaches, finding the cause of your headaches is important.

You’ve tried a few different pain relievers. Some cause brain fog and fatigue, which you hate. Perhaps you’re after a more natural approach. 


“Why is this happening to me?” or “How can I get rid of it?”

We understand you may feel frustrated, hopeless, or confused by now. You’re over letting headaches dictate your life. You want control again.

Well please know that you are not alone. Here at Body and Brain Centre, we hear this a lot.

It’s great that you’ve tried a few things. You now know what doesn’t work. So you’re a step closer to finding out what does work.

Ways we can help you manage your headaches

Our caring, talented team are keen to find the cause of your headaches. For instance:

What aggravates or triggers an attack?  Why might you be experiencing discomfort, pain and maybe even nausea? Spots in your vision? Tingling?

People find relief from headaches through a range of ways, depending on preference and their needs:

  • Chiropractic
  • Remedial Massage
  • Naturopathy & Dietetics
  • Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Neurofeedback and Neuro-Rehabilitation
  • Holistic Counselling and Psychology

You don’t need to worry about which service suits - we’ll point you in the right direction. However, you may like to understand how a few of these services can help:

Chiropractic for headaches and migraine

Your neck, shoulders, jaw or even scalp feel achy, tight and tender.

You spend too long in front of the computer. Or driving stuck in traffic. You can see you are starting to hunch over.

Chiropractic helps to align the spine. Loosen jammed up joints in the neck, shoulders and throughout the body (Bronford et al. 2010). Massage tight muscles. Rehab weak and lazy muscles. Cold laser to relieve pain - like in your jaw (Chang et al. 2014).

Your chiropractor will assess your overall well being. What you eat. How you spend your days. Together we’ll look for hints to your triggers - and together we’ll plan ways to avoid and manage your headaches.

Treatment may include laser therapy, TENS, taping and other therapies depending on the cause of your headaches.

Remedial Massage and Myotherapy for headaches and migraines

You carry your stress through your shoulders. You’re feeling achy all over. Your neck is stiff. You feel tired often.

Your remedial massage and myotherapist practitioners can help you reduce inflammation with specialised lymphatic drainage massage. Calm your fight or flight response with gentle rhythmic massage. Melt away tight muscles with cupping, dry needling and deep pressure massage.

Don’t expect a shopping centre massage: our therapists are expertly trained, fully insured, and constantly studying the latest research and techniques for headache relief.

Naturopathy & Dietetics for headaches and migraines

You’ve got an inkling your diet is contributing to your headaches but you can’t pinpoint how. You’ve cut down on your coffee but still get headaches. How many cups a day can you really have? Any!?! You don’t want to cut out coffee if it’s not absolutely necessary.

Maybe you have ‘hotdog headaches’ caused by chemicals in deli meats (Henderson & Raskin 1972). Or nutritional deficiencies like vitamin D (Virtanen et al. 2017).

For those with extra kilos, losing weight has been shown to reduce the intensity, duration and frequency of headaches (Di Vincenzo et al. 2020).

Be guided through your nutritional journey by an expert to spot the patterns. You may be given remedies such as a vitamin supplement or a tailored herbal blend to speed the healing process, reduce inflammation and sensitivities.

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine for headaches & migraines

Your energy is low. You feel crap more often than not. Your nose is blocked. You feel run down. Bending forwards hurts your face.

Acupuncture can help reduce congestion from coughs and colds, release tension and boost your energy and reduce your headaches & migraines (McDonald & Janz 2017) (Liang 2015) (Linde et al. 2016b).

Needle & needle-free techniques are used - along with other gentle techniques such as cupping, moxa, herbs and tui na massage.

Neurofeedback and Neuro-rehabilitation for headaches & migraines

You are generally a little off. Your sleep. Your belly. Your body. Your balance. Your head aches. Your eyes feel fuzzy.

You don’t feel like your usual self. And you don’t like this new you.

Your nervous system may be agitated. Hyper-reactive. Responding strongly to a little flickering light or perfume.

Neurofeedback and neuro-rehabilitation is based on tapping into your brain’s ability to change - and heal itself.

Reduced headache frequency, less muscle tension, less need for medication, generally feeling better (Nestoriuc et al. 2007b) (Nestoriuc & Martin 2008).

Your specially-formulated plans will include simple yet powerful home exercises.

Psychology and Counselling for headaches & migraines

You already know stress triggers your headaches.

Maybe you are up late lying in bed. Thinking. Always thinking. The exhaustion sets a headache into motion. Chronically feeling unwell is taking its toll on you. You are sick of being in pain. More so, you are over missing out on occasions!

Speaking to a counsellor can help you deal with the stress, anxiety and depression that can set headaches off - or be caused by the headaches.

You’ll get home exercises to help relax and improve your sleep. Discover coping strategies. And learn more about yourself.

Learn more

Let us help you

Not sure which service to start with? 

No worries. Book your free phone consultation and we’ll point you in the right direction. Medical rebates may be available. From here we can start an open, and honest conversation about your headaches just to make sure we’re the right fit for you.

Book your free phone consultation now.

Research references

  • Bronfort, G., Haas, M., Evans, R. et al. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report . Chiropr Man Therap 18, 3 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-1340-18-3. Spinal adjustments are effective for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain, migraines, headaches from the neck, dizziness from the neck, neck pain and some leg / arm injuries. Massage is effective for chronic low back pain and chronic neck pain.
  • Chang WD, Lee CL, Lin HY, Hsu YC, Wang CJ, Lai PT. A Meta-analysis of Clinical Effects of Low-level Laser Therapy on Temporomandibular Joint Pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2014;26(8):1297‐1300. doi:10.1589/jpts.26.1297. Laser therapy on the muscles and / or joint capsule around the jaw (TMJ) has a moderate painkilling effect.
  • Di Vincenzo, A., Beghetto, M., Vettor, R. et al. (2020). Effects of Surgical and Non-surgical Weight Loss on Migraine Headache: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. OBES SURG 30, 2173–2185 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-04429-z. Weight loss improves migraines in those who are overweight. This included frequency, pain intensity, disability, duration of attack.
  • Liang F et al. (2015). Acupuncture and Immunity. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 260620. Published online 2015 Aug 5. doi: 10.1155/2015/260620
  • Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. (2016a).  Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;4:CD007587. Published 2016 Apr 19. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2. Acupuncture is suggested to be effective for tension type headaches but further research is required. This is moderate to low quality evidence.
  • Linde  K, Allais  G, Brinkhaus  B, Fei  Y, Mehring  M, Vertosick  EA, Vickers  A, White  AR (2016b). Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD001218. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub3. Acupuncture appears to reduce migraine frequency and has better results than placebo (a “faked” acupuncture treatment). It appears to be at least similarly effective to preventative medications. This is moderate quality evidence.
  • Henderson W & Raskin N (1972). " Hot-dog" headache: Individual susceptibility to nitrite. The Lancet. 1972 Dec 2;300(7788):1162-3. The earliest (if not one of them) that looked at a patient who got headaches after eating frankfurters.
  • Jiang Y, Bai P, Chen H, et al. (2018). The Effect of Acupuncture on the Quality of Life in Patients With Migraine: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1190. Published 2018 Oct 26. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01190
  • Linde K et al. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of tension‐type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 19 April 2016. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2
  • McDonald J & Janz S (2017). The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review, rev ed. Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association. 2017 Sep 10. Review of the acupuncture literature showing positive effects on migraine prevention, headache, chronic low back pain, allergic rhinitis, knee osteoarthritis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, post-operative nausea and vomiting and post-operative pain. Additionally they found 38 conditions that are potentially effectively managed with acupuncture.
  • Munguia FM, Jang J, Salem M, Clark GT, Enciso R (2018). Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Temporomandibular Myofascial Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Oral Facial Pain Headache. 2018;32(3):287–297. doi:10.11607/ofph.2032. There's moderate quality research to suggest that laser therapy is helpful for jaw-related muscle pain. More research needs to be done as there's only small studies with high levels of bias available.
  • Nestoriuc Y & Martin A (2007). Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: a meta-analysis. Pain. 2007 Mar;128(1-2):111-27. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2006.09.007. Epub 2006 Nov 2. PMID: 17084028.
  • Nestoriuc Y, Rief W, Martin A (2008b). Meta-analysis of biofeedback for tension-type headache: efficacy, specificity, and treatment moderators. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008. Jun;76(3):379-96. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.3.379. PMID: 18540732.
  • Rist PM, et al. (2019).The Impact of Spinal Manipulation on Migraine Pain and Disability: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Headache. 2019 Apr;59(4):532-542. doi: 10.1111/head.13501
  • Shen FJ, Jia XU, Zhan YJ, Fu QH, Jian PE (2019). Acupuncture for migraine: A systematic review and meta-analysis. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion. 2019 Mar 1;29(1):7-14.
  • Virtanen JK, Giniatullin R, Mäntyselkä P, Voutilainen S, Nurmi T, Mursu J, Kauhanen J, Tuomainen TP (2017). Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with higher risk of frequent headache in middle-aged and older men. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7: 39697 DOI: 10.1038/srep39697. Over 2600 men were studied and found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood had headaches more frequently.