Ways to Manage Migraines

migraineMigraine is more than just a headache. It is a neurobiological disorder involving vascular and neurological changes in the brain during an attack. This pulsating headache can have a considerable effect on the quality of life of those affected. When a migraine strikes, it can be completely disabling and disrupt every day life.

Making lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. In this post, we’ll discuss the most effective ways to manage your migraines.

1. Try relaxation techniques

• Use temperature therapy – apply cold compresses to your head and neck. Cold compresses provide anti-inflammatory relief that can help lessen the pain of a migraine.

• Massage and yoga exercises that focus on mindfulness can ease a migraine attack.

2. Exercise regularly

Moderate exercise such as swimming, walking or cycling can help to make your migraines shorter and less intense.

Exercise helps to reduce stress – a common cause of migraines – and it also aids relaxation. Additionally, when we exercise, the brain releases endorphins which act as the body’s natural painkiller.

3. Sleep well

Oversleeping, sleep deprivation, and changes in sleep patterns can trigger a migraine attack. Additionally, if you already have a migraine, getting a peaceful sleep at night can be tricky. Here’s how you can manage migraines caused by sleep.

• Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, even on weekends and holidays. If you must nap during the day, keep it short. A nap of at least 20 minutes is best.

• Avoid taking stimulants such as caffeine a few hours before sleep time. Caffeine may interfere with sleep patterns.

• Minimize distractions before sleep. Avoid watching TV, working or eating before sleep.

4. Watch what you eat

Making some changes to your eating habits can help reduce the likelihood and severity of migraines. Consider the following:

• Don’t skip meals – fluctuations in blood sugar can cause a migraine attack. Be sure not to go longer than three hours without food. Additionally, include protein in your diet to help maintain a steady level of glucose.

• Make observations on the foods that cause your migraine attacks to help you identify potential food triggers.

• Add magnesium to your diet – magnesium deficiency may cause migraine in the brain and also affect serotonin (a key molecule related to migraine). Studies show that magnesium oxide supplementation can prevent menstrual-related migraines and migraines with aura.

• Avoid foods that trigger a migraine – frequently reported triggers include caffeine, processed foods, and meats, alcohol, fermented foods, cheese, smoked fish and dried foods among others.

These are some of the ways to help cope with your migraines. However, they may take some time to provide relief. A great alternative to managing your migraine attacks is to consult a chiropractor. Studies show that care offered by chiropractors can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. An Ealing chiropractor can assess, diagnose and manage your migraines effectively.

What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere's DiseaseMeniere’s Disease is a rare condition that affects the inner ear, presenting with symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the ear, tinnitus or vertigo. In extreme cases it can even result in the permanent loss of hearing. It can strike victims at any time, and is believed to affect up to 1.9 per 1,000 people. It can affect males or females, but it is thought that around 10% of people who develop Meniere’s Disease have a family history with it. In other words, it does not discriminate!

It is a sapping condition that can disrupt everyday life as the attacks can vary in severity and length, lasting from around two or three hours all the way up to days at a time. The most common complaints that arise from Meniere’s Disease are unpredictable bouts of vertigo with nausea and vomiting. The length of these spells is unpredictable and can last anywhere from minutes to hours. However, another issue with the Disease is that people who suffer from it can then go days or even years without suffering their next attack, It can come out of nowhere!

What are the signs of an attack?

Meniere’s creates damage to the hair cell receptors in the inner ear, which then spontaneously sends confused signals to the brain. This initially shows up as a kind of rumbling tinnitus sound at first. Other signs of an attack can include a feeling of fullness in the ear which is aural pressure, or the previously mentioned bouts of vertigo and nausea.

Is there a cure for Meniere’s Disease?

Dealing with Meniere’s Disease can be very difficult, as there is not a known cure for the illness at this time. Treatment is normally based around managing the condition to reduce and control the symptoms. This is done via prescription medications, or changing the dietary intake of sufferers to limit sodium.

However, Neuroworks Chiropractic Clinic in Ealing is a neurological rehabilitation centre that provides a holistic, alternative way of treating Meniere’s Disease. The Ealing Chiropractor offers a vestibular rehabilitation programme, designed to teach the patient how to retrain their balance systems to become more stable. While aimed at improving balance and mobility, it can cause an overall improvement to the quality of life for sufferers of the Disease as they learn how to balance themselves again.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation with the Ealing Chiropractor is a customized exercise programme that basically causes dizziness and then teaches you how to deal with it. It isn’t done to cause acute attacks of vertigo, and the physiotherapists will work with you to train your brain to recognise and overcome dizziness and imbalance. Think of it a bit like getting your sea legs! While these exercises won’t prevent attacks of vertigo, they will help with the long term symptoms of dizziness and imbalance, and give confidence that you can recover from the vertigo attacks caused by Meniere’s in the future.

Men’s Depression and How You Can Fight Back

depressionDepression is a serious issue and can paralyse an individual from carrying out their everyday activities. The issue mainly affects women, but men are also common victims of depression. A lot of the time, men are ignored when it comes to depression.

Firstly, depression is not wide spread among men and, secondly, men are seen as more emotionally stable than women. However, this is simply not true. Men also suffer from depression and it can make them incapable of doing anything, even seeing a doctor. This leads to them never getting help for their depression, sinking them deeper into the mental disorder.

As we have now entered Movember, we thought that we would offer support for men’s depression and offer some proven techniques to help you overcome depression all by yourself. Self-help methods are very effective and have been very successful in the past. Of course, if your depression is serious you should consult your GP. If you’re interested to know how to help yourself beat depression, continue to read this article.

Don’t Keep To Yourself

One of the most important things to never do is isolate yourself and stay away from friends and loved ones. Keeping in contact with other human beings is a basic need that needs to be fulfilled and it has been found to lift depressive symptoms. Using your social support groups is very important and will help you overcome depression extra fast. They will be able to help you with your negative thoughts and can offer advice, all leading to a steady recovery.

Challenge Your Own Thoughts

Challenging your own thoughts is very important if you’re suffering from depression. One of the main symptoms of depression is negative thoughts that tell you you’re worthless and reinforce the feelings of depression. In professional therapy, the doctor will often challenge these thoughts for you and will help you come up with a rational response. You should also try to do this yourself whenever a thought pops into your head. Challenge it and get rid of it, which will result in positive behaviour.

Boost Your Mood with Food

Food is one of the main basic needs that humans require in order to keep on living. Food is also known to be a huge mood booster. If you have an improper diet when you’re suffering from depression, we recommend you try and change your diet positively. This means that you should remove any foods that alter your mind, like caffeine and sugar. Stay away from processed foods and try and eat natural and organic. It is important to get your B vitamins as well, as there is a correlation between depression and vitamin B deficiencies.

Correct Your Sleeping Pattern

Getting enough sleep is very important and if you are not getting enough you could be negatively effecting your body. Insomnia is a common symptom of depression as you tend to stay awake at night thinking about the negative thoughts rushing around your head. Try and sort out a specific sleeping pattern and stick to it. This will help your body prepare for sleep and will help it rest when bedtime approaches.

Conclusion

Depression is a wide spread issue that affects men just as much as it affects women. Movember is designed to support all the men that suffer from depression that are not noticed in modern society. With the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to help yourself, but as mentioned you should consult your GP if the symptoms persist.

Three Steps To Safeguard Your Brain Health

brain healthWe can all look forward to longer lives thanks to advances in modern science. However, with degenerative brain disorders on the increase, Brain Awareness Week (BAW), a global event which, this year, runs from the 13th to 19th March aims to spread the word about progress in brain research and in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of degenerative brain disorders and other health issues affecting the brain.

To coincide with BAW, Ealing Chiropractor, Johan C Jeronimus DC DACNB of the Neuroworks Chiropractic Clinic has compiled three simple steps to help each of us take care of our brain health throughout our lives.

  1. Exercise

Exercise improves memory and thinking.

  • The direct effects of exercise come from the reduction of insulin resistance and inflammation and the stimulation of the release of chemicals (growth factors), that benefit the health of brain cells and affect the abundance and survival of new brain cells and the growth of new blood vessels within the brain.
  • The indirect brain health benefits come from reduction of stress and anxiety and an improvement in sleep and overall mood – all of these areas are ones that can cause or be a contributory factor in cognitive impairment.

To help you stick to your goals and keep you motivated, consider joining a class, partnering with a ‘gym buddy’ or hiring a personal trainer.(1)

Take care when participating in sport or other physical activity. It is important to protect your brain from injury with appropriate headgear. If you do pick up a head injury, no matter how minor it may seem, take it seriously and get it checked out promptly.

  1. Nourish Your Brain

Eating a healthy diet, drinking alcohol in moderation and considering some supplements to help make up any shortfall in nutrition can help to keep both the body and the brain healthy into old age.

  • Antioxidant foods such as blueberries help to protect our brains against oxidative stress.
  • Deep-water fish such as wild salmon are rich in Omega-3. These essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are definitely essential for normal, healthy function of the brain.
  • Consume Vitamin E. Nuts and seeds provide a good source of this essential vitamin and just one ounce per day can help to reduce the cognitive decline that can come with ageing.
  • Eat healthy monounsaturated fats, such as those found in Avocados. These fats promote healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure.
  • Eat whole grains that provide healthy fibre that can reduce the risk of heart disease. Having a healthy circulatory system helps to ensure that the brain has an adequate blood supply to remain healthy.
  • Beans and pulses help to stabilize blood sugar levels. The brain needs glucose for ‘fuel’ and needs a steady stream throughout the day, stable blood sugar levels will help to ensure it gets what it needs.
  • A modest amount of caffeine can help to improve memory, mood and focus. The best way to get this is from freshly brewed coffee or tea. Two or three cups daily is sufficient.
  • Eat some chocolate! It has to be the darks stuff though as this has the most powerful antioxidant effect and can help with concentration and improve the mood.(2)
  1. Sleep

Sufficient, good quality sleep, has a very positive effect on brain health and benefits for our mood, stress and anxiety levels too. When we sleep soundly, neurotransmitters within the brain are ‘topped up’ including Serotonin, vital for a feeling of wellbeing and in reducing feelings of anxiety and stress during the day to day activities of our lives.

Being sleep deprived, has many negative effects including negative thoughts and emotions and the risk of developing serious depression.

Sleep has another, surprising benefit too – it gives the brain a ‘spring-clean’ every night by flushing out the toxins that build up in the brain during our waking hours.(3)

Neuroworks Can Help

  • Do you have a niggling biomechanical problem that is preventing you from enjoying exercise?
  • Do you need advice on diet, nutrition or supplementation?
  • Are you stressed and finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep?

If you can answer “yes” to one or more on the list above, do not delay getting help! For the sake of your brain health, call your Ealing Chiropractor today to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757.

Note: Neuroworks wholeheartedly supports the aims of Brain Awareness Week but is not affiliated with, or endorsed by the organisers, The DANA Foundation.

(1) http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

(2) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-smart-healthier-brain

(3) https://www.perthbraincentre.com.au/lifestyle-changes-to-support-a-healthy-brain-and-overall-well-being/