Can Hijama (cupping) relieve headaches?

Greetings, dear readers

At some point in life, most people will experience the feeling of having their brain work against them. And not in the ‘having negative thoughts’ kind of way. This sensation is usually physically painful and sometimes accompanied by a number of other symptoms. For some, it is a mild inconvenience that can be rectified by a couple of hours of sleep. For others, the experience is dreadful enough to keep them bedridden for several days at a time. In the UK alone, headaches and migraines are common ailments that have been known to affect more than ten million people. But why do so many people suffer from them? And can these people be treated?

tension-headache
If you’ve ever had a migraine, you’ll be able to empathise with this girl (1)

The answers to both of those questions can be found at the source of the problem itself. In this case, to determine why a person is afflicted by headaches and how they can be treated, we would need to look into potential causes. Despite being identified with relative ease, health professionals cannot say exactly why some people develop migraine-type headaches. However, migraines, along with cluster, tension, hormonal and sinus headaches, tend to share triggers. Triggers can include actions, habits, foods and drinks that provoke a person into entering a certain physical or mental state. Frequent headache or migraine triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Tensed muscles
  • Poor posture
  • Select foods
  • Dehydration
  • Withdrawal from carbohydrates or caffeine
  • Eye strain
  • Lack of sleep

Most of the aforementioned triggers are normally linked to each other in some way. For example, stress can cause muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper back to tense up and remain in that position. Due to staying in a non-relaxed state for a considerable length of time, an individual can develop bad posture that hardly changes when they sit or stand. Eye strain is a common issue for students, mainly because of their extended exposure to screens or printed words without taking breaks. By doing so, their eyes are forced to stay unnaturally open in a fixed position, which causes the eyeball itself to dry out and places pressure on the tiny muscles that control their movement. Lack of sleep can contribute to the formation of headaches by preventing the body from cell recovery, which repairs any damage suffered by its cells during waking hours. Studying without rest has often been labelled a recipe for repetitive headaches, since most students remain seated at a desk for hours , forcing themselves to work continuously to meet their individual deadlines. By doing so, they usually combine the stress of over-studying with poor posture and reduced sleep, leading to rigid muscles and exhausted organs.

posture4
Sometimes we do things that slowly kill us. Sometimes we do those things so badly that they kill us faster (2)

Similarly to self inflicted sleep deprivation, dehydration is a distressingly widespread problem in many communities, including those that do NOT live in hot climates. Without water, nutrients and oxygen cannot be transported around the body, specifically to the brain, and waste produced by the cells has no way of being removed efficiently. Due to this, tissues all over the body become unable to function to their full capacity. People who do not drink enough water usually end up with headaches that last longer than usual or that aren’t relieved by taking medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Certain foods, such as cheese, caffeine and chocolate, have been known to trigger headaches and migraines. On the other hand, withdrawal from carbohydrates and caffeine can also have the same effect on people, especially those that have recently changed their diet.

Dehydration.png
Water is your friend. For it to help you, you need to help yourself first (3)

Hijama can be used to combat the effects of headaches as well as manage select triggers. Tight muscles can be relaxed and poor posture slowly corrected by vigorous massage cupping and careful application of dry cups upon the affected areas. Treating the detox points can remove unspent stress hormones, regulate a patient’s sleep cycle and reboot their immune system and metabolism. At Pure Therapy, in addition to receiving Hijama treatments, we advise our patients to get plenty of rest at night, allowing their cells to rejuvenate properly, and to drink water adequately, which can improve their circulation and the function of their bodily systems in general.

We hope that this information has benefitted you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) http://www.newlinepharmacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/tension-headache.jpg
(2) http://www.muellerchiropractic.com/images/posture4.jpg
(3) http://www.watercarebd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Dehydration.png

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