Patty Smith, FHCH, DVHH, BSEd
So you think medical school is tough?A homeopathic textbook is extremely clinical and comprehensive--a compilation of all of the symptoms and sufferings of mankind .
So you think medical school is tough?
A homeopathic textbook is extremely clinical and comprehensive a compilation of all of the symptoms and sufferings of mankind with corresponding remedies for their cure. Yet one section far outweighs the rest in terms of size: "head pain." More than 540 remedies are listed for this common complaint.
For a homeopath intent on helping you find the remedy to eliminate your symptoms, the quality of pain must be decided. Is it boring, bursting, bruised, burning, dull, drawing, gnawing or throbbing? And is the headache in the occiput (back of the head), vertex, forehead, temples or on the right or left side? Choosing a remedy to eliminate a headache is a formidable task for the best of homeopaths, but it can be simplified with an understanding of why people suffer from them in the first place.
Headaches are divided into two categories: tension headaches and migraines. In tension headaches, there's too much pressure in the blood vessels, which causes tensing of the muscles around the head, the neck and upper back. This is often the result of extreme pressure at work or stress in a relationship. A tension headache is a sign that one's thinking has been derailed and that the head (thought) is losing the connection with the grounding (body).
In migraines, on the other hand, the body is disconnected from the head. When the blood flows to the head, there is a feeling of pressure and the tension increases. When the blood vessels dilate, there is relaxation. Stimulating things, such as light, sound, stress, noise or excitement, can trigger migraines.
Remedies to address these two types of headaches differ greatly. On the one hand, energy is being squeezed out of the head, and on the other, energy is being forced into the head.
For a tension headache, Natrum mur is invaluable. The head feels as if in a vice, the skull as if crushed. The pain is better with sleep. Nat-m is very closely connected to issues of grief.
Bryonia is an acute remedy related to Nat-m and it can help when the pain is exacerbated with motion of any kind, be it eyes, head, limbs. Even the thought of having to think can aggravate the patient. The pain starts over the left eye and extends outwards. I have used Nat-m and Bryonia alternately with excellent results in a large percentage of headache complaints.
Chamomilla can help with congestive headaches where there's pressing pain. It is useful when the patient is hypersensitive to pain when a little headache feels enormous and the complaining seems extreme. The face may be red and hot on one side and pale on the other.
Nux vomica is another remedy for congestive headaches that may be connected to gastric complaints, which can come on after overindulgence in food or drink or after overwork. Someone needing Nux-v would be irritable and oversensitive.
Cocculus is excellent for headaches in the back of the head that are accompanied by vertigo and nausea. They come on after loss of sleep and the constriction can feel as if the brain is rolled into a small ball. These headaches are worse after riding in a car, drinking coffee or being exposed to cold air and feel better in a warm room and with bending backwards.
Remedies of great help for migraines include Glonoinum, when the headache is accompanied by upward rushes of blood. There are pulsations and bursting pains, which cause sufferers to hold their heads with both hands. The brain can feel too large and it will throb with every step or pulse.
Belladonna is good for violent headaches with the same upward rush of blood, congestion and a red, hot face and dilated pupils. The head and arteries will throb and the headache will come on suddenly, with shooting and stabbing pain. The patient feels worse with noise, light, motion or jarring and better with pressure.
Lachesis is used for violent congestion to the head accompanied by vomiting. Pain is throbbing, and the sufferer may feel as if all the blood in the body has gone to the head. Lach helps a headache that you wake with in the morning; pressure on any part of the body is intolerable and head pains may start on the left and cross to the right.
Use Mercurius when the head feels as if it would burst and the brain feels constricted by a band or vice. There can be nausea and symptoms are always worse at night. There is burning in the head, especially in the left temple, with pain over the nose and around the eyes as if a tight hat were pressing down.