Nutrition Panel Confirms You Can't Sugarcoat Healthy Eating In formulating my health game plan a couple of weeks ago, I noted that sugar makes up 25 percent of the total calories we consume and called for a major sugar cutback to protect, restore and regain good health. I also stressed the need to be aware …Read more. Waking Up to the Need to Downshift Your Life It's your day off, and you have a long list of things you need to do, things you want to get a jump on. But you've slept much longer than was intended. So you start your day trying to recalibrate how you'll ever get done all that you planned to …Read more. Focusing on the 2nd Half in the Game of Life Well, the big game not only is over but also has quickly faded into yesterday's news as fans dimly set their sights on next February and Super Bowl L, to be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. No sooner had I put my attention on a …Read more. Attention Football Fans: Health Tips to Avoid the Coffin Corner Well, the big game is over. The final score: A record 114.4 million people watched some or all of the coverage of the football finale. On Sunday, Americans were said to have powered down more pizza than on any other day of the year and downed more …Read more.more articles
Naturally Heading Off Headaches (Part 4)
Q: Hello, Mr. Norris. I'm a big "C-Force" fan, and I've really enjoyed this series you've done on how certain nutrients can help treat and prevent headaches. So what about exercise and herbs? I've gotten a lot of relief from slow jogging. — Sonia C., Tempe, Ariz.
A: In Part 1, I answered a reader's question about what foods we can eat and eliminate from our diet to help us naturally prevent and treat headaches.
In Part 2, I addressed another reader's question about what vitamins play a natural role in relieving headaches.
In Part 3, I discussed the role certain minerals can play in helping to treat and prevent headaches. (Parts 1, 2 and 3 are all available at creators.com.)
Regarding herbs, the editors of Prevention reported that some university tests and other studies show that spice ginger might be another natural cure for headaches because it improves blood circulation. Researchers at Odense University in Denmark believe ginger blocks prostaglandins, substances that cause pain and inflammation in blood vessels. They recommend a third of a teaspoon of powdered ginger daily in oatmeal, etc.
Also, taking 100-200 milligrams daily of coenzyme Q10 with ubiquinol, a vitaminlike compound critical for cellular life that helps enzymes create energy, has been shown to reduce migraine headaches.
Feverfew is probably the most popular herb touted as a natural remedy for headaches, commonly taken in 100- or 125-milligram doses. Like so many other natural herb remedies, feverfew affects blood circulation health — relaxing blood vessels, decreasing inflammation and improving circulation within the brain.
Feverfew often is combined with magnesium and riboflavin for migraine relief. Feverfew also is combined with ginger in the product GelStat, which has had success in some headache treatment centers.
There are other contributors to headaches — for example, not eating regularly (which causes low blood sugar and alters bodily chemicals) and smoking (which increases the risks of stroke and headaches). Reducing stress, practicing relaxation and improving sleep patterns are all helpful to preventing and reducing headaches, too.
Nutrition expert and author Joy Bauer further points out, "Research shows that physical therapy, when performed by a licensed physical therapist, is effective at treating migraines when paired with acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback or massage."
A study in the journal Neurology also found that being overweight is linked to severity and frequency of migraines.
Intense and unusual forms of exercise can actually exacerbate headaches, but regular low-impact exercise (such as walking, swimming and low-speed cycling) has been proved to reduce frequency, severity and duration of headaches by reducing tension.
In October, Men's Health reported that though 1 in 5 people who suffer from migraines regarded exercise as a trigger, "a new study published in the journal Cephalalgia found that 40 minutes of cycling three times a week had the same preventative effect on migraines as medication and relaxation exercises," according to the Swedish researchers.
But don't go crazy on a stationary bike or treadmill; slowly work up to a moderate speed and intensity. And always stretch and warm up before you exercise.
Low-impact exercise can help headaches by minimizing blood vessel inflammation via the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and because exercise reduces muscle tension and improves blood flow to the brain.
Fitness magazine offers one more suggestion: yoga. Researchers at the University of Rajasthan in India discovered that three months of yoga can reduce the frequency and overall intensity of migraines by half or more.
Gwen Lawrence, a sports yoga instructor in Westchester, N.Y., told Fitness: "The skills you build with yoga translate to better form during other exercises as well and will give you more support, and therefore stability, in your neck and skull. The end result is fewer headaches."
As always, consult with your physician or health practitioner before changing your diet or altering your physical activity.
For a more holistic medical approach, my wife, Gena, and I recommend Sierra Integrative Medical Center (http://www.SierraIntegrative.com), in Reno, Nev. The people there are pioneers in integrative medicine. They blend the best of conventional medicine with the best alternative therapies.
Write to Chuck Norris (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your questions about health and fitness. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.blogspot.com. To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CHUCK NORRIS
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