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Based on the
breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of
migraine--because migraine is not a specific type of headache, but
the built-in mechanism that causes headaches of all kinds, along with
neck stiffness, sinus congestion, dizziness, and other problems--Dr.
Buchholz's Heal Your Headache puts headache sufferers back in control
of their lives with a simple, transforming program.
Honestly, the book cover wasn't
appealing to me. The description of the 1-2-3 Program did not grab
my attention either. But the content I read would change me from the
inside out. I cried through half of what I read as it completely
described my life! The headaches, vertigo, neck pain, occasional
sinus issues, scent sensitivity, and more. And though the term
migraine is spoken of often, one could be having symptoms (such as
vertigo or sinus troubles) without ever experiencing the pain
of the headache! He explains his theory on how everyone has a
certain migraine threshold. We all have triggers that can leave us
below or push us over that threshold (think barometric pressure,
strong scents, stress, hormones, food, etc). Some people only rarely
get headaches because either their threshold is really high or their
triggers are comparatively low. The rest of us have low thresholds,
a high quantity of triggers or both.
His first step involves removing
medications that cause rebound headaches and other issues.
Fortunately, I did not take many of these medications from the start
of this process. My best friend (maybe not to my stomach) has always
been ibuprofen. The third step involves specific types of
medications to consider if the second step
hasn't fully relieved you of the issues. Thesecond
step is where everything changed. He begins to explain common food
triggers. I've seen these lists before but have never been able to
confidently identify any triggers. He explains the reason most
people can't identify these triggers is because they are never
isolated. For example, one day, I have coffee at breakfast and carry
on throughout my day with no issues. The next morning, after a night
of little sleep and a change in weather patterns, I have coffee and
have a headache within 30 minutes. I could assume that coffee is not
a trigger because it didn't give me a headache yesterday. But I
would be relying on faulty information. The coffee didn't give me a
headache yesterday because my triggers were much lower and I never
crossed the migraine threshold. Today, combined with the little
sleep and a barometric pressure change, my triggers were higher and
they landed me a headache.
This step has already transformed my
life! He provides a rather extensive list of foods/drinks that must
be avoided in the beginning of this process. He suggests cutting
them as completely as possible for four months (I only did one month
for various reasons). After that time, you may add one food back at
a time, eating a great deal of it during a 3 days period and waiting
to see if you have any symptoms reappear after it's reintroduction.
This was extremely hard at first as the list was very, very difficult
for me to adjust to. Eventually, I began to learn more of what I
could and couldn't have and lived it out. I went WEEKS without a
single headache or any vertigo issues! You have to understand that I
normally have at least 5 or 6
headaches per week. This was definite progress!