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Holiday Headaches: Preventing Them Before They Start

Frantically running from store to store looking for a special gift, standing in a smoke-filled holiday party or reducing sleep for traveling can all trigger an aching tension headache. During the stressful holidays, these headaches can crush the spirit and ruin even the best of times. That is why we must be aware of the common triggers for headaches an look at ways to prevent them before they start.

Avoiding Tension, Enjoying Holidays Sensibly

Triggers stimulate an already existing imbalance of chemicals in the brain, leading to pain. Experts say stress is one of the most significant forces leading to chronic tension headaches. With the holiday periods adding extra responsibilities and commitments to already full schedules, people may feel overwhelmed, like spending the holidays in a pressure cooker. Considering the side effects of stress, everyone must take steps to reduce the anxiety and tension in their life. This may include an unplanned exercise routine or simply spending time alone to unwind after a hectic day.

A holiday weight gain may represent only one of the consequences of over-indulging at festive parties. Seasonal beverages and unfamiliar foods can contribute to headache complications. Experts say diet is one of the most significant factors in headaches. Considering this, people who wish to avoid holiday headaches should also pass up red wine and beer. With regard to food, aged cheeses and herring are known to have chemicals which can trigger a headache. And finally, watch it at the dessert table, with chocolate and caffeine often giving rise to debilitating headaches. The flickering lights surrounding a party dance floor and stuffy, smoky rooms can be the final factors leading to a tension headache.

Holiday Travelers Beware

For those of you visiting family and friends for the holidays, beware that the conditions of travel can contribute to headaches. For example, experts have found that a radical change of weather, seasons, altitude or time zones can all influence chemicals in the brain and subsequently lead to a holiday headache. These factors, combined with an abrupt change in sleep patterns and meal times spell disaster. When traveling, try to maintain a normal routine, eating at roughly the same time and try to get eight hours of sleep each night.

Taking Care of the Tension Headaches

Despite attempts to avoid the holiday tension and headaches, of course, some people will inevitably fall under their grip; Besides taking prescription medicine, sufferers can try heat or ice packs, bathing in a hot shower or simple rest. But most importantly, take a break from the stress. In addition to these tips, experts often advise smokers to quit because the habit can contribute to the intensity and frequency of headaches. Finally, starting an exercise regimen can offer an outstanding way to relieve stress and take action against the headaches. For patients dealing with the repeated effects of headaches, headache therapy programs are available that consolidate the expertise of doctors, physical therapists, licensed professional counselors and nutritionists to treat individual patient needs. So, as we find ourselves in the middle of the stressful holiday season, remember to relax, enjoy and celebrate in a healthy style.

Therapy Services Associates
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Two Offices
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2700 N Grimes
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 392-4129
FAX (575) 392-3835

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Located inside Nor Lea Hospital
1600 N Main
Lovington, NM 88260
(575) 396-5227
FAX (575) 396-7193

We serve Lea and Eddy Counties in New Mexico, as well as Yoakum and Gaines Counties in West Texas.