A member posted today that she was having a real bad headache, then explained what her day was going to be like. She was expecting a house full of relatives (in a small house) to visit their dying grandmother. No wonder she had a headache. She was awake with it and woke up early with it. Anyone would have a headache facing such an emotionally stressful day. It also may very well have triggered earlier situations that caused her to have headaches. TMS was doing a good job of causing her pain. I’ve researched about types of headaches and their causes, but specialists had little to say about how to avoid or cure them. An aspirin could help, but only temporarily, so a headache sufferer has to try to find out what causes them. Eye strain from reading or being on the computer may cause headaches, but if the eyes are okay with or without glasses, and there are no other physical problems affecting vision, the problem is very likely TMS, from repressed emotions. Tension-type and migraine headaches are the most common types of headaches and their causes. Headache specialists say these two types of headaches may be treated differently, and learning which type you have is a critical step in relieving the pain. Tension-type headaches are sometimes called muscle contraction headaches. The pain is usually a dull ache on both sides of the head and it feels like a tight band is stretched across the front of the head. Or you might feel a stiffness of the neck and shoulder, with frequent palm. My mother used to often complain of having a migraine headache. I doubt she knew exactly what that meant, so she may have “just” had a bad tension-type headache because she worked and tried to keep up with three energetic children (I was one of them) and a husband (my birth father) who worked hard to bring home pay during the Great 1930s Depression, but also gambled to supplement his small income and usually lost. So Mom had lots of TMS reasons to have bad headaches. Migraine-type headaches give moderate to severe pounding sensations or throbbing pain in the head, most commonly on one side of the head. They are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and/or sounds. My mother never complained of any of those symptoms, which makes be believe she didn’t really have migraine headaches but everyday common tension-type headaches. Most of us get tension headaches from one stressful situation or another, from when we pay a stack of bills (or can pay only some of them), dealing with a difficult person whether a family member, friend, boss, or co-worker, etc. There also are some other types of headaches: Cluster headaches are not very common but can cause excruciating sharp-as-knife pain around one eye. These headaches can come on daily in clusters of weeks or months, then go away completely for months or years. They happen to men four times more than to women, and typically begin before age 30. It’s a good idea to see a doctor if you have a cluster headache, but if nothing structurally bad is found, it could have been caused by TMS and repressed emotions. Rebound headaches are rare, occurring in less than 2 percent of people whose persistent headache pain causes them to over use headache medication. These headaches may get worse with physical or mental exertion. Sinus headaches are those with deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. Pain usually gets worse with sudden head movement or straining and symptoms may be fever, runny nose, and clogged ears. This past spring and summer weather, either very wet or dry, have been blamed for sinus headaches. Pollen, rag weed, grass weed, and ground mold have been blamed for sinus headaches. I never had sinus headaches when I grew up in the big city (Chicago) but began to get them when I moved to the suburbs and my apartment or house was near gardens and woods. I guess I paid the price for living near nature, which I love. But I also believe my headaches, sinus or whatever type, came more from TMS… anxiety, fear, being over conscientious about everything. Some medical researchers now say the underlying cause of headaches has to do with brain chemistry that is triggered by various factors. By avoiding the factors that trigger a headache, we supposedly can prevent their onset. To me, this sounds a lot like TMS. What are some headache triggers? Medical researchers don’t say they may be TMS repressed emotions, because they don’t know about Dr. Sarno and his theory about what causes pain. Instead, researchers suggest the headache triggers can come from what we eat or drink. Maybe a headache comes on while or after eating cheese, bread made from yeast, pickled foods, bananas, oranges or lemons, chocolate, nuts, or drinking coffee, tea, cola, red or white wine, or other alcoholic beverages. Look out, margarita, here comes a headache! Researchers do say we should think back to a previous headache for its cause. Was it an especially stressful day (like the housewife who was suffering from a real bad headache as she anticipated a houseful of relatives)? This really does sound like they agree that a headache may have been psychologically caused. Other headache triggers can be work pressures or emotions such as depression, anxiety, let down, frustration, even pleasant excitement. A friend of mine had terrible headaches and broke out in hives on what should have been two of the happiest and stress less weeks of his life... his honeymoon! Headache prevention and management may well be up to each person, to reflect on what might cause the headache and make any adjustments in life that are possible. An aspirin might relieve the symptoms temporarily, but for the long haul, most of us should consider a TMS solution. Until that solution is discovered, headaches can be relieved without aspirin or tranquilizers by deep breathing, meditation, and taking the mind off of headache pain by doing something physical or that relaxes us or that makes us laugh.