The Best Medication for a Stress Headache? Meditation

By: Dr. Mike OlpinIt’s true; the best medication for a stress headache seems to be meditation.In a new study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, people who meditated for just 20 minutes a day saw their pain tolerance rise in 4 days. Volunteers learned an ultra-easy technique called mindfulness meditation that teaches you to focus on your breath and stay in the present moment, not worry about what's ahead. Researchers tested the volunteers' pain thresholds with mild electric shocks and found that shocks considered "high pain" before meditating felt mild afterward. Volunteers who didn't learn the meditation had unchanged responses to the shocks. (No, we can't imagine why anyone volunteered for this, though we're grateful that they did.)1This is great news because about 30%-80% of the adult U.S. population suffer from an occasional tension, or stress headache. Approximately 3% of those suffer from chronic daily tension headaches. Women are twice as likely to suffer from tension-type headaches as...
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Breathing Techniques Reduce Test Anxiety and Increase Performance

Breathing Techniques Reduce Test Anxiety and Increase Performance

[frame align="left"][/frame] Have you ever been disappointed with a test score because you knew you could have done better but were just so nervous you didn’t do your best? How about on a job interview, or when giving an important presentation? When we are anxious or nervous our breathing changes from deep diaphragmatic breaths to shallow chest breathing.  This kind of breathing restricts oxygen flow to the cells of the body and may cause drowsiness, irritability and even headaches. (more…)...
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