Topic: Managing Headaches

Hello all-

This is a question for anyone out there who's had problems with frequent headaches following intense upper register work. Are there any natural remedies one can take before, during, or after singing intensely in these registers that will help alleviate head and face aches?

Example: I was in the studio last night, tracking some very high harmonies that required a lot of punch and vibrato. The repetitiousness of the work meant I was projecting through the head and mask over and over again for a few hours. The consequences: great vocals, but my head bones now feel like one, gigantic throbbing mass.

I'm very holistic and avoid taking meds, except for in extreme circumstances. NSAIDs I especially try to avoid, because I understand that taking them can put the throat tissues at risk of tearing and hemorrhaging. I'm looking at a good 3-4 months of studio work ahead of me, so I'm trying to be very protective of my instrument here. But, I gotta do something about the headaches.

If anybody has any natural remedies that have proven safe and effective, I'd greatly appreciate the tip.

Thanks much.

-j

The Voice of KRONE
http://www.kroneproductions.com
jen@kroneproductions.com

Re: Managing Headaches

I've encountered this before. It usually happened when I was tired, and also having to sing in the upper registers for extended amounts of time. I believe what was happening (in my case..) was that I started panicking to stay on pitch and like a kamikaze, engaged the constricter muscles, thereby cutting off the oxygen (blood) to my brain. I used to get choked out frequently at Jiu-jitsu practice so I know the feeling well..lol

I would experience the same headache there as well...not enjoyable. In both cases I failed to rely on proper technique.

If you are PROPERLY zipping-up (connecting) the vocal folds in your head register, there will be NO straining involved...no more headaches. Rely on proper technique to get you through..it works EVERY time.


Vocally yours,

Re: Managing Headaches

Hi Jen

I'm a Singer & Natural Nutritionist

High notes ..upper register are also vibrating through the entire nervous system via the Vagus nerve. Headaches can come from nervous tension, dehydration and too much vibration in the cranium and nerves.
As you are into holistic stuff I can speak a little more to you about it. Our whole being is a vibration, a frequency; and our head........ particularly the bone structure inside.... is designed to take in sound through our ears, produce sound vibration inside the head and distribute it from the ears through the body via the Vagus nerve.

If you are overdoing one part of this fragile mechanism in the higher resonance, you will undoubtedly get headaches. I would suggest that you don't push too hard...take frequent breaks breathe deeply with fresh air, do some lower tones inbetween takes and drink PLENTY of room temperature water...NOT COLD......also improve technique as Shaun says.

You can use natural headache remedies such as Lavender Oil massaged into the temples and neck area and drink soothing Camomile tea. No stimulants like coffee or peppermint tea....as you are overstimulating the nervous system anyway. Bachs Rescue Remedy can also help to calm and soothe.

Keep on a good diet of fresh veg and fruit, lean meat and fish and carbohydrate such as brown rice....not pasta or bread and cakes. Although you may fancy some after the session from the energy you've used...that's ok if it's a little.

Hope that helps?
Any personal tips you want email me
Hilary

Last edited by Hilary Canto (2008-03-26 16:38:32)

Re: Managing Headaches

Jen,

I, too get headaches from time to time when I "transition" into the upper register. I found an excellent product that works well for me, and it's all natural ingredients. It's Jones' Formula 23 and is a combination of Eucalyptus Oil, Grapeseed oil, Aloe Vera, and Jojoba oil. It's rather expensive ($40 per a 4 oz. bottle, but it lasts a long time - you don't need much at all), but it's effective. And works within moments. I rub it into the temple area as Hilary suggested with the Lavender oil. I purchased a bottle approximately two months ago, use it daily on my neck, temples, and shoulder blades and still have about 3/4 of a bottle left.

I also use it on neck pain as well and it's good for a lot of other ailments, too. (to get an idea of my impairments, check out my posts on "Vocal Health>Chiropractic Treatment).
I realize you made your post back in February, however, I just located it today, and thought I could be of some help -another alternative to look into.

I'm with Hilary, Jamie, and many others on the forum regarding natural remedies.
This product is also good for the lungs - I spray a bit on a tissue and inhale it a few times, and it works wonders.

You can locate it at  http://www.allnaturalpainfree.com

Hope this is of some help to you...  smile

Hilary,

Checked out your website and really enjoy it.... And your comment "WITH THE POWER OF LOVE" - says it ALL !!!  I can really relate.   Beautiful voice, too  smile

Nightprowler

Vocalist, Keyboardist, Composer

Sr. Director of Community Development and Operations
The Modern Vocalist
http://www.themodernvocalist.com

Re: Managing Headaches

Well, where exactly are your headaches?

It doesn't seem likely vibrations or even hours of vibrations would be causing headaches.   Vibrations are usually good for relieving headaches.

Muscles aches are frequently caused by increase in lactic acid; however, I simply don't think singing can cause enough.

However, the formation of and sustained strain on your neck and face muscles can cause a lot of pull on the tendons and ligaments on your face and head.  Also, the muscles on the head itself.  If these aren't relaxed properly, I guess it's possible to headaches.

My suggestions are:

1. If your headache is on the side of the head, get a tipped hair brush and gently brush the side of head muscles that may have had lactic acid build-up from strain of continuous strain.
2. If your headache is on the top of the head, get one of these funny tingler devices with legs that gently massages the top of the head.
3. If your head is on the face, gently massage the face.

All these should help improve circulation and detense any jammed up sets of muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.   

Your symptoms suggest you may not be holding your neck right.  I just read the Alexander Technique for Voice.   Terrible book, in my view (because I think ZenSinging.org's techniques are superior).   But this book has exercises that might help, as the Alexander technique is focused on the balance of the head on the neck.

Last edited by WebAndNet (2008-06-30 14:39:51)

Chen Sun
www.WebAndNet.com, Strategic Web Marketing
www.VocalPosture.com has unique singing-related content-- posture and voice, vocal structure, ergonomics, Zen and ancient philosophies' relevance to voice.  www.WebBIZcard.com is also in blog stage. Thanks

Re: Managing Headaches

Just update here

Headaches can come from a few sources, muscle tension, misalignment in skeletal structure, an overloaded liver and poor bowel function, noise and light sensitivity, dehydration, blood sugar imbalance, neural problems. However sustained vibration can also cause it in sensitive people. Music has downsides as well as good sides! You need to read more about the power of sound! love Hilary

Re: Managing Headaches

ps
Thanks for comments Night Prowler!
Hilary

Re: Managing Headaches

smile Jen, first of all, meant to thank you for the comment you made on another post about grit not just being fer men, heehee. wanna work on that, and will....

hey i'm only a student, and like nightprowler  (hey guy!!) try to stay away from pharmaceuticals...and all i can say is that if you have pain, (i am not one to be able to explain WHY!) the "capascin" creme, gel (as in "head on") yes its promoted on the boob tube, WORKS!!!

http://www.drugstore.com/qxp91467_33282 … relief.htm

its also at local drugstores, places like (gaggh) walmart....


sorry tried wikipedia but their review on this is biased, which is odd, and hey this stuff works pratty much anywhere, shoulders, hands, etc...


and there is something i got a sample of that worked wonderfully, cant remember the name of it exactly, but it was available at the Health Food store....thought it was cu "something***?? , tried to figure out what it was on the net, but this doesnt feel right....http://www.curcuminhealth.info/
maybe Hilary (hi there!) knows ?? If i figure out what it is, I'll repost....but it was a gelatin capsule filled with a yellow powder, took about 20 minutes to work, 8 hour pain relief...

rock on !! smile i LOVE your material....

Ancora Imparo

Re: Managing Headaches

Chen,

My (periodic) headaches are in the temples. But I'm sure  a lot of it has to do with all the surgeries I've had on the cervical spine. Though that's the major problem, and is sometimes aggravated when I "transition" into the upper register. I will try the products/techniques you recommended.
Thank you so much...

Hilary,

If you read my posts in Vocal Health> Chiropractic Treatment, (if you get time), I believe you'll get an understanding what I've been dealing with for years. But, yes, muscle tension and misalignments are are major contributor to the headaches, though my chiro tells me I've been a lot easier to adjust since I began to sing again. (ergo More exercise). Otherwise, I don't have those other problems you mentioned, and I do hydrate - more than ever before. Thank you so much for your response.
Also, if you read my posts, you'll get an insight into what I was referring to about "Love", and the tragic, unfortunate loss of it...   Again, love your site, and YOUR VOICE !!!  Sincerely !!!

Again, Thank you so much...

Rychemaiden,

Hello, "Lady" -Yes, only a student learning all over again, and the proper way, too. Wish this forum and all the wonderful people here, the pros, and others, were available years ago when I "on the scene". But I'm a young 53 going on 39 again, and back in those years, (age 14 to 23), this opportunity didn't exist. Bottom line, I can only imagine the potential if these resources were available then.

Capsicum cream - Used that before and the first brand worked. But I was prescribed a different brand once (much stronger, and I thought I was going to start on fire - Talk about "Heat of the Moment" - WOW - Never used the prescription dose after that. I also use another product called Bio Freeze" now as well, and the heat wraps, and they work well at times, too. The heat wraps are similiar to what Jamie recommends in his book : the warm moist towel wrapped around the neck, which is even more effective due to the moisture. It makes a big difference, but when in a hurry, and need to get "on the move", the heat wraps are convenient.

If you find out what those gelatin capsules are, kindly let me know. I could live with "8 hrs" of relief anytime. I'f  I knew what they were, I'd check it out on I-Herb. Great place to get herbals, teas, and a lot of things Jamie recommends in RYV.  (you'll find most of the products he recommends right there), and great pricing, too. Check it out : http://www.I-Herb.com

Till the next time, "Rock On " smile

Nightprowler

Thanks to ALL...

Vocalist, Keyboardist, Composer

Sr. Director of Community Development and Operations
The Modern Vocalist
http://www.themodernvocalist.com

Re: Managing Headaches

Hi guys

I'll be interested to know some of these products as I don't know them all!!
One thing...... Red Tiger Balm or a gel I use called Thermagel is great for softening & relaxing muscle tension when you need it.

Nightprowler
Will try and catch up on your posts...not easy at moment - see my latest posting! Thanks for your encouragement and glad you like the site......I need to check out your work!

Rychemaiden
I wish too I had access to all this years ago! Keep on learning and inputting it's a great site with great people with all kinds of knowledge!

love
Hilary

Re: Managing Headaches

Wow! Thank you all so much. I've been fighting these headaches for years now. I think a lot of people thought I was just being a diva, but I/ve actually been contemplating giving up singing altgether if I couldn't find a solution. These headaches are mind numbing!
It's nice to know this place exists. Now that I do I'll be checking in often and I'll be trying out your suggestions.

Re: Managing Headaches

Modern Vocalist,

I'm aware you're addressing all of us, however I'd like to say:
You're most welcome !!! Anytime....

Hilary is an expert on this topic. you can check her site at http://www.riverofloveconcerts.com
(Hilary is no longer with VC DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS THAT SHE HAS CONFIDED IN ME, that I am not at liberty to discuss as a matter of CONFIDENCE between us -No, she wasn't BANNED. I don't understand that at all - In fact, I know her personally, and she's a wonderful woman !!!).  I'd suggest checking her site for other reasons as well. You'll be impressed !

Jaime Vendera also has wealth of information in his book Raise Your Voice 2nd edition.

"Rychemaiden" is also into the herbal remedies as much as I am, and also knows a lot about the subject.

Since writing this post, I have also found a new product that is AWESOME : Jones Formula 23, It works on all sorts of pain issues, including headaches. The link is : http://www.allnaturalpainfree.com  The phone number is: 1-877-361-1100. It's rather expensive, but well worth it.

Feel free to email me if you wish... (In the event I AM BANNED for expressing my opinion, here's my email addresses: chief188@hughes.net and rockaholic@hughes.net  I wish to remain in contact with the instructors and members that I have become friends with since joining. I have done my best to "recruit" as many members as I could, due to what I believed was an excellent site, and had a "mission and purpose". I have also made many, many recommendations to people with regards to the excellent T C products.

Please accept my apologies ,"MV".  I just noticed that "BANNED" issue as I was responding to you....

Adolph  "NP"

Vocalist, Keyboardist, Composer

Sr. Director of Community Development and Operations
The Modern Vocalist
http://www.themodernvocalist.com

Re: Managing Headaches

hey MV and Jen....do you grind your teeth at all??? maybe TMJ contribures to Jens problem, maybe the cause of MV's?? I have that too, its excruciating..but can be controlled...massage, as hen suggested too, works wonders..shoots painall the way down the neck and stuff as you do it, but heck if it helps (and it does).....ALSO (light bulb moment..) if you live "up north" and are around heaters a lot...it dries out the air...that can cause headaches.....Jaime mentions that in his book I think....about using humidifiers....

Ancora Imparo

Re: Managing Headaches

MV,

An additional thought: Do you have these headaches while singing or afterwards ? Or do you get them at other times as well, i.e. just "out of nowhere" ? You didn't mention ....

If the latter is the case, it could be for other reasons, and perhaps you should consult a doctor. Herniated discs in the cervical spine can cause some very wicked headaches, or an issue with the brain. I had very severe headaches as a result of herniated disks, which involved several surgeries. I also had a brain MRI, JUST IN CASE.

Just concerned...

Rychemaiden,

TELL ME about living up North..... Just the THOUGHT of winter, snow, and the extreme cold is enough to give me headaches. smile

NP

Last edited by Nightprowler (2008-11-06 11:06:12)

Vocalist, Keyboardist, Composer

Sr. Director of Community Development and Operations
The Modern Vocalist
http://www.themodernvocalist.com

Re: Managing Headaches

yeah NP..sorry about that.....us gulf coasters are used to humidity tho, fer sure, and when a cold front comes thru and zaps the moisture out of the air i really notice it...like yesterday...hence the post smile I cant imagine what it is like living with the dry-air heater thing constantly. Maybe one adapts over time?? but my guess is no, given what I've heard from Jaime and you.....

Ancora Imparo

Re: Managing Headaches

Rychemaiden,

It's OK smile  I was just adding a bit of humor to your comment. I think everyone here that I know is aware of how I feel about the winters up here. Ukkkk.... Especially due to my pain issues in the cold, damp winter months.

But not only do I run a humidifier constantly, I also invested in a new heating system to eliminate that constant recirculation of forced air heating, and the consequences of it. It's already been of help with my breathing, but will save a ton of $$$ on the exorbitant costs of propane. YES !!!

NP

Vocalist, Keyboardist, Composer

Sr. Director of Community Development and Operations
The Modern Vocalist
http://www.themodernvocalist.com

Re: Managing Headaches

smile hope it helps!!! smile

Ancora Imparo

Re: Managing Headaches

Here are some tips from the National Headache Foundation (NHF) to help you manage your headaches.

    * Keep a diary of your headaches. Track when they started, how often they occur, how long they last, intensity and location of the pain, and triggers, such as certain foods, physical activities, bright light, strong odors, change in temperature or altitude, noise, smoke, stress, or oversleeping.  This information will be very helpful when you work with your clinician to determine the type of headache you have and the treatment that is best for you.

    * Maintain a Regular Sleep/Wake Cycle.  Plan to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up the same time each morning, including on weekends. This maintains the body’s natural circadian rhythm.

    * Eat a balanced diet and avoid foods that trigger your headaches.  Be your own expert and keep a log of the foods that trigger your headache attacks.  See if removing these foods from your diet reduces your headaches.  Remember not to skip or delay meals.

    * Exercise regularly.  Exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.   According to an online survey of headache sufferers conducted by the NHF, 72 percent of the respondents considered exercise to be a part of their treatment program.

    * Relax.  Practice deep breathing. Slowly inhale through your nose, filling your lungs with fresh air, and slowly exhale through your mouth.  Slow and steady breathing can promote overall relaxation.  Try biofeedback.  This therapy is often used in headache and pain treatment.  Biofeedback training uses special equipment that monitors physical responses to teach an individual how to control the physical processes that are related to stress.

    * Try massage.  Studies suggest that massage can decrease headache frequency and increase body awareness.  A massage is good for general relaxation as well as to relieve stress buildup in the muscle tissue.  Personal preference is the best way to choose what type of massage to use.

    * Practice visualization/guided imagery.  This technique combines relaxation exercises with the creation of mental images. By learning the skill of detaching from stressful events that may occur in daily life, some people are able to interrupt headache pain during the early phases of an attack.

    * Consider acupuncture and/or acupressure.  These ancient treatments for pain relief appear to work by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killing substance.  Relief from both pain and nausea, a decrease in the frequency of headache and a reduced need for treatment medication have been shown through these methods.



multivitamin

Re: Managing Headaches

Thanks for share very informative detail..

Re: Managing Headaches

It’s common for people to attribute headaches to stress, but there’s no official headache classification of

Re: Managing Headaches

Hello,
If you are overdoing one part of this fragile mechanism in the higher resonance, you will undoubtedly get headaches. I would suggest that you don't push too hard...take frequent breaks breathe deeply with fresh air,do some lower tones in between takes and drink PLENTY of room temperature water,not cold and also improve technique as Shaun says.

You can use natural headache remedies such as Lavender Oil massaged into the temples and neck area and drink soothing Camomile tea.

Re: Managing Headaches

chiropractors are a great help. sometimes a simple back adjustment can relieve many things. pinched nerves can cause all kinds of problems. I tore cartilage and had a dislocated rib. I was treated for a seperated shoulder after an accident, as I had the same symptoms as when I dislocated my shoulder in hockey. physio and all that. I got injured again and went to a sports therapist (also a chiropractor) that found the dislocated rib. he popped it back in and the pain was gone. he explained it as sympathetic pain, where the pinched nerve actually told my brain I had re injured my shoulder, but there was nothing wrong. just something to consider if other things don't work out