Migraines vs. Headaches

When people speak of headaches and migraines, they often fail to realize that the two actually represent two different conditions. Migraines represent a much more serious problem than your average tension headache. While regular headaches occur throughout most of the human population, those afflicted with migraines face a particularly painful problem.

Migraines are the most debilitating type of headache and throbbing, pulsating pain may be felt around the temples, or behind one eye or ear and make it painful to move your head. Other symptoms may include vomiting, sensitivity to light or noise, nausea and numbness or tingling on one side. About one in seven migraine sufferers experience visual disturbances that include flashes of light, zigzag lines or blind spots on or before the onset.

The pain of a migraine may last anywhere between four hours to a full week, which can make everyday tasks impossible. For those afflicted, these migraine headaches often occur between two and four times per month and may be triggered by: stress, fatigue, skipping meals, hormonal changes, glaring or flickering lights, loud noise, weather changes, overexertion, caffeine, chocolate, red wine, beer, nicotine, aged cheeses and flavor enhancers or preservatives.

A tension headache may be felt as tightness around the head like a band and may occur across the forehead, temples, back of the head and neck or at the base of the skull – a dull, achy, pressure‑like pain. Unlike a migraine, it’s a more diffuse and less intense pain felt on both sides.

Frequency and duration are extremely variable and may last from a few minutes to a few hours or be constant. Triggers include: muscular tension, stress, depression and anxiety and may include lack of sleep, missing meals, inactivity, poor posture, eyestrain, caffeine, alcohol and overuse of pain relievers.

The most common trigger for both is stress and Biofeedback is a very effective tool to reduce the effects it may have. The Quantum Healing Institute provides Biofeedback Therapies for stress management and mind/body healing.