An Interview With Dr. Keesha Ewers
As most headache sufferers know, there is no such thing as “just a headache”. Causes, symptoms, and effective remedies can vary widely from person to person and day to day. In a recent interview with Dr. Keesha Ewers, we discussed the inflammatory triggers that can cause chronic migraine headaches, the ancient practice of Ayurveda, and 3 quick tips for overcoming a common cause of migraines that I think you are gonna love.
Autoimmunity, Inflammation and Headaches
Several studies have detailed the emerging link between autoimmune response and headaches. Stimuli like food, weather, time of day or year, and emotional elements such as stress can cause your immune system to respond in a way where it attacks your own body. This causes inflammation and leads to a variety of painful conditions and symptoms, including headaches. The factors that lead to an autoimmune response vary widely from person to person.
Dr. Keesha Ewers is a functional medicine practitioner, author, and speaker who specializes in helping people identify and overcome the root causes of the autoimmune response that is causing their symptoms.
The Ancient Practice of Ayurveda
Many of Dr. Keesha’s methods are based on the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda. The guiding principle of this practice is that the mind and body are linked together and that the mind plays an absolutely critical and essential role in healing and transforming the body.
However, everyone’s mind, body, and the connection between the two are distinct and unique. Optimal health is achieved when the mind and body are in balance. When something is out of balance, you may experience symptoms such as inflammation, digestive disorders, fatigue, and – you guessed it! – headaches. These symptoms may occur immediately or may only arise after the cumulative effect of a certain number of triggers pushes your body past its tipping point. This might explain why foods such as coffee or chocolate might only trigger your headaches once in a while and not every time you consume them.
This won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but this means that most “one size fits all” approaches to treating conditions such as headaches are likely to fail. While overarching guiding principles are a great place to start when seeking to gain control over your headaches, is it essential to take a personal approach to determining your own symptoms.
If you are interested in diving deeper into the unique causes of your headache,
we have a team of Migraine Health Coaches to support you!
Overheating and Headaches (Pitta Imbalance)
One of the common causes of migraine headaches that Dr. Keesha sees in her patients is when the body’s pitta dosha is out of balance and the body has too much heat. This can be a result of climate, or weather, spicy or heavy food choices, stress and anger, or a combination of all of these factors such as drinking hot tea on a hot day. This imbalance is recognized as part of traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine practices and known as either a pitta imbalance or excessive body heat (or heatiness) respectively. You may or may not perceive your body as being hot (or sweaty) – other signs beyond headaches include acne, rashes, frustration, irritability, anger, loose stools, acid reflux or heartburn or joint inflammation. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to help your body cool down and hopefully ward off a migraine or these other symptoms.
Mint Essential Oil
Remember the old York Peppermint Patty commercials where a person ate a candy and was instantly transported to the top of a snow-capped mountain? Well, that wasn’t just a marketing gimmick! Mint has exceptional cooling properties.To reduce the effects of too much heat in the body, try this remedy with mint essential oils. Place 2-3 drops of mint essential oil on a washcloth and submerge the washcloth in ice water. Ring out the excess water, and then wear the washcloth around the back of your neck when you will be out in hot weather.
Coconut water is also a simple and effective way to minimize the impact of hot weather. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants, low in calories, and devoid of fats and cholesterol that may exacerbate symptoms. Drink some during a workout, when exerting yourself in hot weather, or when you anticipate being on the go for long periods of time.
Dr. Keesha also recommends a breathing practice called Shitali Pranayama. Also known as Cooling Breath, this practice quickly cools the mind, body, and emotions and is easy to do anywhere. Simply curl your tongue upward into a tube-like shape and inhale. Next, close your mouth and exhale through your nose. You should feel the cool air on your tongue when you do this.
If you cannot curl your tongue (did you know 50% of the population can’t?), then you can purse your lips and curl your tongue the other way to get the same effects. Dr. Keesha and I demonstrate this technique around minute 10:38 in the interview.
Another remedy that Dr. Keesha recommends is a drink that can help reduce inflammation. This is a great option not only for when you are feeling overheated but when you are suffering from any type of inflammatory condition such as a sunburn or hemorrhoids.Simplyblend ½ cup of aloe juice and one bunch of organic cilantro in a blender with water and salt to taste, and drink three times per day.
If you are interested in learning more about getting control over your autoimmune response to attain freedom over your headaches, purchase Dr. Keesha’s book “Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle”. You will also receive her free bonus “21 Day Quick Start Program”.
You can also purchase access to our Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit. Dr. Keesha presented a full talk on this subject and many others on Day 7 of the recent summit. The videos are a wealth of information and resources to help you understand and overcome your headaches.