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Home » Recommended Reading

Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

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Heal Your Headache: The 1 2 3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

  • ISBN13: 9780761125662
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
Based on the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine--because migraine is not a specific type of headache, but the built-in mechanism that causes headaches of all kinds, along with neck stiffness, sinus congestion, dizziness, and other problems--Dr. Buchholz's HEAL YOUR HEADACHE puts headache sufferers back in control of their lives with a simple, transforming program: Step 1: Avoid the "Quick Fix." Too often painkillers only... More >>

Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

Heal Your Headache: The 1 2 3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

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  • Stephen Sykes said:

    Add my name to the long list of reviewers for whom this book offered welcome relief. I have suffered migraines for over 50 years and am now virtually free [see note below]. The method was not easy. First, you have to stop taking all pain medications that cause rebound headaches. That includes just about everything that you would have ever found useful. Once free of those, you then start working on your personal dietary triggers. For me, it turned out to be a lot of stuff I love. Finally, you find a medicine that raises your headache threshold. For me, it was a moderate dose of nortripaline. The process took four months and included a lot of pain, particularly as I went thru headaches without pain relievers. But it was worth it.

    Added July 6, 2004 — Unfortunately, the relief offered by the book did not last long. Within six months of starting the program I had a major relapse with a migraine that gripped for more than two weeks and left me with tinnitus. I have followed the book’s prescription to the letter, but to no avail.

    Added October 22, 2004 — Turns out I missed something. I discovered that a topical hair treatment I was using was a vasodialator and, hence, a headache inducer. I stopped using the product, and my headaches stopped the next day. I haven’t had a problem since.
    Rating: 5 / 5

    • James A. Ferency said:

      February 27, 2008: I’m still going strong after three and one-half years. I’m generally sticking with Dr. Buchholz’s program and try to avoid caffeine, nitrates and other foods with multi-syllable preservatives. In addition, my wife and I try to eat organic foods whenever we can, and this seems to be extremely helpful in avoiding most of my known food triggers. Finally, I now drink a lot more water every day than I used to. When I get a migraine, I tend to get extremely dehydrated. I specifically drink Glaceau SmartWater when a headache comes on and when I’m recovering after a headache, and this seems to help by restoring electrolytes to my system.

      By the way, keeping a migraine diary is critical. Every time I get a headache, my wife notes what I ate and drank within the past 12-24 hours, how much sleep I got (too much or too little), etc.

      I’m still not cured completely, but my quality of life has dramatically improved over the past couple of years.

      May 7, 2007: It’s been over two and one-half years since I got with Dr. Buchholz’s program, and I’m still relatively migraine free. Once again, I try to stay away from caffeine and any foods with nitrates/nitrites and other multi-syllable non-natural preservatives (e.g., MSG) that clearly can’t be good for you. Also, I no longer use any big-pharma migraine meds. Bottom line: My migraines continue to be relatively infrequent and much more manageable.

      August 1, 2006: I’m still with the program (i.e., no migraine meds and watching what I eat pretty carefully), and my migraine headaches continue to be under control. As of September 2006, I’ll be coming up on the two year mark of following Dr. Buchholz’s recommended protocols, and it’s been worth it since I’ve gotten my life back.

      February 27, 2006: Now more than a year after my original posting, I am pleased to report that I am still relatively migraine free due to Dr. Buchholz’s recommendations. Again, what worked for me is the two-pronged approach of eliminating the most notorious food triggers and getting off of all of my migraine meds that caused rebound headaches, etc. Now, I only take a couple of Advils and try to sleep off the headaches, which are far less frequent and much less severe than at any time during the past decade.

      January 4, 2005: I am 46 years old and have suffered from migraines for most of my adult life. About nine years ago, my migraines became much more severe and started to hit me every two or three weeks. My typical symptoms included severe ice-pick like pain behind my left eye socket, moderate to severe pain across my entire forehead, nausea, dehydration, alternating sweats and chills, etc. During the past eight or nine years, I have worked continually with two leading migraine specialists in Manhattan. I tried all of the usual migraine meds and, in particular, all of the triptans including Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amerge, Axert, Relpax, etc. On balance, the pharma-approach to dealing my migraines was a failure.

      I never was really serious about attacking the dietary side of the equation, but I did try certain other alternative treatments such as botox injections, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.

      I am pleased to report that as of January 4, 2005, I have been virtually migraine free for over three months. This is clearly a modern day record for me. Since late September 2004, I have had only three relatively minor migraines which lasted only five or six hours in duration and which were not overly severe.

      I owe most of my progress to my wife, who read “Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain.” As a result of her research, my wife and I determined that I should pursue a two-pronged approach to dealing with my chronic migraines:

      * Eliminate suspected food triggers. While I had talked with my doctors about food triggers during my many years of treatment, my wife was the one who first noticed a possible food trigger in the form of nitrites/nitrates used in processed meats such as bacon, sausages, prosciutto, etc. As a result, she convinced me to completely eliminate from my diet the following suspected contributors to my migraines: (i) caffeine (I usually had one cup of coffee in the morning and one or two bottled ice teas containing caffeine throughout the day), (ii) nitrites/nitrates (I have not eaten much processed meat during the past few months), (iii) sulfites (I generally steer clear of red wines and most aged cheeses), (iv) citrus fruits, (v) bananas and nuts and (vi) various other foods that the book indicates could contribute to migraines. My own instincts tell me that the two most significant foods that contributed to my migraines were probably caffeine and nitrites/nitrates. I believe that keeping these items out of my diet has really helped me break the migraine cycle.

      * Eliminate migraine meds. While I had already phased off of some of my meds following my most recent visits with my doctor, I was still using Relpax as a migraine abortive. However, while Relpax seemed to sometimes defer the onset of the migraine, I found that it usually only delayed the inevitable while also creating really wicked rebound headaches. So, starting in September 2004 I stopped taking all of my migraine meds and just “toughed it out” whenever I got hit with a migraine. On reflection, I think that the Relpax created a major problem for me in terms of rebound headaches. And I never liked taking the various pain-killers that I had tried over the years, although I don’t think that I could have gotten through my worst headaches without some form of pain relief.

      So, the two-pronged approach of eliminating suspected food triggers and eliminating my migraine meds really seems to have set the stage for a breakthrough. I don’t believe that I’m totally cured, but I can deal with one relatively minor headache each month that only lays me out for one day or less. It was the severe migraines every two weeks that laid me out for two or three days at a time that was debilitating from both a professional and a personal perspective.

      Dr. Buchholz — Thanks for writing “Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain.” I would not be on the road to a pain-free 2005 without your help.
      Rating: 5 / 5

      • Dr. William Joseph Buckley said:

        Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain
        by David Buchholz (Workman Publishing Company; 1st edition (August 15, 2002)
        # ISBN: 0761125663

        Incredible. The advice in this book changed the life of a three decade migraine sufferer who teaches medical ethics. I have sent copies to family, friends and colleagues. Finally, here is clinically based assistance, given by one of the best minds in the country. It combines theoretical acumen with that rare combination of an outstanding neurologist, compassionate clinician and incisive un-masker of snake-oil remedies. Here are constructive suggestions that work. You won’t find Buchholz’s name on aspirin bottles; he is on no one’s payroll. But you will find him frequently quoted by Time Magazine, Newsweek, etc., as one of the country’s foremost experts concerning headaches. In an era when so-called experts assumed the marketplace would be the magic pill that would cure the headache of our nation’s healthcare, read about why marketing hype of short term headache relief is part of the problem. At a time when so many of us desperately clamor for relief that is believed only to be available from expensively inaccessible specialists, read about how a pro-active, well-tested common sense approach that puts you in charge of your headaches, delivers results you can trust. It works. As announced on the cover and repeated throughout the book, the golden nugget of advice is contrary to long held assumptions in many respects. Thus this advice is necessary; avoiding quick fix painkillers, which can cause rebound headaches; minimizing triggers like caffeine, perfumes, certain foods and stress and, for hardcore cases, using preventative medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel blockers and others. How these work and fit into a comprehensive program are the genius of the book. This not cure but care; this is not miracle but management; thank you Dr. Buchholz for helping us see how and why we headache sufferers can take responsibility for at some part of what ails us.

        Are you tired of consuming headache medicines like they were candy? Learn about why you should be. This book is rare common sense for folks who want to know how live well and manage their headaches in an era when medical paternalism is a thing of the past (“doctor knows best”) and a team approach to outcomes-based clinical care is welcome. Yet migraine is a phenomenon still misunderstood by those most important to us. Hence, to add to our misery, families and co-workers still remain too quickly dismissive of our “headache syndrome.” Who among us has not travelled on the lonely and familiar pilgrimage of self-doubt, self-denial, self-medication, and a series of mistaken diagnoses ranging from ignorance (“bruxisms,” “dental TMJ”), minimalizations (“get a lower-stress job”), under-trained pain management assessments (“you need more medicine”) from assorted “health care professionals”? In contrast, here is advice to use, not diagnose, but to prevent and manage your headaches.

        Stop working against yourself. Stop foraging through more than 400 books in English dealing with migraines and headaches. Stop contemplating the exotic remedies of stars in glossy magazines (silly ex-lax purgatives and sweat lodges). Stop waking up with the dread of another painful day. Stop feeling like a self-inflicted invalid to your family and friends as well as a pain weasel to your doctor. Stop squinting at the rows of over-the-counter headache medicines, with their receding lines of temporary promises.

        Learn about all that can happen with self involvement in your own treatment from the best tour guide you will ever meet. Few have his keen ability to map the terrain, chart the territory, point out interesting sights, capably explain and practically apply contested theories about causes of headaches and migraines, as well as survey new classes of medicines (e.g. the vascular theory, the cortical spreading depression theory, the neurovascular hypothesis, the serotonergic abnormalities hypothesis, the integrated hypothesis).

        In short, don’t even try sorting these out on your own. Let this clear and articulate author be your guide. This is the best health maintenance program for your migraine. Or suffer with headaches. The choice is yours. I have not been the same since I chose. This is the single best survival guide for headaches in an era that needs a physician as educator not patronizer, as enabler of health not pharmacist for acute care, as patient’s partner, not the employer of insurance companies encouraged to see “headache sufferers” as incurably complaining and expensive “clients”.

        Dr. William.Joseph Buckley
        Rating: 5 / 5

        • ddfris said:

          I cannot say enough about this book and the wisdom within. If you are going to purchase any book for migraine or headache relief – this is the one you need!

          Heal Your Headache is packed with information about why migraines occur, how they occur (physiologically), the many triggers that combine to cause them, and various methods you must take to become migraine free. Dr. Buchholz is very specific and very to-the-point about foods that trigger migraines, as well as activities, and other environmental factors you may or may not be able to control (such as hormone or baromatic fluxuation). Buchholz is the #1 expert on migraine at Johns Hopkins, and it is obvious through this book that he knows what he is talking about and that his techniques have worked time and time again for many patients from around the world.

          I didn’t purchase this book before suffering from migraines for a long time…and making many (expensive) trips to the doctor/hospital and E.R. Now I am able to live life without the horrifying pain and agony of migraines and you can too!!
          Rating: 5 / 5

          • K. Williams said:

            I would like to wholeheartedly recommend the book “Heal Your Headache” by Dr. David Buchholz of Johns Hopkins University. Not only does it explain in excellent detail his very effective program for controlling migraine headaches, but it is well organized, well written, and very reader-friendly. Without shirking solid medical explanations for his program, Dr. Buchholz manages to explain the science behind migraine control and prevention in very readable layman’s terms.

            More importantly, he describes a program that works! I say this with such enthusiasm because I have been fortunate enough to be a patient of Dr. Buchholz. I remember the first day I walked into his office eight years ago. “I just need a renewal of my prescription for Cafergot,” I told him. “I can feel a migraine coming on.” My family had just moved to Baltimore, and I had just run out of the medication I had previously been taking for migraines. Cafergot usually did the trick, even though it made me violently ill and did not stop my migraines from coming back soon afterwards. I had been suffering from blinding migraines for over 30 years and figured this was the best treatment available. “I won’t be prescribing that for you,” Dr. Buchholz replied bluntly, as he ushered me into his office. It was then that I discovered the 1-2-3 program that has changed my life. After a thorough neurological exam, Dr. Buchholz explained the connection between migraine and the foods we eat. It turned out that not only were many of the foods I craved migraine triggers, but the one I used to ward off migraines -a hot cup of tea – was actually the biggest trigger of them all. Beginning with caffeine, I eliminated a long list of foods from my diet and discovered that my migraines almost disappeared. I learned, furthermore, which foods I could add back, how many of the triggers it took to start a headache, and finally what a migraine really is.

            There is no need for anyone to suffer from migraines anymore. I highly recommend reading the book, finding treatment, and living your life headache-free!
            Rating: 5 / 5

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