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Source: Papers On Health
There is a vast variety of ailments associated with what is
called headache. In itself, it is just more or less pain in the head.
When there is such pain, it means that some of the nerves in the head
are in a wrong state, probably in nearly all cases a state of more or
less pressure. This pressure hinders the free flow of vital action
along the nerve, and this hindrance we feel as pain. To remove the
pressure is, then, to relieve the pain. Pressure from overwork often
causes headache on week-days, which goes off on Sabbath. The rest
here removes the pressure, and so the pain. The pressure results from a
failure of energy in some part of the head, slight swelling then taking
place. To increase the energy is to effect a cure. This may be done by
first, at bedtime, soaping the back with warm water and SOAP (see).
Then dry, and rub firmly yet gently with hot olive oil, until the whole
back glows with warmth. This may take perhaps fifteen minutes. Then
give three minutes of warm water pouring over the back. Dry again, and
oil with hot oil, and put the patient to bed. Avoid much tea. Avoid
altogether tobacco and alcoholic liquors, which of themselves will
often cause the trouble. This treatment applies to all that numerous
class of headaches which arise from overwork and fag. A cure may often
be had by its means, without taking a holiday. But where this can be
done, it is well to take it.
The headache, however, may be caused indirectly by the failure of some
of the organs to do their duty, when other methods must be adopted. The
use of tobacco so injuriously affects the whole system that headache
often results, and refuses to be cured unless the tobacco be given up.
It is hard to do this, but the difficulty must be faced. Cold, damp
feet are a common cause of headaches. Let these be well bathed (see
Bathing Feet) for some days, even twice or three times a day, and many
kinds of headaches will be cured. Constipation, or sluggish action of
the bowels, frequently causes headache. The cure is obvious (see
Constipation). Imperfect action of the kidneys also causes it. In such
a case apply a large, warm bran poultice (see) across the back behind
the kidneys. Oil the skin before and after poulticing. Do this once a
day at bedtime for a week, if necessary, but not longer than a week at
a time. Take half a teacupful of water before each meal. Use freely the
lemon drink described in Drinks, Refreshing.
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