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Headaches & Migraines

Pacific Coast Integrative Health

Dr. Caitlin Fanning, N.D.

Naturopathic Doctor & Functional Medicine located in Santa Cruz, CA

If you get severe headaches or migraines, focusing on anything but your headache during an episode can feel like an impossible task. At Pacific Coast Integrative Health in Santa Cruz, California, Caitlyn Fanning, ND, understands your pain and offers natural treatments for treatment and prevention. To explore naturopathic solutions for migraines and headaches, book a consultation by phone or online with Dr. Fanning today.

Headaches and Migraines Q & A

What are headaches?

If you have pain in any part of your head, you likely have a headache. Headaches often seem to come from nowhere and can ruin your plans for the rest of the day they occur. 

Primary headaches are headaches that occur on their own and are not a symptom of something else. They can develop because of overactive nerves, blood vessels, or muscle contractions. Secondary headaches are symptoms of other conditions. Both types can occur on one or both sides of your head and may include pain that spreads down your neck.

What are migraines?

Migraines are often classified as a severe type of headache. However, they’re a separate neurological condition that comes with more symptoms than just general pain or pressure in your head. During a migraine, you might experience:

  • Intense throbbing pain on one side of your head
  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Faintness or dizziness

Migraines don’t happen to everyone. If they run in your family, you’re likely to get them at some point in your life. 

What causes headaches and migraines?

If you get headaches or migraines, various behaviors and substances can act as triggers for them. Identifying your own triggers can help you better manage and prevent headaches and migraines in the future. Common triggers include:

  • Perfumes and scents
  • Airborne chemicals
  • Poor sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Food and food additives
  • Medications
  • Stress or anxiety

Dr. Fanning might recommend journaling about your headaches and migraines in an attempt to identify triggers you might not think about at first. Avoiding your triggers can reduce your chances of getting a future headache because of the same trigger. 

How are headaches and migraines treated?

Dr. Fanning’s treatments for headaches and migraines don’t go the usual route of using medications to manage the pain in the moment. She can personalize your headache or migraine treatment plan to account for the triggers and causes behind your symptoms. 

Your treatment plan for headache and migraine management might include:

Body awareness

Becoming more aware of your body’s position in space can help relieve some of the tension contributing to your head pain. Dr. Fanning uses treatment approaches like biofeedback and relaxation training to help you prevent or treat headaches.


Hydrotherapy involves bathing in hot water while using cold water to cool your head and neck. The hot water expands your blood vessels while the cold water constricts the blood vessels to relieve inflammation and pressure. For added relief, Dr. Fanning recommends adding Epsom salt to your bath to improve circulation.


Aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender can help reduce headaches and migraines. You can combine hydrotherapy with aromatherapy if you choose. 

If you have to structure your life around your headaches and migraines, it’s time to find a lasting solution. Book your consultation for headache and migraine treatment by phone or online at Pacific Coast Integrative Health today.