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Heal Your Headache

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 ratings  ·  163 reviews
A three-step program that puts headache sufferers back in control of their lives.

“A must read for all individuals with migraine!”—Ronald J. Tusa, M.D., PH.D., Professor of Neurology and Otolaryngology, Dizziness and Balance Center, Emory University

Based on the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine—because migraine is not a specific
Paperback, 246 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Workman Publishing Company (first published August 12th 2002)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  1,143 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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Carrie Poppy
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book might have been persuasive if it hadn’t been overshadowed by the strangely unscientific attitude the author (a doctor from Johns Hopkins!) has. He says even if experiments showed that his migraine-reduction method didn’t work, he would still believe in it. That’s the opposite of science.

He also thinks basically every complaint is secretly “migraine,” from MS to chronic fatigue syndrome to sinus infections. It seems a bit overkill.

In any case, it was helpful to read his list of potenti
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book a year ago and have been putting the steps into practice ever since. I wish I could say that my migraines have been cured. There is almost nothing I want more. (I don't care what he says in Chapter 9.)

Step 1 was about giving up caffeine and preventing rebounds headaches. I was mostly doing this but I realized that I had to also give up decaf.

Step 2 is the food elimination diet. This is what most people find the most difficult. It is a little tricky at first to read all the ing
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a very easy-to-read style, Dr. Bucholz presents his theories about how to deal with persistent migraines. In particular, his approach is one for the many people who have gone to endless medical appointments and endless testing, only to be prescribed one drug after another which help a bit briefly and then are useless, taking up room in the medical cabinet and causing havoc with side effect after side effect. To top it off, most of these drugs were not designed to treat migraines to begin with ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5 stars

IT'S hard to rate this book honestly because a huge portion of it talks about putting things into practice that I haven't done yet, such as cutting out all foods that can potentially be migraine triggers and there's A LOT OF THEM. So until I cut those out and know if this book is effective or not it seems odd to rate it.

But hot damn it was interesting. It goes into a lot of detail talking about the mechanisms in the brain behind migraines, what causes them and how certain envir
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-improvement
I have seen fantastic results with number of headaches I receive and the tension in my neck muscles by following the migraine diet outlined in this book. Before I started the migraine diet I was doing 5-6 physical therapy stretches and exercises on my neck every 2-3 hours to keep the tension in my neck at bay. I was still getting incredibly tight muscles each day which would lead to a headache in the evenings. But the stretches, tens unit, muscle relaxers and ultrasounds were keeping the headach ...more
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book should be read by anyone suffering from any kind of headache, migraine or otherwise. Dr. Buchholz offers straightforward help, that, while not easy, seems to work for those willing to "take charge of their pain." Step 1 is to get off your pain medication if it's beyond simple aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen. This is meant to prevent rebound headaches. That step was easy for me because I wasn't using anything stronger than ibuprofen. Step 2 is more of a challenge because you must avoid kn ...more
Claudia Putnam
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
I read this after a craniosacral client was diagnosed with vestibular migraine. Some research on her behalf led to That blogger recommended this book--vestibular migraine doesn't usually include headache, but the same diet and other prevention measures are suggested. Since my husband and I both experience a ridiculous amount of migraines, we decided to follow most of the protocols in this book, just to see.

So far, it's helping.

Now. The guy IS a bit of a quack. Just as
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this because I got dizzy about 6 weeks ago and it was recommended by many people who said I might have migraine associated vertigo. I was originally diagnosed with labyrnthitus, but I have a history of headaches. The diet seems hard but I have learned some things to avoid to try and prevent a headache and possibly help my dizziness. It has lots of knowledge about migraines in general, how they are much more than a headache and how you can be getting them without headaches at all. Definite ...more
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I buy that this approach will cure all migraines for everyone, but it did convince me to give up caffeine, particularly my beloved Excedrin, and add some supplements. I am experiencing fewer and more mild migraines. Most of the food triggers he discusses were already things I avoided. For anyone who suffers with migraines, it's definitely worth a read. ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by my ENT, along with other literature and scholarly articles, after I went in for chronic sinus headaches and she diagnosed me with migraines after my exam showed no sign of sinus issues. I was floored at how all of my symptoms, some I didn’t even attribute to my headaches, all lined up under the vast umbrella that is migraine.

I have three big criticisms of this book. The biggest is how in the introduction, the author claims his method is hypothesis, and passiona
Becky Mueller
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has already made a HUGE impact on my migraines! Like so many others, I suffered from chronic migraines—about 10 a month—and something I’ve dealt with since childhood. I took excederin religiously, until it stopped working, then moved on to sumatriptan. I knew all these meds were bad for me in the long run, but the migraines were so bad that I couldn’t stop. This book taught me how these meds are just perpetuating the cycle of rebound migraines. I also learned how cutting out food trigg ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, health
Some tips for reading this book:

Yes, Dr. Buchholz has an attitude. Be prepared for that and try to look past it. He might say things about patients and doctors that upset you, but that's not the important part of the book.

Remember that it's from 2002. Some of the information is outdated. The Step 3 chapter about daily preventative medication is one section that needs to be updated. You could honestly skip it. Buchholz also believes (at least he did 17 years ago) that all headache is migraine. H
Kimberly Foulger
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Read The Migraine Brain instead a much better more comprehensive sympathetic book. This book blames a lot on migraines including other medical diagnosed and says you can fix it mainly with a diet. He does offer explanations about medication and has a really good chapter on rebound headaches.
I was offended towards the end when he actually stated if his diet doesn't work it's usually because you'd rather be on disability or because you have some other hidden agenda. (!!!) That's the exact attitud
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to share my experience with this diet so others with a vestibular disorder can see how it worked (or rather, didn't work) for me. I wish there had been more reviews online from others with my illness when I was deciding whether or not to try this method of controlling my chronic dizziness. I was diagnosed with labyrinthitis in March (my symptoms of chronic dizziness, vertigo, ear pain/pressure, head & sinus pressure all began in January but it took a while to reach my diagnosis). I was ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is useless. For this author to assume that everyone who gets migraines is overusing medication and that no one who gets migraines has ever tried avoiding triggers before reading this book is absurd. He makes doctors out to be villains, his tone is condescending a lot of the time (towards both doctors and the reader), and he proposes that a number of other illness are actually misdiagnosed migraines. I mean sure, I'm not saying that some things can't be misdiagnosed migraines but he mak ...more
Leslie M.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has a number of interesting points to consider and try. I haven't done them all yet, and I'm not sure I will, but it certainly gives me options. I love being educated when I read, and this book certainly did that. The items mentioned may not (and likely won't) work for everyone, but it gives a different perspective on dealing with migraines. ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Written by a non-migraine sufferer and the first recommendation is to avoid migraine meds? Wow!! Sure - I didn’t need to be able to leave the comfort of hugging the toilet anyway.
Too simplistic, he says he doesn’t want to “blame the patient” and then goes on to “blame the patient”, he recommends not listening to any other doctors.
The diet - avoiding histamines etc. is probably a great idea, but the initial chapters put me off the whole book.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This migraine book is older and some of the medication information is out of date, but the diet information regarding trigger management is some of the best out there! Definitely recommended!
Matt Shea
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: toilet-reads
I'm going to divide this review. First I'll offer my thoughts as a reader, and then I will add some thoughts as a sufferer of chronic daily migraines.

From a reader perspective, you should know that I spread this book out over a long time, and I think that that is the best way to cover it. Realistically, it is not a very long book at all, but it does have a lot of detailed medical jargon that could cause some to loose focus if you read it in large chucks. If you did that, however, you'd probably
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I 100% recommend this book to any and every chronic migraine sufferer, and I would even recommend it to any one who suffers from headaches or mysterious sinus/tension/stress headaches they can't seem to get under control.

I am not totally "healed", but I will say that by following David Buchholz' directions, I have finally been able to break the three year long chronic migraine I have had which was brought on by some severe negative medication reactions. (I did suffer chronic migraines for 12-13
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes - really - 5 stars. Mainly because it saved my life.

People have said negative things about this book, which I don't understand. So maybe it didn't work for you - so what? Did all those medications you went through work for you? I know I spent my life on several, some which helped more than others. If this book didn't work for you, maybe your brain is different than mine - and that's OK. Everyone is wired/balanced differently.

However, this was my 3rd migraine book, and it was the one that wo
Mar 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Kindle Version - I would not recommend buying this book for the Kindle. I couldn't figure out a way to read the tables. If I increased the font, it didn't increase the font on the tables. Also, it had very odd formatting in many of the chapters so that it didn't make sense reading it straight through on the Kindle version. The issue seemed to come up when there would be lines across the Kindle screen which I hadn't seen with other Kindle books. Especially for the cost of the Kindle book, I was v ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epilepsy
This is the ONLY migraine book on the market that is worth it's salt. After having migraines which pushed me to the point of seizures in 2004, I read every headache book out there, and this one is truly the one worth reading (and following!). Buccholz's plan--remove all triggers, then gradually add them back and monitor your load, while deleting caffeine and artificial sweeteners from your diet forever--works like gold for me. As long as I keep caffeine and artifical sweeteners out, I can play w ...more
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've read this book several times and would recommend it to everyone because we all suffer headaches but if you have a headache problem, I highly recommend it.
I am still trying to figure out if I have migraine or meniere's disease but the longer I suffer the more I am convinced it is migraine, especially after reading that migraine is so much more than a headache.
I have tried the diet a couple of times but have never succeeded to make it 4 months which is what he recommends before adding back f
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
When I was diagnosed with atypical migraine activity, the doctor referred me to this book. It's written by a neurologist, so the terminology is medical in nature but he makes it very approachable for everyone. I get the feeling this author is a medical rebel, and yet the institution that referred me is highly regarded for their medical expertise.

If you've lived with a variety of symptoms that doctors tell you "you'll just have to deal with," you might want to check out this book. Migraine is SO
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is changing my life. I have suffered bad head/neckaches almost every single day for the past 12 years. I started the 1-2-3 plan in August and I feel SO much better! I actually go DAYS at a time without a headache or taking any kind of pain medication (TOTAL MIRACLE). If you have suffered frequent head or neck pain (migraines and sinus headaches included), I totally recommend this book! It is very easy to read and makes so much sense.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful resource that explains the reasons why my migraines have progressively worsened over the last 10
years. I have several strategies now to assist me in reducing the number of migraines I get each month. This book and the Dizzy Cookbook have been a tremendous help to me.
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with migraines or recurring headaches
Best Book EVER! Thank you to Dr. Buchholz for helping me be pain free! When I read this book I was getting a migraine a week, and now barely one every 6 months. And when they happen, I even know why! If you don't get headaches and you know someone who does, buy this book for them. It will be worth it. ...more
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. I've suffered from migraines since grade school, seen many doctors and tried all kinds of drugs, but this book helped me find a more normal life again. I still get the occasional headache, but I control them--they don't control me. It takes a bit of courage and a helpful doctor to follow the plan outlined in the book, but it's well worth it. ...more
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
what a cheesy name and i'm going to sound even more cheesy to say it changed my life. i've drastically alterted my diet due to the recommendations in this book. i had a migraine 14 days in may (read the book aug/sept) and 2 days in october. the diet alterations plus acupuncture have helped me far more than my attempts at western medicine for the previous 2 years. ...more
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