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Old 05-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
SoloAvatar
Dojo: Aikido of San Clemente
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Aikido and Headaches

I'm curious if anyone else experiences headaches while taking ukemi. For the last year or so of my training occasionally I stand up after taking ukemi and it feels like all the pain receptors in the front of my head explode dazing me slightly for a few seconds till it subsides. It obviously doesn't happen every time, but maybe once out of every two training sessions I'll experience it at least once during a class. I've checked my ukemi and I'm not hitting my head of the ground or landing harshly, also I'm not jumping off the floor each time when it happens either.

Any thoughts on causes and/or fixes?

Sincerely,
Stephen Watkins
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:11 PM   #2
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Its embarrassing, when I first started out ukemi didn't give me any headaches whatsoever. But after a year out of action, and recuperation led to bad diet/lack of exercise I did get occasional headspins.

To overcome that, I continued rolling but concentrating on moving from center and not 'thinking'. After several classes of doing 20-30 non stop rolls, no more headaches. For me its probably got to do with blood pressure or something, but for you it might be entirely something else like vertigo. So either have it checked out or just tough it out and see what comes out of the woodwork.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:42 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Also possible it's neck - Essentially doing something like minor whiplash - since many headaches result from trigger points or other problems in neck muscles.
If there is a PT or bodyworker or chiro type person in your dojo, worthwhile having him watch your ukemi.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:46 AM   #4
crbateman
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

This happened to me when I first began Aikido years ago. Once I learned to keep my head more "quiet" when doing falls, it stopped cold-turkey. YMMV though, so you should get checked out if it persists. Pain exists for a reason.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #5
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Iron deficiency perhaps?

Plus Ki
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
Walter Martindale
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

reading too many threads about whether or not we're practicing aikido the way it were meant to be?
;-)
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:30 PM   #7
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Quote:
Stephen Watkins wrote: View Post
I'm curious if anyone else experiences headaches while taking ukemi. For the last year or so of my training occasionally I stand up after taking ukemi and it feels like all the pain receptors in the front of my head explode dazing me slightly for a few seconds till it subsides. It obviously doesn't happen every time, but maybe once out of every two training sessions I'll experience it at least once during a class. I've checked my ukemi and I'm not hitting my head of the ground or landing harshly, also I'm not jumping off the floor each time when it happens either.

Any thoughts on causes and/or fixes?

Sincerely,
Stephen Watkins
Dear Stephen,
Seems to me that you need to be cautious in this situation.You may well be incurring damage to the neck /cervical region.At present I have acquired a intermittent head pain.It got so bad I thought I had a brain tumour.After a MRI scan I got the all clear.Still no idea what the problem is , might be cevicogenic headache.Not saying you have
this but your body is telling you all is not well.Good luck. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
Josh Lerner
 
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Also possible it's neck - Essentially doing something like minor whiplash - since many headaches result from trigger points or other problems in neck muscles.
If there is a PT or bodyworker or chiro type person in your dojo, worthwhile having him watch your ukemi.
+1. Sounds like it might be a trigger point in the SCM (sternocleidomastoid). It is a VERY common source of headaches similar to the one you described. See a medical professional to rule out anything more serious, and then see someone who treats trigger points.

Josh
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:24 PM   #9
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Actually it would probably be a good idea to speak with a physician on something like this. I periodically get severe migraines so headaches are sort of a "hobby" of mine. So, start with a quick mention to your doctor. Then you might find the following relevant...

Exertion Headaches

FWIW some who get exertion headaches don't actually get migraines, but you find out one or both of their parents do. It can be an inherited propensity. It just happens that sudden exertion or suddent jolts/jarring/shaking and/or pressure changes can set them off.

If you are able to rule out the non-benign possible causes, you might just try a dose of naproxen an hour or so before practice. You could also try excedrin (aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine). Me, I'll just take an aspirin along with a cup of strong tea about an hour before practice if I'm feeling like I might have a migraine lurking... Seems to help.

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #10
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Oh, forgot some things. I've read estimates ranging from 10-15% of the population may in fact get exertion headaches, but that it is one of those under diagnosed problems. Other treatments are to make extra sure to stay hydrated (dehydration greatly aggravates things like this) and also to try doing a longer warm up prior to exertion or getting "bounced" around.

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:30 PM   #11
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Its embarrassing, when I first started out ukemi didn't give me any headaches whatsoever. But after a year out of action, and recuperation led to bad diet/lack of exercise I did get occasional headspins.

To overcome that, I continued rolling but concentrating on moving from center and not 'thinking'. After several classes of doing 20-30 non stop rolls, no more headaches. For me its probably got to do with blood pressure or something, but for you it might be entirely something else like vertigo. So either have it checked out or just tough it out and see what comes out of the woodwork.
Exertion headaches frequently drop in severity and frequency as a person gets more conditioned. It's when you do something beyond your level of conditioning that exertion headaches tend to happen.

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Old 05-11-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Are you holding your breath at all?

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:27 AM   #13
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

First go and see a Dr. and cover all the typical non-Aikido specific directions, it might be just the activity (try to get up fast many times and see if it happens even without the fall).

Then, and only if he does not have any idea, talk with your Aikido Teacher, and try looking for a sports specialist or something similar

Feel Well
Amir
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:28 AM   #14
Abasan
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Are you holding your breath at all?
Nice!

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #15
Jack M.
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Yes, please remember to breathe! People (myself included) tend to hold their breaths at times while working out, which can lead to very bad headaches.

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Old 05-28-2011, 02:54 PM   #16
Richard Stevens
Location: Indianapolis
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Re: Aikido and Headaches

Quote:
Stephen Watkins wrote: View Post
I'm curious if anyone else experiences headaches while taking ukemi. For the last year or so of my training occasionally I stand up after taking ukemi and it feels like all the pain receptors in the front of my head explode dazing me slightly for a few seconds till it subsides. It obviously doesn't happen every time, but maybe once out of every two training sessions I'll experience it at least once during a class. I've checked my ukemi and I'm not hitting my head of the ground or landing harshly, also I'm not jumping off the floor each time when it happens either.

Any thoughts on causes and/or fixes?

Sincerely,
Stephen Watkins
I was having the same issue with headaches. After a while I realized that my head was moving too much. I started focusing on minimizing head movement and it helped a lot. It probably doesn't help that I have a 40lb noggin'!
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