By KRS Edstrom



Dear KRS,
I suffer from severe headaches almost every day. They start as sinus headaches and later turn into migraines. I am miserably sick and my doctors can’t figure out how to help me other than prescribing pills. I am tired of having this pain all the time. HELP!  What can I do?  Thank you.
Migraine Sufferer

Dear Migraine Sufferer,
I always suggest people get at least two or three different opinions (from doctors in different offices) on chronic ailments such as this. Also consider seeking out alternative practitioners in acupuncture or homeopathy. Be sure to pre-interview them and check them out thoroughly, just as you would/should any M.D.

There are many possible variables that can cause patterns of pain such as migraines. Allergies and chronic stress are two such variables and are not exactly “black and white” issues. They involve both the mind and body, which we now know dance an inseparable dance.

Also, the “habit” of pain sometimes gets established, leaving the original cause of the pain in the dust. The point is, this is going to take some introspection and effort on your part. Whichever professional you choose, consider yourself as an equal partner in your “healing team” and be committed to doing your own work with it on a daily basis.

One goal is to break the pain cycle, another is to develop skills to “be with” the pain with less suffering. One such skill is to be aware of the very inception of pain — in your case, just when you are starting to feel the sinus discomfort. The usual reaction is to fight it, which only keeps the cycle alive. Instead of resisting the pain, practice letting it be there. Quit fighting it. Surrender into it. Let all the muscles and thoughts relax. Be willing to be with the sensations of pain in a peaceful way and they will eventually break up — and with it the fear-induced “habit” of pain.

Dear KRS,
I’m a 35-year-old man who at one time was quite physically fit but have now been caught up with my career choice (that I do enjoy). I’m too tired to exercise in the evenings but somewhat unmotivated to get up in the mornings, although that would be my time of choice. I can tell that my health is somewhat on the decline because it takes me longer to heal and get over sickness than it used to. How can I get motivated in the a.m. and bring my weight down? Currently I’m about 205 at 6' 1" and getting a “gut”.
Expanding Waistline

Dear Expanding,
Start by thinking of exercise as a luxury, as your TREAT at the beginning (or end) of the day. It may not always be “Ha, Ha” fun while you are doing it, but remember the good feeling you have afterwards, both psychologically and physiologically. This feeling is what makes the rest of your day “make sense.” It is what gives Quality to the rest of your day and life.

Then decide which days you are going to COMMIT to getting up a little bit earlier. Be easy on yourself for the first week or two. How about starting with two weekdays such as Tuesdays and Thursdays along with midday Saturday and/or Sunday? Also, start by getting up only 15 minutes earlier the first week, then 20 minutes the second week, 30 the third and so forth.

Yes, your first workouts will be quite short, but remember we are more interested in “Getting Up Early Training” than “Exercise Training” at this beginning stage. When the alarm rings early on those two days, you will feel it’s a fair and doable deal. Keep a calendar for 30-90 days and cross off the days you exercise to keep yourself honest and motivated. After that, it becomes a positive habit that is no longer an effort.

Dear KRS,
How many days a week should I work out? Is there such a thing as working out too much?
Too Much Exercise?

Dear Too Much Exercise,
Yes, there is such a thing as working out too much but most, except for the “fanatical few” don’t have to worry about having to join Exercisers Anonymous. What happens with excessive amounts of exercise is that there is a point of diminishing return, as the very fit have come to find out. Specifically, there is less improvement, more injuries, and perhaps worst of all, mental burnout. The body often heals faster than a burned-out psyche, and without the psyche, the body is not going anywhere.

Count yourself “non-fanatical” with a 30-40 minute workout 3-5 times a week. Stay attuned to your psychological outlook regarding your routine and monitor it accordingly.

Dear KRS,
What is your protocol regarding an athlete who is in shape starting their exercise regimen for the day? Do you feel that a stretching program is important initially? Or, should the athlete “warm up” with a jog around the track first, before stretching? Do you believe there really is a “cold muscle”?  I will be interested in your philosophy.
When to Stretch

Dear Stretch,
Stretching is not only important, it is vital — but not at the beginning of a workout. Stretching on a cold muscle (yes, there is such a thing) can cause damage. Instead, warm up slowly for 5-10 minutes doing anything that will give your heart and other muscles time to get your body ready for action. At this point you can do a light stretch if you like. Do your major stretching at the end of your workout when your muscles are warm, or after a hot bath or shower.

KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminASK KRSars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please visit KRS’ “Serenity and Meditation Corner” at   For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail:  

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