How to Heal those Headaches Naturally
Headaches can be divided into several types - and those causing migraines will need a post all of their own.
In this post, we are going to cover headaches themselves rather than migraines.
Does stress play a part in the development of headaches?
While there are different types of headaches, the presence of stress in our modern lifestyles can lead to stress or tension headaches – a condition experienced by over thirty percent of adults at some stage. Whiles we tend to think of stress as being an unwanted thing, it has actually enabled man to adapt, to evolve and even to master all types of challenges throughout history.
In spite of stress, or perhaps because of it, man has been the world's most successful survivor.
Nevertheless, the headaches that can accompany stress are a very real problem for many.
What are stress headaches?
The symptoms of stress headaches affect both sides of the head with a feeling of tightness in the forehead or back of the neck - and often described as a dull ache. Not as debilitating as some other types of headaches, those with stress headaches can usually carry on normally in spite of the discomfort. The pain may also extend down the neck and to the shoulders.
Stress headaches can last as little as half an hour or as long as a week, beginning gradually and peaking during the day. However, there are times when stress headaches may be more painful with the intensity varying from one to another. There are other symptoms that may occur with stress headaches too, including:
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances
- Problems with focus and concentration
- Pain around the neck and spine
- Muscle aches
How to treat stress headaches
The easy solution is of course to reach for a pain killer every time you get a stress headache but be aware that you will be adding toxic chemicals to your system with the strong possibility of unwanted side effects.
Instead of resorting to over-the-counter pharmaceutical medications, consider herbal and other remedies for stress headaches:
- Lemongrass is used by Aboriginal Australians as traditional aromatherapy.
- Lemon Balm contains a pain reliever called eugenol and is often included in supplements for sore muscles and headaches. This makes it a good supplement to take for headaches, soreness or muscle spasms.
- Stress can be particularly damaging to our bodies and so can medication but meditation does the complete opposite as it restores the body to a calm state, helps the body to repair itself and prevents new damage occurring from the physical effects of stress.
- H-Headaches Formula is a 100% natural product and highly effective in treating the symptoms of stress headaches to provide fast relief.
- Rosemary "tea" taken morning and evening for a maximum of four days to relieve physical and mental strain is another herbal remedy. The recipe for the tea is: a quarter cup of fresh flowering rosemary tips and one cup of boiling water, infused for five minutes before straining and sweetening with raw honey if preferred.
- The air we breathe every day is filled with both negative and positive ions which must remain in balance if we are to have a healthy living atmosphere. All types of modern conveniences produce too many positive ions and this can throw off balance the air that we breath, contributing to allergies, stress, insomnia and other sleep disorders as well as sinus and migraine headaches and more. A Himalayan crystal salt lamp is a natural ionizer and an overall healing device helping to promote the health and wellness of all individuals who use it.
- If you are suffering from stress or anxiety, your adrenal glands will need extra Magnesium. And compounding the problem can be drinking a lot of coffee or alcohol because, along with other important minerals, your magnesium can be flushed out of your system – often when you need it the most.
- Vitamin D is a feel good hormone and having sufficient levels is an important factor in human health. Every tissue in our bodies needs vitamin D and will not work correctly when we are deficient. Even milder degrees of deficiency are now understood to be one of the causes of a vast array of chronic diseases, including headaches. Asking our bodies to deal with these disorders without adequate vitamin D is like asking a fighter to enter battle with one hand tied behind his back. If you are deficient, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken orally. Research has found that men with the lowest vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have frequent headaches as men with the highest levels
- Acupuncture employs a holistic method of treatment where the overall health and wellness of the patient is considered with treatment taking care of many conditions (including stress and headaches) by unblocking energy along various channels in the human body. Acupuncture is said to eliminate the causes and therefore heal the patient.
- A more modern method is the Craniosacral System which has a rhythm that can be felt throughout the body, meaning a qualified practitioner of this therapy, using a light touch, will be able to monitor such rhythm and pinpoint the source of an obstruction or the area of stress. The same practitioner can then help to ensure the natural movement of the fluid and related soft tissue so that the body self-corrects and heals.
What are other causes of headaches?
- We have already touched on the importance of vitamin D levels above. A vitamin D deficiency can damage your health in many ways and one of those adverse effects is an increased risk of headaches.
- Artificial fragrances.
- Bright lights and particularly fluorescent lighting such as in open plan offices.
- Caffeine withdrawal.
- Poor posture.
- Fatigue and tiredness.
- Weather changes.
- Menstrual periods.
- Loud noises.
- Poor eating habits.
- Alcohol, especially red wine.
Other natural ways to treat headaches
For those who suffer from headaches on a regular basis, discovering the cause is an important part of determining how to get rid of them.
And top of the list has to be avoiding the potential triggers (listed above). But if that fails, here are some more suggestions:
1. Use a hot or cold compress — Tension headaches can often be relieved by placing a hot compress on your neck or the back of your head.
2. Stay hydrated — Dehydration may sometimes lead to headaches. Take small sips of water throughout the day to bring up your fluid levels.
3. Use lemon — It maintains acid-alkaline balance in the body. Simply drink warm water mixed with the juice of half a lemon to reduce the intensity of a headache. You can also apply a paste made from lemon crusts on your forehead to immediately relieve pain.
4. Eat an apple — Munching on a piece of apple with a sprinkle of salt in the morning may a bring relief.
5. Apple cider vinegar is another remedy — Add three to four tablespoons of ACV to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for ten to fifteen minutes. Drinking apple cider vinegar mixed in water may also be effective.
6. Peppermint tea — The soothing aroma of peppermint not only eases headaches, but may also relieve vomiting and nausea.
7. Ginger — Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties can help banish headaches while helping relax the blood vessels in the head and reducing swelling in the brain. Just eat a small piece of fresh ginger or you can try steeping ginger in hot water to make a tea.
8. Find out more about H-Headaches Formula.
Can food allergies cause headaches?
They certainly can.
Both food allergies and intolerances can trigger headaches. The most likely culprit is food containing nitrites - those hot dogs or lunch meat - as well as foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG), often used in processed and fast foods as a flavor enhancer. Another cause can be artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharine and sucralose (brand name Splenda).
One way to find out if something you're eating is the cause of your headaches is to try eliminating potentially offending foods from your diet, one by one, for a period of a few weeks. Called an elimination diet, you then re-introduce the foods one at a time to see if your headaches reoccur. This is one of the quickest ways to see if something you're eating on a regular basis is the culprit.
Are there supplements that can be used to help with headaches?
If you are on prescription medications such as hormone replacements, antacids, birth control pills, diabetes drugs and statins (to lower cholesterol), these may cause a depletion of CoQ10 throughout your body. Adding this in the form of a supplement can be very helpful.
We have already mentioned magnesium and as many of us do not have enough of this mineral in our diet which, when lacking in your body, can set off a headache. The number of those who In fact are deficient and suffering from recurrent headaches could be as high as fifty percent. Increase your magnesium intake with lots green leafy vegetables while Spirulina is another suggestion. Taking a regular Epsom salt bath can provide magnesium sulfate (which absorbs into your body through your skin).
Other supplements that help provide what your body needs and may help prevent headaches include vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid.
You can find out more about headaches in this link to further articles.
Digre KB.Headaches and other head pain. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier http://www.clinicalkey.com. (Accessed, July 13, 2021)
Secondary headaches. American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education. http://www.achenet.org/resources/secondary_headaches/. (Accessed,July 13, 2021)
Wong ET, et al. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of brain tumors. http://www.uptodate.com/home. (Accessed, July 13, 2021).