Headaches…argh! From minor to debilitating, headaches are a pain – literally. As part of our journey to reduce and eliminate chemicals and toxins, we try to avoid many over the counter and prescription medications when possible. It’s not easy considering how quick we are as a culture to throw medication at a problem, even when unnecessary. In fact, as research shows, some medications actually cause the very issue they are supposed to be resolving, leading to this never-ending cycle and dependency on said medication. I personally fell-victim to this process with PPIs, before I discovered a more natural way of living and treating my body. Another example of this unfortunately is NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. According to these findings, NSAIDs not only damage the gut lining and create inflammation, but they also induce gluten sensitivity (eye opening information for those questioning the sudden rise in gluten sensitivities!). So while there are certainly times when medications may be necessary, I have made it a priority for my family to live as medication-free as possible. And I – like many of you – have found that most common health issues can be resolved through natural measures. That said, do your own research and decide what’s right for you and your family! In this post I’m sharing some information related to headaches and some natural remedies that work for me and my family.
Types of Headaches
There are numerous types of headaches that millions of people suffer from. The most common types of headaches are:
- Sinus Headaches. Usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms such as runny nose, fever, pressure.
- Tension Headaches. The most common type, these headaches are also known as “stress-headaches”, often occur daily, and are typically mild to moderate.
- Migraines. These may last a few hours or even a few days, once or twice a month. Usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, nausea or vomiting, and upset stomach or belly pain.
- Cluster Headaches. These are severe, with shooting pain behind the eyes, that may occur several times over a couple of weeks or so. They usually go away for a period of time and then may return later.
8 Natural Headache Remedies
There are many possible causes of headaches, including stress, environmental toxins, dehydration, food allergies and sensitivities, leaky gut, eye strain, and vitamin and mineral imbalances. If you are someone who suffers from any of the above types of headaches, read through these 8 natural headache remedies before you reach for that bottle of aspirin:
- Hydrate. So simple, right? I can’t tell you the number of clients that have seen us complaining of headaches and as soon as we get them drinking more water the headaches vanish! How much water are you consuming daily? Try working up to half your body weight and notice the difference.
- Reduce Stress. Duh, right? Do things to reduce stress. No, don’t quit your job. But do try yoga, brief meditations, exercise, and deep breaths.
- Move and Stretch. Exercising and doing yoga are excellent ways of relieving tension and stress, and thus reducing head pain and the chance of headaches occurring. A regular fitness and yoga routine can be the best preventative medicine, for this and for numerous other things.
- Eat Real Foods. We have drilled this into you, I know, but food really is medicine.
- Sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can wreak havoc on a body, inside and out, so it’s no wonder that it’s often a culprit of head pain. Make sure you’re getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Read this post to learn more about sleep and how to get enough!
- Essential Oils. Backed by research, not to mention anecdotal support, Young Living essential oils are my go-to for pretty much everything, and head tension is no different. In fact, when I started using essential oils, this was one of my “ah-ha!” moments: I rubbed a little peppermint on my temples when my head was pounding and instantly felt better. I love peppermint or Panaway for relief from most head tension, and will add a special blend that they have called M-Grain when the tension is more intense.
- Detox Baths. Detox baths rid your body of toxins, help prevent getting sick, and can prevent headaches. In addition, as they help relieve stress, they can be a good remedy for headaches too. Learn more about detox baths and how to take one here.
- Increase Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is rampant among Americans, and is often the cause of headaches and even migraines. Learn more about magnesium deficiency and what to do about it here.
For more information on how to relieve or prevent headaches and other health issues, contact us for a free online or in-studio consult!