In our stressful world, headaches are a common condition. If you get them often, they can be quite the nuisance, even debilitating. It can be difficult to function or even enjoy life.
There are several types of headaches, and they can range in severity. Tension headaches are the most common and are typically caused by stress. Cluster headaches are extremely painful. Migraines can be moderate or severe. And contrary to what we have all been taught, all these headaches are basically the same and have the same causes. AND, headaches do not come from your head. Not from your brain. Not from your blood vessels. Except in VERY unusual circumstances. They come from a lifetime of injuries to the fascia of your head, neck and jaw, the interaction of fascia-immune system-inflammatory food you still eat, and various stresses to your biology (emotional, physical, hormonal, toxicological, spiritual).
The good news is there are natural remedies for headaches you can try at home to find relief without going to a doctor. But for more serious and debilitating migraines, a health and wellness doctor could be beneficial. Whether you treat your headaches at home or under the guidance of a holistic health expert, you can find relief naturally without the need for ongoing medication or surgery.
Here are 9 techniques you can try for natural headache relief.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of the most common causes of headaches is simple dehydration. In fact, chronic dehydration can commonly cause tension headaches and migraines. Even slight dehydration can impact your mood and energy levels. Drinking water can sometimes relieve a headache in as little as 30 minutes.
It’s a good idea to drink water throughout the day. This will boost your mood and energy, as well as ward off headaches. Keep a water bottle at your desk and drink from it often. Consume water before meals. IF you need water during your meal you are dehydrated and have’nt been drinking enough.
Use Lavender Oil as Aromatherapy
Lavender oil can be a surprisingly powerful treatment for headaches. In one study from 2012, people who inhaled lavender oil during a migraine attack for 15 minutes experienced faster relief than those who inhaled a placebo. You can either apply diluted lavender oil to your temples or inhale it directly as a relief for migraines. Another approach is to spray a little in your COVID mask. This can help combat “mask breath” and fight headaches at the same time.
Take Magnesium Supplements
As a mineral, magnesium can be helpful in blood sugar control and nerve transmission, but it also provides a safe, effective and natural treatment for headaches. In fact, people who get migraines often have a magnesium deficiency. Keep in mind that too much magnesium can also lead to diarrhea, but in light doses it can be effective treatment for headaches. Magnesium oxide is best for relieving constipation and very little is absorbed. Magnesium citrate, glycinate, taurate, etc are at best 20% absorbed. We recommend a magnesium/choline citrate combination that is 100% absorbed.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is bad for your health — and it can also be a source for painful headaches. One study found that people who slept less than 6 hours of night tended to get more headaches than those who slept more. Get your rest. While the right amount varies according to the individual, if you find yourself often tired with a headache, a few more hours of sleep may do the trick.
The Healing Benefits of Acupressure
Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure with the fingers and hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It’s similar to acupuncture, but uses touch instead of needles to relieve pain through improved circulation. Acupressure is a credible alternative treatment that can be helpful for those with chronic headaches, according to a 2014 systematic review. This technique treats and makes smaller the kinks in your fascia that come from a lifetime of injuries.
Practice Mindful Relaxation
In the middle of a headache, chilling out can be an effective treatment for the pain. Practice mindful activities such as yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. Simply sitting and regulating your breath can reduce stress. This can be a helpful way to manage stress and relieve headaches.
When a headache strikes, gently massage your forehead, neck, and temples to relieve pain. Gentle rotating pressure to the area that hurts can do wonders. If you continue to suffer from severe headaches, you might consider a professional massage that is specially designed to relieve headaches.
Ginger can be an effective headache remedy. Its chemical compounds including gingerols and shogaols have powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that can be quite effective for headaches. Ginger extracts may increase serotonin by reducing inflammation and restricting blood vessels.
You can take ginger supplements to treat headaches in capsules, gels, powders, essential oil, tea, beverages, and lozenges. Try a dose of 550 mg capsule at the first sign of a headache. You can repeat this dose once or twice per day. You can also apply ginger essential oil to your temples.
Exercise can be a simple and effective way to reduce the severity and regularity of headaches. Ideally, it should be something that is low impact yet meaningful to you. Focus on breathing and neck or spine relaxation. Light cardio such as an elliptical trainer or a simple 30-minute walk can be helpful. Stretching and turning your head from side to side can provide relief.