by The Dabblist
Did you know that, in the United States, more than half a billion dollars is spent on headache medication every year? It’s one of the most common afflictions humans are experiencing on a daily basis. The roots of headaches are varied – low blood sugar, food allergies, lack of sleep, eye and mental stress, constipation, emotional tension, or caffeine addiction to name a few.
So while I recommend getting to the root of the problem with your headaches (gluten is one of mine!), I also have:
10 Tricks For the Onset of Headaches That Don’t Require a Pill
Studies show that a 25 minute nap (complete with eye pillow in a dark room) can relieve, if not eliminate, headache symptoms and boost your energy to be productive and happy for the rest of your day.
The two most effective essential oils for treating a headache are relaxing and anti-inflammatory lavender and peppermint. You could put them in a diffuser (preferably while you are laying down trying to nap), or drop 8 drops each into 1 tbsp jojoba or almond oil and massage onto your temple, base of your beck, and wrists. I also like to add the oils to a bath before going to bed.
3. Hot & Cold Compress
Regulating your body temperature can reduce headache symptoms. With the onset of your headache, you can usually tell if you are running hot or cold. When you’ve figured that out, place a compress of the opposite temperature on your forehead (in the laid down position is best, once again) while sipping (filtered) water.
No matter what level of symptoms you have, drink a lot of water to flush toxins out of your body – being sure you are urinating frequently. I recommend adding lemon, mint, or cucumber to your water for added flavor and medicinal benefits.
5. Move Your Body
One of my favorite headache remedies is to take a long, slow walk and then do some gentle yoga stretching that moves your blood around. If you’re sitting at a computer and don’t feel you can step away, simply practice raising your shoulders up to your ears and then drop them with an exhale 2-3 times.
6. Cleansing Breath
Taking long, deep breaths helps cleanse the blood and clear toxins out of the body. I’ve recorded a 2 minute breathing exercise that you can do at your desk here.
7. Acupressure Massage
If you can’t go get a professional acupressure massage (which I highly recommend), you can practice self-massage to relieve headache symptoms. Areas to focus are your feet, neck, scalp, hands, and jaw. The jaw has been a particularly effective area to relieve my headaches because I tend to clench it at night, which is really common. You can look up methods online, but I have found the best way is to listen to your body and do what feels good. Adjust your technique and pressure based on what your body needs and feels.
8. Ginger Tea
Ginger is immensely healing to your immune system and helps relieve inflammation quickly. I recommend chewing a piece of fresh ginger or adding some to boiling water to inhale as a steam and drink as a tea afterwards.
Lemon is beautifully alkalizing to the body and helps bring it back into balance. When I feel a headache coming on, I’ll squeeze some fresh (organic) lemon juice into a cup of warm water and drink it slowly.
10. Cayenne Pepper Nasal Paste
Not for the faint of heart, this recipe has been known to nip headaches and cold symptoms in the bud fairly quickly. Cayenne pepper is great for reducing pain and inflammation in the body. Simply combine 1/4 tsp cayenne paper and 4 ounces water into a paste. Then take a cotton swab and apply the paste to the inside of your nostrils. It may burn a bit at first, but will settle quickly. Inhale for 1 minute or 2, then remove and drink a big glass of (filtered) water.