Jess Ainscough - The Wellness Warrior
Too many of us reach straight for the packet of Panadol as soon as signs of a dreaded headache begin to show. Whether its because we're simply too busy to be weighed down by the burden of a headache or because its just too easy to pop a pill, many of us don't bother to stop, think about why we have a headache in the first place and then try out some natural remedies. Masking your symptoms by constantly popping pills is a dangerous act. Not only are headache drugs totally toxic to your system, but failing to address the real cause of your headache a will do nothing to prevent it from returning.
A headache is your body's way of telling you something is up. Maybe you've been indulging in too many of the wrong foods or you've been working yourself like crazy and you're running on stress? The best way to deal with a headache is to listen to what it is trying to tell you and act in a way that is kind to your body and your mind.
A few simple tips for dealing with a headache the natural way:
1. Keep a headache diary:
By keeping a diary, you will be able to notice patterns and find clues that point to what seems to be responsible for your headache. Also, rate them on a zero-to-three scale of intensity: no headache, mild headache, moderate to serve headaches to incapacitating headaches. Start to look at what food you are eating. Many foods can trigger headache. To help find out which foods bring on your headaches, make notes about what you eat and drink each day. A headache usually occurs three to 12 hours after eating a trigger food, so look back as far as 24 hours before the headache occurred to see what might have caused it.
2. Change up your diet:
Certain foods like aged cheese, red wine, processed foods, salty foods, chemical-laden foods and foods that are high in bad fats can increase your tendency to suffer from headaches. On the flip side, a clean diet that is high in fresh, organic veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds will lessen your chances.
3. Drink some water:
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches, so go and pour yourself a nice big glass of clean water. Only drink the best quality water available to you though. Click here for more on that.
4. Try some DIY acupressure:
Like its ancient Chinese relative acupuncture, acupressure, focuses on certain points on the body to promote healing. Acupressure relies on fingertips to do the probing. For general pain of headaches, here is a two-handed treatment:
1. With one hand, press the shallow indention in the back of the head at the base of the skull.
2. Simultaneously, with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, press firmly into the upper hollow of the eye socket, right where they straddle the bridge of the nose and meet the "t" of the eyebrow bridge. Press softy at first, then more firmly and hold.
Administer for three to five minutes (for an average headache). Repeat as needed throughout the day. If your head is pounding, use your fingertips to push on the very top of your skull. Using this technique will help to relieve pressure and pain associated with a tension headache. Press the area for 30 seconds three times in a row while breathing deeply.
Sandlewood, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, and a wide assortment of other natural essential oils can be used to reduce, if not completely eliminate headache pain.
Add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to a carrier oil like olive, sweet almond or coconut and rub it on your temples. Make a compress by putting five drops of lavender essential oil in cold (or warm) water. Soak a soft cloth in the solution and drape it over your forehead or neck. Add five drops of your chosen oil to the water in the top of an oil burner and lie down while you enjoy the aroma.
6. Clear your head:
Step away from your computer, go outside and breathe in some fresh air. Go for a walk along the beach or somewhere else that is close to nature.
Calm your busy mind by taking time to meditate. Sit somewhere quiet, clear your thoughts, focus on your breathing and spend about 15-30 minutes just being content with your own silent company. Click hear for more on mindfulness meditation.
8. Do an enema:
Believe it or not, but doing a coffee enema is one of the fastest and most effective ways to find relief from a headache. By flushing toxins from your liver you are directly addressing one of the main causes of a headache.
Want to know what type of headache you have? The crew at Body + Soul have explained the different types of headaches and how you can avoid them.
Do you have any more tried and tested natural headache remedies?
Positive affirmation for the day: I live each moment of my life with value and purpose.
Jess Ainscough is The Welness Warrior, in pursuit of perfect health, mind, body and spirit. Read more by following her on Facebook or Twitter.