Sunday, June 9, 2013

Headaches: Seeking relief? Here are some natural options


Ever have a headache so bad you just want to get away from everything and lay alone in a lavender field? Well that's me above, doing just that on our recent trip to Maui. I am someone who used to get BAD migraines a few times a week. Since changing over to vegetarianism, I've noticed a big change. I rarely get headaches anymore. Maybe I'll get one migraine every few months. I decided I really needed to find a way to get rid of these headaches without just popping an Advil. I hate being debilitated in any way, and it's really hard to have headaches that are so horrible that you can't even function properly. Especially when you have a child you have to care for. Below are the things I have found to help me when I have a headache coming on. 

First thing I like to try, and sometimes all it takes, is and ice pack or cold towel on my forehead & back of neck. If I do this IMMEDIATELY when I feel a headache coming on, sometimes this is enough to prevent the headache from getting worse and makes it go away completely.

Next on the list is peppermint essential oil. Simply mix a drop of peppermint oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil or your choice of carrier oil. Apply this mixture directly to your temples. Inhaling the smell of peppermint seems to really help my headaches.

Hydrate! This is important and often overlooked when suffering from a headache. Hydration is essential to get rid of headaches. Drink water, first and for most, but you can also hydrate with coconut water (fresh preferably) or watermelon/cucumber juice.

Take an epsom salt bath aka magnesium sulfate bath. What this does is restore your magnesium levels. ALOT of people suffer headaches simply because their magnesium levels are low. I found that the easiest way to restore my magnesium fast is through an epsom salt bath. They also sell magnesium flakes, but epsom is way cheaper. It's around a dollar for a box! You can also opt for taking a cal/mag supplement, which is nice because that also helps with anxiety! Just make sure not to OD on it, because you CAN OD on magnesium. 

Foot massages can really help and let's be honest, does anyone really not like a foot massage? Pay close attention to the tips of your toes, as those are the pressure points that help with headaches. If you can't get someone to give you a foot massage, then you can always do this yourself!

White willow bark in the form of a tea or tincture is beneficial. White willow bark is basically the original ibuprofen aka Advil. It contains a chemical in it called salicin which is similar to Advil, but only better because it is natural! (If you live in Hawaii and need some of this, just let me know because I have a ton.)

Earthing can also help with headaches. Earthing aka grounding is basically a term used for being in direct contact with the earth. This means touching the ground (dirt, sand, grass) with your skin. Walk barefoot! Lay in the grass with at least some of your skin exposed to it (feet, legs, hands, head, naked if you prefer). You can also purchase an earthing mat, if you live somewhere where it is really hard to be in contact with the earth like a big city. This helps on so many levels. It will relieve stress, which is a big cause of headaches. I recommend reading the book Earthing for more info. 

Lastly, Rest. If your schedule allows it, take a quick nap! This will relax your body and hopefully get rid of your headache. 

Do any of you have any natural headache remedies that work for you?

5 comments:

  1. Hi Carissa- This is great! thank you! Is White willow bark safe when nursing? How do you take it?

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  2. Yes! I take and still am nursing (Ocean is 15 mo). I would do tincture form but tea totally would help also.

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  3. Hey just wanted to share this! Ways relief headache video http://youtu.be/FgHcae0YbK0

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  4. A well-traveled but short section of Sepulveda Boulevard will be closed this weekend to accommodate work on the Sunset Boulevard interchange -- part of the larger San Diego (405) Freeway carpool lane project. http://www.learnaboutmigraineheadaches.com

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  5. The hot tub is my go-to spot when I've got a headache. I maintain a gym membership for access to their deep, warm water. A soak in the hot tub is like a light full-body massage. If you've mistaken a sinus headache for a tension headache, the warm steam will even clear you out while your muscles relax in the water. The ideal pattern is ten minutes in the tub followed by three to five minutes out on the poolside doing stretching exercises.

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