Natural Alternatives for Headaches

Natural Alternative for Headaches

Many tension headaches are caused by anxiety, nervous tension, eyestrain, tight muscles in the shoulder and neck area and poor posture.  Migraine headaches have been found to be caused by the expansion of blood vessels in the head. 

Headaches can also be caused by colds and the flu as well as allergies, digestive problems and hormone imbalances.   

Migraines can often be triggered by:

  • Allergic Reactions
  • Specific Foods
  • Bright lights and loud noises
  • Lack of sleep
  • Smoking or exposure to smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Menstrual periods
  • Birth control pills

Common symptoms of headaches and migraine headaches include:

  • Dizziness
  • Auras, flashing lights or dark spots
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Usually worse on the sides of the forehead
  • Sometimes on one side of the forehead
  • Commonly last anywhere from 6 to 48 hours

Some natural remedies that have been found to help with headaches, tension headaches and migraine headaches include:

  1. Chiropractic care – has been found to help with headaches because headaches have been linked to spinal problems.  The spinal condition is called a vertebral subluxation which is when areas in the spine are restricted or bones are out of alignment.  Migraines have been relieved with chiropractic adjustments because the misaligned neck has been corrected.
  2. Aromatherapy – lavender eases physical and mental stress, and majoram has relaxing properties.  When you add 5 drops each of lavender and majoram essential oils to a basin of cool water.  Soak two washcloths in the water and wring out lightly.  Lie down and place one washcloth on your forehead and one on to the back of your neck.  Rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Valerian – helps ease the pain of tension and migraine headaches.  Valerian is available in capsule form or in powder form.  In the powder form, take half a teaspoon of valerian extract diluted in warm water.  Drink the solution every 30 minutes until the pain has subsided.  In the capsule form, follow the directions on the container.
  4. Herbal tea for tension headaches – Ginger will decrease the production of pain-causing chemicals in the body.  Chamomile and linden are mild relaxants that also help ease emotional and physical tension.  Take 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped ginger root, 1 teaspoon dried chamomile, and 1 teaspoon of dried linden.  Simmer the ginger in the water in a covered pot for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, add the chamomile and linden and let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain and sweeten the tea if desired and drink it hot.
  5. Footbaths work wonders – try immersing your feet in a bucket of water as hot as possible for 15 minutes.  While your feet are soaking, wring out a washcloth in icewater and place the cold compress on your forehead, temples and back of your neck, or wherever the pain is coming from.  The hot water actually dilates the blood vessels and increased the blood flow to the feet, while the cold compress constricts the blood vessels in the head, reducing the volume of blood flow and in turn reducing the pain.
  6. Decrease the mucus – a large factor of sinus headaches is the accumulation of mucus in the sinuses.  Try eating spicy foods such as horseradish and hot peppers, which will increase the flow of blood and actually loosen the secretions of mucus in the sinuses.  The congestion is then relieved and also relieving the headaches associated with the sinuses.
  7. Try a massage – a simple acupressure can help relieve a tension headache.  Place your fingers at the top of your spinal column, where your neck meets the skull.  Move your fingers along the base of the skull until you feel the indentation on either side.  These points will feel tender as you apply pressure.  Using the pads of your fingers apply pressure in a circular motion, the deeper you massage the better it will be.  Remember to breathe deeply and imagine the you are releasing the tension with each exhalation.  Continue for 1 – 3 minutes, it will be even better if you find someone else to do the massage so you can truly relax.

Try some of these natural remedies and watch your headaches melt away.  Call our office today for a FREE consultation … Chiropractic works!