Headaches! How To Alleviate Them Naturally
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 30, 2010 by Paulina Nelega, RH
I have been plagued with a gross headache, of the most grievous 2-day kind!
I haven’t had headaches since I was a teen, when my hormones were totally out of control. I blame my headache on my horrible hormonal trouble – a left over effect from my 15 + day cleanse. But headaches, while often hormonally caused, are also caused by other factors!
Causes Of The Dreaded Headache
Headache causes can include:
- High levels of stress and anxiety
- Poor eating and sleeping
- Environmental factors
Sometimes when I have terrible thoughts, I get headaches, too. I’m just saying.
Migraine: The Hormonal Headache
Hormonal headaches are often influenced by our womenly cycles – though, as we know, men PMS too. So this goes for all of us! However, About 60 to 70 per cent of women with migraines get headaches during the time around menstruation. They can typically happen two days before, and three days after our periods – these are times when our estrogen levels have dropped significantly.
As if just having a heading weren’t painful enough, hormonally related ones often feel worse. Why? According to this link, falling estrogen levels usually correspond to drops in serotonin, a brain chemical known to reduce pain sensitivity. Ow!
Natural Treatment Options
When I was a teen, nothing took away my headaches. No amount of Tylenol 3’s or sleep in a darkened room could help! And so this time around, I knew I’d need to take a different approach.
Here are some natural tips that helped me:
Tip #1: Oxygen! Get outside, or open a window. Oxygen circulating through the body can significantly alleviate headaches!
Tip #2: Water. Headaches can so often signify the need for water – drink up!
Tip #3: Reduce stress! Try massage therapy (thanks, man-of-my-dreams), yoga, deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and meditation.
Tip #4: Sleeeeeepppppppzzzzzzzz… Lack of sleep is a leading cause of headaches. Get enough zzz’s!
Tip #5: Bright lights, bad city! Keep away from glaring lights like a computer screen, and any loud sounds.
Tip #6: Keep a diary. This will help you identify the cause of a headache, whether it’s stress related, dietary, or environmental.
Tip #7: Don’t drive your toy car into a light post. As illustrated above. Natch.
I’ve recovered, thankfully. Nothing is worse than suffering painfully.
Photo Credit: 27620885@N02
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan