Millions of American suffer from headaches and migraines every day without understanding the cause of their pain. While we do not know what causes migraines directly, researchers do know that it involves changes in the blood flow to the brain; unfortunately, most of us use painkillers as the first approach for relief. Headaches are extremely common and can stem from a variety of causes such as tension, sinuses, back and neck pain. Migraines can be triggered by a multitude of factors including:
- Foods such as cheeses, chocolates, nuts, dairy products and more
- Improper diet
- Certain Odors
- Bright Lights
- Lack of exercise
Genetics and sex can also play a role in your chances of experiencing headaches. More than half of those who suffer from migraines have an affected family member, and, for unknown reasons, women are three times more likely to get a migraine than a man.
Here are 6 Natural Remedies to Relieve Migraines
Fortunately, there are several at-home or at-work remedies you can use to naturally treat headaches, without heading to the medicine cabinet.
1. Use Essential Oils
- Lavender. Not only does lavender smell delicious, but this essential oil is noted for helping ease headache pain. According to one study, the inhale of lavender may be an effective and safe treatment in acute management of migraine headaches.
- If you often get headaches at work, try lighting a diffuser or keeping natural lavender lotion nearby to put on when you feel that ache coming on. If you experience the onset of a severe headache while at home, try taking a lavender bath or purchasing a lavender pillow to place over your eyelids while you rest.
- Peppermint. This soothing essential oil has shown to relieve tension headaches. The fresh-smelling components of this oil can help control blood flow in the body, relieving tension in the head. Peppermint can also open up the sinuses relieving sinus pressure. Women who are pregnant should not use peppermint essential oils.
- Basil. This strong-scented herb is commonly found atop a pizza; however, basil also works as a muscle relaxant, easing tension and tight muscles.
- Ginger. Fresh ginger can help reduce inflammation and ease headache pain. Crush up fresh ginger and add it to boiling water for a soothing ginger tea.
“Other essential oils that hold promise for headache sufferers include chamomile, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, ginger, jasmine, lemongrass, marjoram, patchouli, peppermint.” –MigraineAgain
2. Take Magnesium
- Magnesium levels can affect serotonin receptors in your brain.
- Magnesium helps maintain a steady heartbeat. About half the magnesium in your body is found in your bones. Most is in your tissues and organ cells.
- Magnesium is responsible for over 300 essential metabolic reactions in
- Studies have shown that many people who suffer from headaches may be low in magnesium. In one study, a controlled group of patients who experienced consistent headaches experienced a 41.6% reduction in headaches after taking 600mg of magnesium for twelve weeks, as compared to only 15.8% reduction in migraine headaches in the placebo group.
- Magnesium is effective for women suffering from headaches due to a change in estrogen levels.
- You can get your daily dose of magnesium in your diet through foods including green vegetables, cocoa, tea, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, bananas, yogurt and potato skins.
3. Get a Massage
- If you have regular headaches due to back or neck pain, regular massages or chiropractic adjustments can reduce the consistency and pain of headaches and migraines.
- Massages can also get rid of buildup tension and stress in your back, neck, and shoulders.
- If you have short-term headaches, you can use a DIY scalp massage by massaging your occipital nerve, the area in the back of the head and at the base of the skull. You can also try massaging the sides of your head just in front of the ear by rubbing your index fingers in a circular motion.
- Massages are also beneficial in healing multiple symptoms of the body by identifying reflex points in the hands and feet.
4. Soak Your Feet
- Did you know you have over 72,000 nerve endings in your feet? This is why your feet are filled with self-healing trigger points that can help ease tension in your mind, body, and soul.
- Soaking your feet may sound a bit silly, but it may actually help alleviate headache pain. Many people treat a variety of symptoms by looking at the feet based on the principal that the feet are connected to every part of the body.
- Soaking the feet draws toxins out and promotes healing and relaxation.
- Hot water on your feet will help ease pressure on your head by drawing blood down to your feet.
- Soaking your feet also helps relax the body.
- Try soaking your feet in a combination of magnesium, sulfate and Epsom salt to flush toxins from your skin’s cells, reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation and ease muscle cramps. As your feet absorb the magnesium, pain-reducing ions are released into your muscles, stimulating relaxation. The sulfate will target and eliminated harmful substances from the body.
- You can also soak your feet in a variety of essential oils for an extra soothing treatment.
5. Stay Hydrated
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. –www.usgs.gov
- Dehydration can lead to headaches!
- Not only is your body made of water, but your brain is roughly 75% water! Every cell in your body uses water, and it is used for some of our body’s most basic functions such as regulating body temperature, flushing wastes through the system, lubricating joints, and forming saliva.
- Dehydration can effect your mood, energy, and overall well-being.
- Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle handy, switch your coffee for tea, and pick snacks that have high water content like fruits or yogurt.
- Signs of dehydration include:
- Bad breath. Dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva, leading to a bacterial buildup which causes bad breath.
- Dry Skin. Dehydration can lead to dizziness and dry skin due to lack of blood volume.
- Muscle Cramps. The hotter you get, the more likely you are to get muscle cramps. Keeping hydrated keeps your body temperature regulated and your muscles cool.
- Food Cravings. Dehydration can lead to food cravings, especially sweets. This is because a lack of hydration can make it difficult for nutrients and internal organs to release stored energy and glycogens. This can leave you craving sweet treats.
- Headaches. Your brain sits inside a fluid sack that creates a shock-resistant boundary between the brain and the skull. If that fluid sack is depleted, the brain can push against parts of the skill, causing headaches.
6. Chiropractic Care
Headaches are one of the most common reasons for doctors visits today. While most headaches are not life threatening, many can lead to severe pain that interferes with your daily tasks. Chiropractors commonly treat patients with headaches due to neck and back pain. When your spine is out of line, your nerves can become irritated leading to inflammation, tension, and headaches!
How can you help prevent headaches?
- Maintain good posture to avoid misalignments in your back and neck.
- Avoid unnecessary pressure and tension.
- Find time to relax and close your eyes.
- Walk away from your computer and put down your phone to ease tension on your eyes.
- Exercise regularly to stimulate blood flow and stretch out your muscles.
- Balance out your sleep and make sure you are not sleeping too much.
- Focus on your diet and hydration.
If you are suffering from migraine headaches, back pain, or have been in a car accident, contact All American Healthcare today for a free pain exam that includes an exam, evaluation, and x-rays.