Do headaches get you down? Do migraines keep you home from work more than a few times a year? Do you crawl into bed once a week, shut the curtains, pull the covers over your head, and beg no one to make a sound? Sadly, you may not be alone. According to WHO, about half the adults in our global population have headache disorder and of those people 4% have reported they experience headaches or migraines 15 or more days each month. Ouch!
When I hear those statistics, I actually feel a little sad. First of all, I dislike the idea that 50% of our society is in discomfort. Secondly, I know many of the people suffering are being offered pharmaceutical drugs or are taking daily doses of OTC pain meds when in fact, there are many natural approaches to prevent, reverse and solve headache disorder that do not come with the words, “side-effects may include…”. In addition, people who depend on popular headache medicine such as Advil or Tylenol, may experience what is known as rebound headaches. Rebound headaches occur when the brain becomes over stimulated. To avoid these serious side effects, there are a number of safe and effective natural treatments to consider.
It is important to understand that not all headaches are created equal. They may all get lumped under one name to describe the common symptom of a painful ache or stabbing sensation in the head, but they do have specific differences and will be caused by different underlying health issues going on in your body.
Common Headache Types:
- Migraine – Stabbing pain, often debilitating and may be accompanied by nausea or loss of appetite.
- Tension – Most common type, mild to moderate throbbing, often chronic but non-progressive.
- Cluster – Least common, but very severe. Severe pain can mirror migraine, but may last for weeks to months and then not reappear for months to years before coming back.
- Sinus – Sensation of pressure around the sinus areas and may create swelling or inflammation in face. May have other symptoms that mimic a cold.
- Detox – May occur as a dull, tension like headache during times of a nutritional cleanse or detox as toxins in the body are being released. Detox headaches may actually occur by using one of the following natural remedies to reverse headache disorder, but in the end will create the desired result to be headache free!
As with all chronic health conditions, the best way to treat the symptom is to get to the root of it. The symptom is a sign that something is not working within your body. Headaches may stem from a nutritional deficiency, a hormonal imbalance, excessive stress, inflammation, food sensitivities or poor posture.
Before you pop that next pill to mask your symptom, try a few of these natural remedies.
8 Natural Remedies + T30C Bomb Juice Recipe!
Magnesium – Magnesium deficiency is one of the top nutritional deficiencies we see and causes symptom from migraines, to muscle tension, chronic constipation, and anxiety. Supplementing with magnesium has shown to be highly successful in the treatment of migraines. You may choose a magnesium supplement or increase your magnesium levels by upping your intake of foods like almonds, black beans, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Lightly steam your leafy greens to absorb more magnesium by reducing oxalates.
Stress management – Stress actually inhibits the absorption of magnesium and is a major cause of tension type headaches as it creates stiffness in our muscles, usually in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. This tension then leads to referred pain in our head. To help ward off unwanted knots in your muscles, try a few of my favorite stress management techniques:
- Breathe. Breathing creates increased blood flow, which opens space in our muscles. Where there is space, there is room for oxygen, where there is oxygen there is energy, and where there is energy there is health!
- Meditate. Meditation is critical in our fast paced environment. Taking even 5-minutes a day to clear your mind can create calm within your body and reduce tension.
- Move. Find what you love, and do that. Yoga, walking, tai-chi. Movement reduces stress by releasing feel-good hormones!
Hydration –We just are not getting enough water. Dehydration is very common among Americans. The recommended intake of water per day is half of your body weight in ounces. If it feels difficult to take in that much water, try adding lemon, food-grade quality essential oils, or herbs like mint to your water.
Riboflavins – Get your B2! Eat foods like cremini mushrooms, quinoa, leafy greens and eggs. Or take a high quality supplement. An organic acids test can help you assess whether or not you have mitochondrial imbalances.
Avoid chemical triggers – A high processed food diet may be the cause of your headaches due to chemical additives like aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate), sulfites, and nitrates. Removing these from your diet completely and keeping a food journal on your experience is a great place to start for headache disorder management.
Food allergies – A number one trigger for many of my clients are food allergies and intolerances. You can start with an anti-inflammatory diet and remove the most common food allergens: gluten, dairy, grains, sugar, soy, corn or you may want to immediately get a food sensitivity test. Once tested you may be surprised that a favorite food, like eggs or nuts, have been the sole cause your headaches or migraines.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol – While some people swear they need caffeine to stay headache free, caffeine is just acting as a mask. Truth is, caffeine and alcohol can create hormonal imbalances which are the root cause of your headache. Try removing both of these for 7-21 days and see if you notice a difference!
Essential Oils – The use of peppermint oil therapeutically dates back to ancient Greece. Essential oil applied to the temples, eases tension and can help reduce the pain associated with tension headaches. Peppermint oil contains anti-spasmodic properties the relax muscles. Massaged with a carrier oil onto the site of pain, such as sinus pressure, peppermint can help to work the pain of a headache away. Some people experience skin irritation from the oil. Always dab a little on your arm to test your reaction before rubbing on your temples.
These are just 8 natural remedies you can try. These remedies are not always immediate, and may take consistency and dedication. However, the outcome of your efforts will be worth it. Everyone is bio-individually different and no two people may have the exact same cause for their headache. Experiment, be patient, and connect with your healthcare practitioner, nutritionist or health coach for additional tools or remedies that may work best for you.
Be sure to try T30C Health Advisor, Amy Taylor’s natural headache Bomb Juice recipe to prevent and relieve a headache! CLICK HERE for recipe!