Organic Spa Blog

More Natural Ways to Ease a Headache

headache (post)I’m trying to wean off of my caffeine consumption and I’m getting headaches from the withdrawal symptoms. I’m tempted to sneak a quick soy latte but I’m not hurting anyone but myself when I cheat on my day-long summer detox.

To alleviate my headache symptoms, I will first try to disarm my triggers with natural strategies. In fact, several relaxation techniques and herbal supplements can prevent disabling headaches without negative side effects. (I’ve never had a migraine but when I haven’t ingested my second cup of coffee, I can barely stand anything or anybody. Let’s say I am tense…)

Hormones and heredity aside, headache and migraine triggers can include smoking, skipping meals, sleep disruption, weather changes, intense odors and particular foods, sch as aged cheese and red wine.  In fact, the experts I interviewed claimed it helps most to become highly aware of your own personalized triggers, because what tickles my temples (hello caffeine withdrawal) is not exactly what causes your head to throb.

Sidestep headache triggers

Common cures or wives tales, depending on who you ask, that may assuage certain symptoms include: drinking hot water with tea to cleanse the lymph system, taking an antihistamine to reduce sinus pressure and immediately cutting the lights because darkness is more optically soothing.

If you’re home and feel the warning indications, try combining self-massage with aromatherapy by sitting silently and calmly if you can, said Laurie Binder, M.S., Doctor of Acupuncture and nurse practitioner in Southern Calif..

° Massage your temples lightly with a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oils with a carrier like sunflower oil. Lightly move your index fingers in slow, circular motions: Start at the center of your forehead at the hairline and proceed to the temples, then continue behind the ears and finally back of the neck, said Binder. Aim for a minimum of 10 minutes.

° Bodywork and cranio-sacral head-based therapy massage also help you relax, improve blood flow and correct postural alignments that contribute to headaches.

° You can learn how to meditate to slow your breath, and then include a few gentle yoga postures to increase your body temperature and decrease your blood pressure and muscle tension. “Since stress is such a major contributor to migraines, anything that promotes relaxation is beneficial,” says yoga instructor Luciana LoPresto, LMT. “Ease into gentler yoga poses and do not jump right into poses that may trigger an attack.”

I have been doing seated twists and gentle cross-legged stretches for ease my symptoms of headache.

What about when you’re home or traveling and all alone? How do you stop a headache in its tracks?

Yogi LoPresto suggests doing restorative postures to quiet the nervous system if you feel the throb coming on. Keep your head above the heart for most of the poses if the headache is just beginning, she urged. “Keep blood flowing away from the head to reduce pressure with simple cross-legged moves–and breathe.”

Researchers from Charité University Medical Centre in Berlin followed more than 15,000 adults who had been suffering from tension-type headaches at least twice a month for a year or more. The German study showed that people who suffer from chronic migraines may benefit from acupuncture to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches.

Do headaches ever prevent you from working out or socializing?

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