Headaches come in many shapes and forms. So do methods of natural headache relief. Many different headache remedies, headache causes and headache symptoms are explained here in concise and to-the-point way.
Headaches are a general symptom and can be caused by a large variety of things. Supplements and/or medication can cause headaches - for example many types of contraceptives are well-known to cause this. Another typical cause for headaches is stress. Chiropractor may be able to help if headaches are related to posture-problems. Different diseases and general toxins in the body can cause headaches. Chemicals, food additives, toxins, pollution, etc. can also be the culprit. Even just unhappiness and frustration can also cause such symptoms. In addition, headaches can be related to hormone function or to vision problems, sometimes glasses will help fix the problem. In case of headaches caused by bright lights or electronic screens immediate natural headache relief can be found from sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses, even indoors, seems to reduce my - and other people's - (mild) headaches to some degree. Quitting caffeine will typically bring on headaches that can be quite severe, and withdrawing from other addictive substances, even sugar or gluten, can also bring headache as a detox symptom. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be considered as well.
First of all try to track down the cause of the headaches: Did they start when you changed your diet? Are they linked to birth-control pills or other medication? What triggers them: stressful situations, eating certain foods, being exposed to certain smells or chemicals? In the case of women: do the headaches occur at certain part of your menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are high? Did you start a new job or move house? Fresh paint or certain kind of lighting, or off-gassing of new carpets are among the many environmental toxins able to cause headaches. Did something happen in your life to cause stress?
A visit to a doctor is useful to rule out any more serious conditions, to a chiropractor to adjust any tension in the neck and upper shoulders, to a massage therapist to relieve general neck tension and to an optician to check whether you need glasses.
'Spine twist' stretch can be helpful if you can't afford a chiropractor, hot pads (e.g. wheat bag) on the shoulders will release tension, bongers can be used for self-massage, transdermal magnesium oil helps to relax muscles generally. If you suspect that the headache is related to stiff neck, self-heating pads purchased from the pharmacist may be the most effective natural remedy, even if the tension has been building up long-term. Office workers and those spending a lot of time on their phones, laptops or computers, as well as people driving or commuting long distances, should incorporate spine twists and neck and back stretching exercises to their daily routine, because they are highly likely to get a stiff neck and related problems otherwise. Long-term regular stretching is key.
Saunas, infrared saunas and other heat sources (hot sun) can be very helpful in relaxing muscles and make you feel better quickly, especially when combined with stretching. Lift your computer screen up so that you don't hold your head in a downward position for long periods. Consider 'mouse-shoulder' as cause of your pain, for which natural headache relief can be found from correct positioning of the chair and purchasing a specialist mouse to overcome this problem.
In addition, stress-release techniques, trying to eliminate stressful situations from your life, spending time outdoors, relaxing and parasympathetic nervous system activities can be used to reduce stress hormone levels in the body - stress causes tension headaches, which are one of the most typical forms experienced by those living in the industrialised world today, unfortunately.
Juice fasting, the raw food diet, and not eating any processed or packaged foods should be tried - these are powerful healing methods and headache is usually fairly simple problem to fix once the body starts to return to health and regain its strength. Moein says in this interview that his severe headaches went away when he began to follow a vegan diet.
Drink a lot of water because dehydration is a classic cause of headaches. Research 'Japanese water cure' and Dr Batmanghelidj's work on 'the water cure'.
Consider vitamin and mineral-deficiencies as well. Either ask your doctor and/or alternative health-care practitioner for tests, order your own tests from 'Genova Diagnostics' or research deficiency symptoms online and try careful supplementation with products available from health food stores. To ensure that taking supplements is safe you of course have to work with a qualified practitioner.
Grounding helps my small headaches immediately, and others have reported that long-term use of grounding products has been able to reverse even serious, recurring headaches.
Note that headaches can be a symptom of food intolerance. According to Suzy Cohen, certain foods are among the most common triggers for headaches and migraines, they include: gluten (proteins in wheat), soy, corn and high-fructose-corn-syrup, artificial sweeteners, casein (dairy), eggs, MSG and caffeine. A friend of mine healed her headaches by stopping alcohol, coffee and green tea (caffeine).
I started getting headaches in the early 2014, which I suspected were caused by supplements but turned out to be tension headaches, stemming from stiff and irritated muscles in the upper back, shoulders and neck. Applying hot compresses, massage, using bongers, exercise, and some specific gentle stretches helped to eliminate these headaches. Tension headache is reportedly the most common type of headache to have.
"Headache Free: Relieve Migraine, Tension, Cluster, Menstrual and Lyme Headaches" by Suzy Cohen:
Later, my headaches came back, this time caused by sinus congestion. I realised that eating dairy caused sometimes slight - barely noticeable - sinus congestion and sometimes a worse version of the same problem. Luckily natural headache relief was found from 1) hot steam breathing (immediate relief), 2) eliminating dairy (longer-term relief). Heated wet towels (or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel) can be used over the sinuses and eyes (especially enjoyable after a long day's work) to slightly ease the headache.
Good-quality peppermint essential oil on the temples can give immediate relief to headaches in some cases.
Vitamin D3 in large quantities has been highlighted to be an effective general pain remedy. It is important to determine a dosage that is high enough to be effective but low enough to be safe. Dr. Andrew Saul's books and website, as well as Orthomolecular.org may help in this regard.
Magnesium and other stress-reducing and muscle-relaxing supplements may be helpful in reducing headaches in the long-term, as can as green juices.
Finally, endorphins function as the body's own pain killers and anything that raises those levels in the body may help - therefore the following may also be used for natural headache relief: exercise, sex (!), medicinal herbs, alcohol, sugary treats (though not recommended as they may cause headaches also and usually only provide temporary relief), and anything that makes you happy and lifts your spirits. In case of severe headaches long-term life changes may be the only effective natural remedy but even then the above remedies are effective in some cases. Please read the entries on 'pain' and 'migraines' above as we continue this discussion (with more natural headache relief remedies) there.
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.