by Christina Grant, PhD
Headache pain can be a deep burden. For good reason, the majority of us have pain relievers in our homes, desk drawers, office cabinets, handbags, briefcases, travel bags, nightstands, and medicine cabinets. Without relief, we can’t function well, think straight, or sleep at night. The easiest solution in our fast-paced lifestyle is to take pills to alleviate the suffering.
These pills, however, are not without cost. If you experience headaches, your body is already telling you it is burdened in some way. To add synthetic substances to an already burdened body only adds to the problem, but needing quick relief, we often do it anyway.
From a holistic perspective, any type of pain is a message directly from our wisest self. Head pain tells a story of a life out of balance. It says a great deal about our society as a whole when almost everyone owns pain pills. Knowing various solutions to our ailments empowers us to step away from the madness and back toward the balance point.
The first thing to consider when you have headaches is whether you are constipated. Taboo subject, I realize, but relevant because your bowels must keep moving. Next, is your blood sugar balanced, are you hydrated properly, and is your liver functioning well? Take care of these and you’ll see your head pain decrease dramatically. Keep in mind, you have control over all of these. They are directly related to your own actions: what you eat and drink.
Other contributing factors include eye strain, chemical exposure, allergies, hormone fluctuations, structural misalignment, worry, muscle tension, and general stress. Your headaches are most likely a combination of several interrelated things. So what more can you do if you want to help your body come back into balance and live a more holistic lifestyle?
Begin by listening to your headaches as your wise messenger. What are they telling you? Are you eating too much sugar, drinking too much alcohol, having allergies to certain foods, or simply not nourishing yourself? Are you allowing yourself enough time in the day to sit back, rest your eyes, and relax? Is your liver overburdened so it cannot process toxins through you? Is your mind carried away with worries and frightening thoughts? Has your upper body become tight and tense due to the workaday world?
I am fairly certain you might say, “All of the above.” This is why we have painkillers within an arm’s reach. But there are many things you can do so your headaches become a condition of the past. Some of them work slowly which is a drawback for the fast-paced among us. For example, burdock is not a quick fix, but it will powerfully heal you from the inside out over time.
There are numerous effective remedies. I offer ten here to get your started. The tinctures, teas, and essential oils can be found at natural food markets or purchased at www.mountainroseherbs.com. For essential oils, be strict about only using the highest quality, pure oils. I prefer Young Living which isn’t sold in stores. If you want to use them, send a request through my website and I will refer you to a distributor.
Ten simple, inexpensive remedies to ease headache pain.
1. Nettles tea helps stabilize your blood sugar and relieve chronic headaches. It can also be used in tincture form.
2. Dandelion root and leaves nourish and strengthen your liver so it can better process toxins in your body. Eat the leaves in salads, use a tincture, or drink as a tea.
3. Burdock root works well with dandelion on headache pain by cleansing the blood and nourishing your liver. Add fresh burdock to soups or use as a tincture.
4. Violet leaf tea sipped throughout the day calms the mind and soothes headaches and frazzled nerves.
5. Oats strengthen the nervous system, bring clarity to thinking, and can reduce pain. Add oatmeal to your diet.
6. The essential oil of peppermint deadens pain with an anti-inflammatory effect. You can apply it to the bottom of your feet, temples, or directly on the painful site. Avoid contact with your eyes.
7. The essential oil of lavender is calming, relaxing, and balancing. Apply on temples or behind your neck.
8. Listen to Baroque music. It brings your brainwaves into alpha, where you can relax and ease your mind.
9. Put your feet into a tub of water to which you have added a cup of Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil. This will help detoxify you and balance your energy.
10. Breathe slowly with awareness. Stretch or practice yoga to calm your nerves and bring oxygen into your body.
If any of the herbs appeal to you, inquire with your naturopath, herbalist, acupuncturist, or holistic doctor as to which would be best for you, especially if you have a medical condition or take medication. To learn more about these herbs in a fun and entertaining way, read Healing Wise by Susun Weed.
Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer and spiritual counselor who works in person and by phone. She has helped hundreds of people attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being through personal transformation. Her writing is published nationwide. She is co-author of Eight Minute Muse and is completing a book with a fresh perspective on women’s health. To learn more, see www.christinagrant.com.