Got a headache? You’re not alone. According to the National Headache Foundation—yes, that’s for real—the problem chronically affects more than 45 million people. Headaches account for 25% of all doctor visits, racking up $1 billion worth of brain scans each year—even though a new study shows they’re probably not necessary, can unnecessarily expose you to radiation (CT) and alarm you with false positives (MRI). So before you make an appointment, take a minute to figure out what kind of headache you actually have—and try a natural headache remedy to treat it.
I’ve suffered from debilitating tension headaches since I was a child, and found a natural headache remedy that really works for me. Will it work for you? The most common form, TENSION headaches derive from muscle contractions and present as pain in the temples or back of the head and neck. Emotional stress can result in a tension headache, as can drinking too much to relieve emotional stress. (Try yoga, it lasts longer.)
The least common is a CLUSTER headache, which is more common in men than women. It’s felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head, even behind the eye.
Women often get HORMONE headaches, which can be brought on by the hormonal changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and/or birth control pills.
MIGRAINES can be hereditary, with a 70% chance of development if both parents have a history of these debilitating headaches, characterized by throbbing pain and sensitivity to light, sound and smells; often migraine sufferers feel dizzy or even throw up.
SINUS headaches are felt in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose, with a constant feeling of pain that gets worse when you move your head; look for symptoms associated with a sinus infection like discharge, fever or blocked ears.
If your pain keeps getting worse, it could be a CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE headache, which accounts for less than five percent of headaches in adults and should be treated by a doctor.
I’ve suffered from debilitating tension headaches since I was a child, and found a natural headache remedy that works for me:
1. First, make sure nothing on your body is causing tension: Take hair out of any ponytail or clip; remove even the smallest necklace or earrings that could be causing stress to the muscles in your neck.
2. Rub a few drops of USDA Certified Organic Lavender Oil on your temples and neck; rub the remainder between your hands. According to Peg Moline’s The Doctor’s Book of Natural Health Remedies: Unlock the Power of Alternative Healing and Find Your Path Back to Health, lavender triggers a calming response and releases tension in the muscles.
3. Sit quietly, with your back straight, mouth and eyes closed. Cup your hands and bring them to your nose as you inhale deeply, holding your breath for two counts in, three counts out. Increase the breath count if it’s comfortable and simply breathe in and out for about a minute.
Did that help? What works for you? Please tell me about it in comments below. Thanks!