Migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, menstrual headaches, caffeine-related headaches, sinus and allergy headaches…these are just a few of the many different types of headaches that people suffer from throughout their lives. Tension headaches and migraines are among the top 3 most common diseases in the entire world. While occasional head pain can be frustrating, many people live with chronic headaches and pain in the neck/back due to Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ/TMD. TMJ causes pain in the jaw, neck, upper back, and head – typically causing painful and life-disrupting migraines (learn about temporomandibular joint disorders here). But, with many people seeking alternative treatments for pain and chronic pain disorders, finding new ways to naturally treat the headaches and pain caused by this disease is becoming more prominent. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at six natural remedies for headaches to help you better live with and get through the pain.
Start Fighting that Stress
Stress is one of the main triggers of headaches, and can make them feel much worse. Think about it, if you are suffering from intense head/neck aches, you are likely going to become more stressed, leaving you in as much, if not more pain. Consider prioritizing lifestyle and other fixes to help you stay calm such as:
- Sleep – When people sleep poorly, stress has a tendency to feed off of that (and vice versa), which can lead to a vicious cycle of pain and irritation. Try to get to bed at a time that allows you to get at least eight hours of sleep while following the other rules of good sleep hygiene. These include avoiding any electronics, stimulating books, or TV shows before bed and keeping the room dark and cool. There are also natural sleep aids to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. You can try things like melatonin or magnesium glycinate which are both calming and sleep supporting remedies.
- Exercise – One of the best ways to manage stress is through physical activity because it is able to neutralize the body’s fight or flight response. If you feel the stress starting to pile up, take a quick break and go for a walk, stretch, or do some jumping jacks to break up the time. It has been shown that exercise can help regulate pain pathways and mechanisms involved in migraines and TMJ symptoms, which can reduce the intensity of the pain.
- Herbs – Herbs have the ability to help your body regulate and stabilize its response to stress, which normalizes hormones and adrenal functions over time. This helps guard against stress and the headaches it causes. For example, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries as a balancing herb that has shown to be effective in reducing stress as well as cortisol levels. Bacopa and passionflower are also great nervous system and mind relaxing options.
The Importance of Diet and Water
Dietary factors are some of the most prominent triggers for headaches and flares, so work to identify and avoid foods that you have noticed seem to make things worse. The chances are pretty good that you will experience at least a little bit of improvement in your symptoms just through cleaning up your diet and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables. Dehydration is also a common trigger for headaches, so make sure that you are drinking enough water to help flush your body of potential headache causing toxins.
Magnesium Glycinate Can Work Wonders
Magnesium has many, many health benefits. Not only is it calming and used to help with sleep, it can really help ease the discomfort of headaches. Magnesium can help your headaches by decreasing pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain, and preventing pain signals associated with certain types of migraines. There are many health benefits to taking magnesium, and it has been shown that taking magnesium glycinate orally can help reduce the frequency and intensity of the headaches.
Make sure you purchase a quality brand such as NOW or Doctors Best. We use this version of Magnesium Glycinate
This ancient Chinese treatment has been used for a very long time to treat various types of pain, including headaches. There is a lot of research to back up the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and tension headaches. By inserting the thin needles into zones and specific pressure points around your body, you are able to restore positive energy pathways that can reduce acute head pain and possibly prevent future ones from occurring. It is also able to stimulate natural, pain-relieving hormones and chemicals in the body.
CBD Oil is legal everywhere and can be purchased locally or online. I’ve had great success with it alleviating headaches with just a few drops! It is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plants that has been proven to be a safe and natural pain relief with very little risk of side effects in any dosage. Basically, it is nearly impossible to take too much. This is also a great way to relieve stress and encourage better sleep, which also helps to relieve the pain of headaches. Charlotte’s Web High Quality CBD Oil is one wellknown brand you can purchase online. Read more about CBD below!
Other Essential Oils
This one has been big lately. Aromatherapy is great, by inhaling certain oils or rubbing them on your skin, you can ease headache pain naturally. Lemon balm, frankincense, and lavender are the options that are specifically marked for migraine treatment. These are more of a trial-and-error thing, you’ll have to mess around to see what essential oils treat headaches the best.
It can be very appealing to seek out quick and effective pharmaceutical remedies for headaches. But, you will likely be better off longterm by treating the root causes. Natural remedies for headaches can be just as effective as over-the-counter options, and much better for your overall health.