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We have all been there when the pain of a headache is so bad, it's nearly impossible to finish whatever task we have at hand. That stabbing pain that seems to take precedent over everything else. What's a person to do? Headaches come in all different "shapes and sizes" and for many different reasons. There is no single answer to curing a headache because the headache is not the problem.
Headaches are a symptom of a problem needing to be fixed
It's easy to think that by popping a pain pill of some sort, that your problem has gone away with the headache, but in fact, the headache was a symptom of a deeper rooted problem within your body. The thing about headaches is that they can be here for any number of reasons, many of which can easily be solved. For headaches that do not go away with a diet/lifestyle change, and are persistent for more than a week, it is advised that you contact your medical practitioner to make sure something more serious isn't going on! Some of the more common reasons for headaches are:
- Magnesium deficiency - Roughly 80% of the population is magnesium deficit, and this causes a whole host of issues within the body, including headaches, fatigue, and more! You can get more magnesium into your diet with foods like leafy greens, raw chocolate, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, and more! I also like to take Epsom baths using my favorite brand of Epsom salt! Epsom salt, Magnesium sulfate, is rich in magnesium, and when added to a bath (1-2 cups) your body absorbs the minerals through the skin!
- Detoxing from a drug (i.e. caffeine, nicotine, etc.) - Many people all across America suffer headaches caused by caffeine withdrawal, every day. Even big pain pill companies know this, which is why one of the main ingredients in many over-the-counter migraine medications, is caffeine. Other drugs withdrawals can cause headaches as well. This type of headache is will go away, once the detox is done.
- Detoxing from sugar - Sugar is a delicious tasting but is toxic to your body in large amounts, and
in frequentuse over time. A little bit of sugar every now and then is fine, but these days it's impossible to get away from large daily doses of sugar unless you make all your foods and drinks yourself. Practically every pre-made, packaged food item on the market contains some sort of sweetener. Detoxing from sugar can be very difficult for those who have been using a ton of it every day. If you drink sodas, sweet sugary drinks, energy drinks, sweetened latte's and more, you are likely already getting more sugar than is recommended per day. Fresh fruit alone can bring you to this recommended dosage easily, so you have to be very careful about the processed foods you are eating. Just like detoxing from a drug, detoxing from sugar brings a whole host of symptoms as well, including headaches and migraines. When you are experiencing headaches from detox, drink lots of water to help get through the detox faster!
- Lack of sleep - Lack of sleep is a common headache inducer. The easiest remedy for this type of
headacheis to get your sleep! Sleep is cumulative, so you can make up for what you have lost just by taking a nap! Do it! You know you wanna!
- Hunger/Dehydration - Skipping meals and forgetting to drink enough water daily can have a whole host of symptoms, and one of the first to show up is usually a pounding headache! Fix this headache by getting some food in your belly and drinking more water daily!
- Food allergies - Not all food allergies present in anaphylactic shock, in fact, many people don't realize that they have a mild allergy to certain foods, and experience daily symptoms including headaches, eczema, bloated tummies, and more! You can talk more with your medical practitioner on the different methods of testing for food allergies! This way you get a definitive answer on exactly which allergies are causing issues!
- Hangover - This one is pretty self-explanatory! Drink more water (or electrolytes), get some vitamin C, eat some homemade salsa, take an Epsom bath, drink some kombucha, and if you have a pounding headache, try out the headcase aromatherapy roll-on down below!
- Sinus issues - Drainage and sinus issues can really cause an annoying headache, try using a neti pot and either diffusing the essential oils below or using the roll-on below on your forehead, temples,
chest,and back of neck.
- Too much essential oil use - If you have been mixing up fun aromatherapy concoctions for longer than 30 minutes, you might be getting headaches from over-exposure to essential oils! I had been there! Don't forget to ventilate your workspace well and take frequent fresh-air breaks!
- Fragrances from candles, lotions, and sprays - Fragrances scare me a lot because you really have no idea what you are getting when you see them listed on any label. A long time ago this term was created so that companies could protect their secret formulas for their specific scent creations. The problem with this is that you never know what kind of chemical concoction they’ve come up with to create this scent. The Environmental Working Group’s 2004 analysis of potentially sensitizing ingredients in cosmetics shows that “Approximately half of all products examined, list the word “fragrance” on the label. Fragrances are considered to be among the top five known allergens” They also noted that certain types of asthma attacks are “specifically triggered by, and only by, cosmetic fragrances.” Fragrance oils can contain all sorts of combinations of
asamines, ethers, ketones, lactones, terpenes, and most often contain benzene and aldehydes; all of which have been linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, neurological disorders, and allergic reactions; all of which can cause headaches and migraines!
Peppermint essential oil works miracles for headaches
There are many anti-inflammatory essential oils that work great for relieving headaches and migraines, but none work near as well as peppermint essential oil does! Naturally rich in menthol, one of its main abilities is to help relax and soothe a tension headache or migraine. While some headaches won't be relieved until you take care of the problem (i.e. sleep, food, water, etc.), tension, stress, and sinus headaches can easily be soothed using peppermint essential oil diluted with a carrier oil and used on your temples, back of your neck, and forehead. A study from researchers at the Neurological Clinic at the University of Kiel, Germany, found that a combination of essential oils, including peppermint essential oil, had “significant analgesic effect with a reduction in sensitivity to headaches.” The essential oils were diluted and applied to the forehead and temples for pain relief.
Headcase Headache & Sinus Aromatherapy Roll-On
I use a 8% dilution for this blend because this is for an acute issue rather than for daily use like some of my other aromatherapy blends. This blend works so well that I like to keep it in my purse with me, at all times, just in case I need it! Be careful with it before bedtime, while I find that a mixture of peppermint/lavender/eucalyptus does not keep me awake at night, peppermint can be a very stimulating oil for some!
- 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 6 drops lavender essential oil
- 6 drops peppermint essential oil
- fractionated coconut oil, to fill (or my favorite anti-inflammatory arnica infused oil or other carrier oil of choice)
- 1/3 oz. glass roll-on bottle
- Add essential oil drops to the bottom of the roll-on bottle, then fill with fractionated coconut oil (or other carrier oil of choice).
- TO USE: Roll onto your temples, forehead, and back of your neck to relieve headache pain. It can take up to 30 minutes for the essential oils to enter your blood stream and start working, but I have found this roll-on to effectively kill my headache in around 10 minutes flat!
SAFETY NOTE: This blend is not designed for use on small children under the age of 10! Essential oils should not be applied to the face of babies and small children!