Many factors cause headaches: tension, sinus congestion, cafeine withdrawal, lack of sleep, constipation, food allergies and spinal misalignment. The most common headache cause, however, is attributed to tension.
If suffering from severe headaches, which require more than four painkillers a week, professional medical assistance is strongly recommended. For those with infrequent headaches, there are some natural remedies that often help:
- Apply ice pack to neck and upper back for tension headaches caused by stress, worry, depression, anger or food allergies.
- Make a cold herbal compress by wetting a cloth in ice-cold water or placing a damp cloth in the freezer for ten minutes. Add two drops of peppermint oil to the cloth and apply it to the painful area for 15 minutes.
- Apply a hot water bottle, hot towel or heating pad to the neck and shoulders to relax tight muscles.
- To relieve headache pressure and pain caused by sinus congestion have someone gently massage your shoulders and the back of your neck. This treatment often unblocks congestion in the sinuses.
- Massage combined drops of peppermint oil and wintergreen oil into the temples and nape of the neck to relieve tension. Massage sinus region of the face to relieve sinus headaches. Keep salve away from the eyes.
- Consume fiber daily to remove toxins from your system.
- Soaking your feet in a footbath will divert the blood supply from your head to your feet. The water should be at a temperature of 95°F to begin with. Gradually add hot water to the foot basin until the temperature reaches 115°F. Soak feet for several minutes then pour in cold water until the water becomes lukewarm. Dry feet and put on wool or thick socks. Lie down for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Herbs such as lavender, gingko biloba and feverfew may relieve headache pain. Feverfew should not be taken when pregnant. Discuss appropriate herbal treatments with your naturopathy professional.