InTruBeauty: Remedies Series: Part 1 Headaches

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Remedies Series: Part 1 Headaches

If you are a headache or migraine sufferer like me, you are always looking for the best remedies because you know what a true pain a headache can be. Here are my best tips, tricks, and products. These are what work best for me and does not constitute medical advice.

1. Know which type of headache you suffer from
Knowing which type of headache you suffer from is essential to getting rid of it. Are you experiencing tension headaches, migraines, sinus headaches, cluster headaches, etc? Read up on the symptoms so you know what you are having. Mine are usually related to migraines and sinus issues.

2. Aromatherapy 
I always try to get rid of my headache naturally first and if that doesn't work, I seek out ibuprofen (to reduce the swelling in my sinuses) or a medication. The #1 natural remedy that has worked for me is using a product made with lavender oil. My fave is Indie Lee's Lavender oil. There are many uses for this, but for a headache, I apply some drops of this to my temples, the back of my neck, and on or around my nose. This really is a calming soothing oil. You can also draw yourself a bath (another remedy) and using the dropper add 1-2 droppers full to the bath water.
100% Natural: Simmondsia Chinensis (jojoba) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (apricot) Oil, Essential Oils of Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender) and Anthemis Nobilis (chamomile).

My next favorite product I discovered at the market in Seattle. The woman selling this indicated to me this was not just for sore muscles (which it works great on), but it also works great for headaches. I apply this to my temples and onto the nape of my neck. Especially if you suffer from sinus issues, the area where your skull meets your neck is essential for relieving sinus pain and pressure that is built up. You may actually have a build up of waste in that area that needs to be flushed out. 
Ingredients:
*Organic Safflower oil (Carthamus tinctorius) *Beeswax (Apis mellifera)*Organic Arnica 
*Organic Calendula (Calendula officinalis) *Organic Comfrey (Symphytum officinalis) *Lavender oil
*Peppermint oil and Natural Vitamin E

There is also a perfume company called 21 drops. I will be reviewing their aromatherapy called "Strength", but they also have one for headache. Product information can be found here: http://www.21drops.com/products/Headache.html

3. Take a hot shower
This really helps with some relief for my migraine  For a migraine it is pretty temporary, but for a sinus headache it really helps to relieve some of that pressure and congestion. 

4. Caffeine
I do not mean diet soda! The chemicals in diet soda can actually contribute to a migraine. Make yourself a nice hot cup of coffee. I find this works the best and is one of my all time headache remedies. For some reason adding sugar to the coffee seems to help me too :)

5. Do something
Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode or it weighs 50 pounds. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to implode and explode at the same time. There are times you can't do much but to let it pass and maybe sleep it out. Other times, if you are active and do something, anything, it will help you forget how much your head is hurting. Its hard to do something when you are in pain, but also laying on the couch constantly thinking "my head is killing me, my head is killing me, aaarrrrghhhh my head is killing me", isn't getting you anywhere! Exercise can actually help too. Just try to do anything to get your mind off your pain.

6. Get a massage or acupuncture
I've learned my headaches are tied a lot to stress and my sinuses. A massage can be not only a great way to relax, but also a way to work out some of the physical issues you may be having which are causing your headaches. The muscles in your back, neck, and shoulders and the area in the nape of your neck are somehow all tied into this. I'm just repeating what my masseuse has told me, so I don't know exactly the specifics. When I go to see her though, she is able to tell immediately why I'm having headaches. Stretching the neck and back area helps a lot, which she will do during the massage. She will actually take my neck ans stretch it up and to the side, along with stretching and lightly pulling on my arms. It feels amazing and relieves a lot of built up pressure. You can also ask for a head massage and direct them the areas they need to focus on when you are more familiar with the process.

Also check out if your town has a community acupuncture place. Mine in town I can stop in when I want and the charge is only $15 for session since she can treat many people during a time period. Find an acupuncturist you are comfortable with and who has treated others for migraines or chronic headaches with success. The needles have tiny points on them and do not hurt at all. It is actually a pretty relaxing experience. 

7. Put some ice on it
Icing the front of my head and the back of my neck helps a ton. The back of the neck is essential for sinus issues.

8. Lay on a tennis ball
Lay on a tennis ball to relieve some pressure in your neck and back. You can also tape two tennis balls together and place this under your neck. If your headaches are similar to mine, ie usually migraines and or sinus related, this is going to help you greatly. This is a great thing for anyone with back pain or a knot in their back or neck that you need to get out and it feels amazing. 

9. Find an over the counter medicine that works. 
My favorites are ibuprofen (best for sinus headaches) and Excedrin migraine. If I'm having a sinus headache, I will also take a decongestant to relieve some of the pressure and gunk built up in my head. If you are taking something to alleviate a runny nose, you are actually keeping all that gunk up in your head instead of letting it drain. You want it to be draining, which leads to my next tip. 

10. For extreme sinus headaches! 
When I have sinus headaches to the extreme where my head weighs a ton and is pounding and I've done all the above and I still can't function, I will heat up water on the stove just to the point where it is about to boil. I then take this off the stove, place in a safe area under a mat. Using vicks vapo rub, I put a small amount of this on a knife and then lay the knife over the pot of hot water. I then place a towel over my head and place my head over the hot water-be careful that it is not too hot! Breathe in and out, take deep breaths. Your nose will start dripping and you will start to feel some relief in the pressure. This is also great when you are sick and incredibly stuffy. This is not something I recommend doing except in extreme cases. Be careful handling hot water. You can do this probably 1-4 times, depending on how congested you are. It will take probably a total of a half hour or less if you reheat the water. 

I did recently try a migraine medication with bad side effects. So, I will be sticking to the above remedies which have taken me a lot of years to perfect. I did also recently get a steroid shot to help with chronic sinus issues and relieve swelling. It seems to have reduced the # of sinus related headaches I've had. You have to do what works best for you and obviously consult with your doctor. I know how you feel and I hope these help you out as they have helped me! 

Stay tuned for my three part remedy series with remedies for dry winter skin and acne! Any other issues you guys want some remedy tips on? 

Yours In Trubeauty (and headache relief), 

Jessica

This in no way constitutes medical advice. Always consult your doctor. Intrubeauty is in no way liable. 

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