We’ve all experienced a headache at one point or another. But did you know, there are different kinds of headaches? According to WebMD, there are four main types of headaches.
Tension headache pain is typically dull and constant. It can either be short-lived or last a long time. Sometimes, this type of headache is caused by eye and muscle strain. They can also be related to stress and poor posture, lifestyle components like too little sleep, too much caffeine, or grinding your teeth at night.
Migraines are intense headaches that usually get worse over time. They can lead to upset stomach and sensitivity to light and sound. While the cause of migraine headaches isn’t entirely known, genetics as well as stress and strain on the nervous system, such as intense excitement and emotions, heavy exercise, or environmental changes, are believed to trigger these types of headaches.
Cluster headaches have quick and intense pain that can come and go, repeatedly, over several days or weeks. While the root cause is not known, it seems that men, particularly those who smoke, experience them most often. Stress, food, and alcohol are also believed to trigger cluster headaches.
Sinus headaches occur in the front of the face near the sinus cavities. This pain can be felt around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. These headaches present as a feeling of pressure in the front of the face. Allergies and infections most often cause sinus headaches.
How to Naturally Treat Headaches
There are many ways to naturally treat headaches. The first thing I suggest is for you to look at your lifestyle and make adjustments there. You may be able to drastically reduce the number of headaches you have.
These lifestyle adjustments include:
Reduce Stress in Your Life
Stress can cause you to have tension headaches or migraines. Look at your life and determine the stress factors you can reduce from day to day.
However, you may be in a season of life or situation that reducing stress is not an option. In these situations, you can learn relaxation techniques that can help you cope with the stress. These techniques include:
- Practice yoga
- Go to the gym
- Take your dog for a walk
- Listen to music
- Sing in the shower
- Sit down and read a book
Figure out the things that help you feel relaxed and make time for those things during times of high stress.
Drink Enough Water
Dehydration can cause you to have headaches, because your brain can contract or shrink temporarily from the loss of fluids. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces, which is roughly 9 cups.
Make exercise a regular part of your day, even if it is just a 10 minute walk. Start small and work your way up to more exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, which are natural pain killers, reducing pain from headaches. It’s important to make sure you re-hydrate your body after workouts.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Be careful how much caffeine you consume in a day. Even if you aren’t drinking coffee or sodas, you can get caffeine from other sources such as chocolate, tea, decaf coffee, energy drinks, and over the counter medications. Caffeine can dehydrate the body, leading to tension in the front, back and sides of your head. Be sure to drink two cups of water for every cup of caffeine you consume.
Also, be aware that you can become dependent on the caffeine and experience headaches when you reduce the amount you consume. If you are used to drinking a lot of caffeine, reduce the amount you take in a little at a time.
Clean Your House
This may not be your favorite activity, but keeping a clean house can decrease your chances of a headache materializing. This is mainly true for those that are sensitive to mold, dust, and pet dander. Allergic Rhinitis can cause chronic headaches in adults.
Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Not getting enough sleep every night can increase the number of headaches you experience. Researchers at the Missouri State University published a study that linked a lack of REM sleep led to an increased number of headaches. It showed that a lack of sleep caused the body to create proteins that led to chronic pain, reducing the body’s ability to handle pain.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
There are many reasons a poor diet can lead to headaches. For one, those that are prone to hypoglycemia can have an onset of pain when their blood sugar drops. Others have headaches related to the types of foods they eat. Certain foods can trigger pain in some people. These foods can include:
- Aged cheeses
- Tomato-based dishes
- Potato chips
- Pickled foods
- Sourdough bread
- Artificial sweeteners
- And more…
It’s best to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This will keep food sensitivities from causing pain.
Massages are used for more than relaxation, although, they do help you relax and reduce stress in your life. The massages that I offer increase blood flow by 200 times in your body, which aids your body in healing itself. Don’t wait until you have a headache to book a massage, you should invest in them regularly as part of your health strategy.
Another way that I help to increase blood flow to the body is through the Bemer device, which is a device that improves the circulation in your microvessels. It relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system and increases your healthy blood flow within 8 minutes. Paired with a healthy diet, the Bemer can also move nutrients through the body for greater health as well as helping you to eliminate toxins in your body.
Learn to use therapeutic grade essential oils to relieve migraine pain. You can diffuse lavender oil from a trusted brand like Young Living to help you sleep at night. It’s important to use essential oils that are pure and free of chemicals.
Another way you can use aromatherapy to help migraines is by mixing a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil with a therapeutic grade oil and placing them in a roller ball or on a cotton ball. Use the ball to apply peppermint essential oils to the base of your skull and temples.
These are a few of the ways you can naturally treat headaches and eliminate taking over the counter medications. When you are healthy, you will have less pain in your body.
1. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2016; 16: 33. Published online 2016 Feb 22. doi: 10.1007/s11910-016-0631-z
2. P. Durham, F. Garrrett, J. Hawkins, J. Hayden, J. Campos. Missouri State University, Springfield, MO