For those that suffer headaches and don’t know what to do anymore:
Millions of people suffer from headache pain on a daily basis and there are so many possible causes from stress and fatigue to hormones and allergies to poor posture and nutritional deficiencies. And from my experience as a chiropractor is Springfield, Illinois, sometimes those causes are co-conspirators.
👆Actual footage of the Springfield Wellness Center’s waiting room
There’s no shortage of natural remedies out there, but perhaps it’s time to go straight to the source. Ditch those painkillers and all their kidney and liver damage baggage, plus they don’t actually deal with the root cause of the headache.
Essential oils aren’t just for gypsies anymore. And by gypsies I mean tarot card readers and snake oil salesmen masquerading as trendy parfumeries that sell overpriced bottles of different versions of the same scent. Essential oils are safe and effective at treating headache triggers, that means they get to the root problem instead of temporarily covering up the pain, not to mention they’re cost effective! Headache relief is the perfect excuse to set up a home spa.
There are many different types of headaches. Like people, they come in all shapes and sizes.
- Migraines – The Bully
They’re characterized by intense pain on one side of the head and are usually accompanied by vision and hearing anomalies and nausea & vomiting. Check out these 10 Migraine Triggers and how to avoid them.
- Tension Headaches – The Swim Team Captain
Aptly named, tension in the skull, neck, and upper back can lead to these muscle contraction headaches that cause mild to moderate pain.
- Stress Headache – Mean Girl
These headaches are brought on my emotional, physical, and chemical stresses that the body can’t properly adapt to, causing pain to run from the neck to the top of the skull.
- Sinus Headaches – The Nerd
Inflammation in the sinus cavities can cause a deep, dull, chronic ache around the eyes, nose, and throat. Fun Fact: There are 8 sinus cavities!
- Digestive Headaches – Class Clown
These headaches are usually accompanied by an issue in the stomach, kidneys, intestines, or gallbladder. Pain in the forehead, temples, and behind the eyes is sometimes linked with overindulgence of alcohol, food sensitivities, and additives.
Luckily there is an “essential” solution for each of these headaches. One that is natural, non-habit forming, and more productive than:
Peppermint oil has an amazing cooling effect.
Its ability to inhibit muscle contractions and stimulate blood flow when it’s applied topically, make it a tension headache’s worst nightmare.
- Dilute 2-3 drops of peppermints oil with coconut oil and rub the concoction into the shoulders, forehead and back of the neck. This will help improve circulation and reduce pain.
We’ve all bought lavender oil at one point and thought we were the fanciest freaks in town only to never open the bottle and now it’s rolling around at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. Who’s to say which drawer.
Lavender oil is so popular because of its relaxation properties that relieve tension and stress. It also works as a sedative and it’s anti all of our least favorite things – it’s an antidepressant, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), and anticonvulsant. It regulates serotonin to minimize pain and there is growing evidence that it’s an effective treatment for neurological conditions and disorders. Plus, it’s super effective because of how rapidly it’s absorbed by the skin.
- Add 5-10 drops of lavender oil to a warm bath and breathe deep. This will relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, boost mood, and help with restlessness and disturbed sleep. This will help ease and prevent migraines caused by stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and hormonal changes.
- Massage oil on the temples and back of the neck to relieve migraine symptoms of nausea and anxiety.
Eucalyptus is something fancy gyms put in their steam rooms because it’s an expectorant.
It helps to cleanse the body of tons of harmful microorganisms. Eucalyptus opens nasal passageways to improve breathing and its antibacterial, antiviral, and microbial properties help alleviate sinus pressure. It also helps regulate emotional balance and boosts mood.
- Use 2-4 drops of eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil on the chest, top of nose, and temples to open up the nasal passages and relieve tension from a sinus headache.
Eucalyptus oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also work on tension headaches to decrease pain and blood pressure and promote emotional stability.
Rosemary oil reduces stress and the emotional triggers that cause headaches. Its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and calming effects aid in digestion and improve personal orientation and alertness.
- Add one drop to tea, water, a smoothie, or soup when experiencing a headache or migraine.
- Combine equal parts lavender, rosemary, and coconut oil and apply topically to the back of the neck, forehead, and temples. This will aid with sugar headaches caused by low blood sugar levels.
With all these oils, a little goes a long way, especially if using them internally. Make sure to dilute them first and maybe do a patch test to ensure no secret potion allergy. A lot of times our lifestyle is contributing to our headaches and actually encouraging pain throughout our body, the possible triggers are endless. Any trigger is just our body alerting us to our failure to adapt to a new stimulus.
Having a chiropractor on your wellness team ensures that the structural issues that would lead to nervous system dysfunction are addressed. When our nerves aren’t functioning properly that can send pain signals throughout our body and alter our normal responses. If headaches are a persistent problem, know that they are common, but not normal. Call our office or schedule an appointment with one of our awesome doctors and have them analyze how structure and lifestyle may be contributing to your headaches.