Holistic Headaches

Of all the aches and pains, I hate Headaches.  There is nothing like walking around with a nail on your head.  Headaches (migraines, sinus, or tension headaches) are triggered by stress, emotions, certain food, pollution, noise, light, odor, the weather, infections, hormones, or as Natural Health Magazine puts it aptly: “Life itself.”  A lot of us reach for reliable Advil to numb the pain.  But the truth is, the headache or cause of it is still there, you are just blocking the pain receptors from making you feel them.  So, for those of you who want to avoid or reduce your reliance on medicine, here are some natural alternatives I got from the Natural Health Magazine that are easy to do:

1.  Follow your nose: AROMATHERAPY

Add one or two drops of the essential oils below to a bowl of hot water.  Inhale.  This will ease your headache pain within twenty minutes: (Note: You can use a single essential oil, or create a blend of two or three.)

Eucalyptus: Great for treating sinus headaches, as it stimulates the respiratory system.

Sweet Marjoram: Is said to be the number remedy for tension headaches, as it works on the nervous system.

Peppermint: Great for migraine sufferers.  It can also be rubbed into the temples and back of the neck (but do a patch test first to gauge skin sensitivity).

Geranium: For hormone related headaches.  It also relieves depression and emotional tension. BIG CAVEAT: It’s an anaphrodesiac.

Lavender: A good all-around stress reliever. Helps with insomnia, too.

There’s also this small bottle called LYF I discovered of essential oils.  It really works and I have given it to friends who would swear by its effectiveness. They have it at Eco Serendra or Natural Store, Basement of Alfaro Place, Leviste St., Makati.

2.  Do your asanas.  YOGA

As stress is a major factor in headaches, yoga woks by reducing the physical symptoms of stress like tight neck and shoulder muscles.  Here is one sequence you can do:

a.Sit in an easy cross-legged position on the floor, or sit in a chair, with your hands in prayer position at the center of your chest.

b.Slowly inhale and extend your hands toward the ceiling, keeping your palms together and your eyes on your thumbs, straightening your elbows and tilting your head back.

c.Exhale and lower your hands to prayer position at your chest.

d.Inhale and fully extend your arms out to the sides, palms down.

e.Exhale, returning your hands to prayer position.

f.Repeat this sequence 8 to 10 times. Imagine your arms are wings, and that with each “flap” you’re flying farther and farther away from your headache pain.

3.  Poke yourself.  Acupuncture

Aside from Chinese Traditional remedies like Tai Chi and Qi Gong, you can try acupuncture.  There is a new center for Qi Gong center in Makati at Perea St.  (See http://goodqicircle.com/index.php) I have also tried the healing power of acupuncture and would swear by it.  You can visit Dra. Celis at the Raphael Clinic, ISIP Center, Palma corner Manalac Sts. Makati.  Each session costs P1,000.

Or, you can try this easy acupressure technique, recommended by Michael Reed Gach, author of Acupressure for Emotional Healing and Acupressure’s Potent Points:

Find the ropy muscular cords that run up each side of the back of the neck. Place your fingertips on the outer edge of these muscles, about I inch from the center of the spine. Tilt your head back slightly and, with your fingertips on your upper neck, gradually press underneath the base of your skull. Using your thumbs, apply pressure on these two points, pushing inward and slightly upward, “as if you were pushing underneath your skull and into your brain,” says Gach. Maintain the pressure for two or three minutes, or until you feel your headache pain start to diminish.

4.Supplement. Vitamin, Mineral and Herbal Supplements.

One of the most effective treatments is magnesium, which may be involved in the control of pain receptors. It is especially useful when taken in combination with vitamin [B.sub.2] to promote energy use and nervous-system function.  I take USANA’s Proflavinols or the Chelated Mineral supplements.

I also use the homeopathic remedy Chamomila for migraines and Magnesium and Hypericum for nasty headaches.

View the entire Natural Health Magazine article.

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