Originally published October 20 2009
Get Rid of Headaches Holistically
by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) Nothing will ruin a beautiful sunny day like a bad headache or a horrendous migraine. And with our fast paced way of life, the current credit crunch and far too little relaxation, it is not surprising that so many people are suffering from headaches and migraines. Headaches can often be traced back to diet and lifestyle issues. By looking for the underlying cause of chronic headaches and making some changes holistically, headaches can improve or even disappear.
Migraines are very painful headaches that are generally experienced on one side of the head. They are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and changes in vision.
Give the Body What it Needs
The first thing to do if you suffer from headaches or migraines (and frankly, even if you don`t) is to cut out monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, various preservatives, artificial sweeteners and anything that is created by man. These foods make the body work hard and overheat, which can easily bring on a headache. Aspartame has been linked to headaches and migraines, so watch out for foods that claim to be sugar free.
Processed foods are virtually dead in terms of their life energies, so they offer the body nothing but work and a headache (or various other illnesses.) Studies show that some of the best foods for headaches include radishes, onions, celery and cilantro. These foods cool the body, taking the headache with it.
Next on list is to drink more water. Chronic dehydration is perhaps the greatest cause of headaches, as well as many other diseases. Coffee, black tea and fizzy drinks are not water, and in fact dehydrate the body and cause more harm than good. Pure water helps the kidneys to function properly and detoxifies the body, which prevents and eases headaches. Everyone should drink at least two litres of water per day. Some say the body drought is in fact the greatest stress the body can endure.
Many people claim that their headache comes on when they skip a meal. Balanced blood sugar levels are important for preventing imbalances that lead to headaches. Ensure that you eat 3 meals per day and eat a proper breakfast. Nuts, seeds, pulses, fruits and veggies are good foods for maintaining balance, while sugar, bread and processed foods throw the blood sugar out of whack.
While you can`t control your environment completely, certain smells are known to trigger headaches and migraines. Perfumes, cologne, cigarette smoke and chemicals are well known culprits. Using natural, organic shampoos, conditioners and creams will help to minimize your risk of a chemical induced headache. If you wear perfumes or cologne, switch to essential oils for a lovely scent, and ask the people you live with to kindly do the same. Switch to natural cleaning products, and altogether avoid first and second hand cigarette smoke.
If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, you may avoid exercise for fear it will make your headache worse. However, studies show that just the opposite is true. A recent Swedish study published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain showed that regular activity can reduce the number of migraines, the intensity of migraines and the need for pain medication. This may be down to the fact that the muscles are being stretched and loosened, or it may be down to stress release. Either way, it seems to make a huge difference.
And there is no doubt that one of the greatest causes of headaches is stress. All of us have experienced some type of headache when under pressure, and people who get regular headaches tend to be stress cases. Yoga, 20- 30 minutes of meditation, and deep abdominal breathing are all great ways to release stress and alleviate a headache. Even if they don`t get rid of the headache completely, they allow one to be calmer and not react to the headache so strongly, which makes it worse.
There are people who find that if they take the herb feverfew the second they feel a headache coming on, they can hold it at bay. Other herbs that seem to work wonders for some people are ginger and Gingko Biloba. Ginkgo biloba reduces the formation of a substance known as platelet-activating factor which may contribute to migraines. Ginger reduces inflammation and is also excellent for the dizziness than often accompanies migraines.
Acupuncture and acupressure points are known to be effective at relieving mild to moderate headaches and migraines. The most famous point is in the connecting valleys which are located on the webbing between the thumb and forefinger of both hands Press on this point with moderate pressure for 30-60 seconds of each hand. There are also points on the head, face, and at the base of the back of the skull which can relieve a headache.
Massage, reflexology EFT and hypnotherapy have also been known to alleviate headaches and migraines.
So remember, if you suffer from headaches, there is always an underlying reason. You aren`t genetically programmed to suffer from headaches. This article gives some good starting points on how to relieve the problem. Never give up hope, with some dedication; you don`t have to suffer with a throbbing head.
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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