Headaches are unfortunately one of those health complaints that we’ve all had at one point or another. For some of us, headaches can be a pretty regular occurrence, and reaching into the medicine cabinet isn’t always what we want to do!
Thankfully, there are natural options that won't require a liver detox just to flush the painkiller out of your system. In fact, many of these options can enhance your overall health. Whatever the cause, these five easy and natural remedies will help to relieve that painful headache in no time at all:
1. Peppermint oil (mentha piperita)
Among peppermint’s qualities is its ability to act as an antispasmodic. In herbal medicine, an herb with an antispasmodic action relieves muscle spasms and tension. As a result, peppermint essential oil is known for its ability to get rid of a painful headache within minutes.
Simply place one to two drops of peppermint essential oil on your finger, then glide your finger across your forehead, reaching from your left temple to your right and back again. Enjoy the relief, along with its beautiful and enlivening aroma.
2. Contrast showers
This is a naturopathic tradition. When in the shower, turn the warm-cold water on for two minutes, then switch to warm-hot water for two minutes, and continue to alternate back and forth. The switch between hot and cold stimulates our circulation system: It speeds it up, then slows it down, and continues to do so, and this helps to bring more blood—and oxygen—to our head to aid in headache relief.
3. Cat pose (marjaryasana)
Marjaryasana is a popular yoga pose that's used to relieve tension in the upper body. On top of that, it boosts circulation. This fast-acting pose will help to subdue the pain as well as calm the mind, making it easier for you to return to work and continue on with your day.
If you don't have time to make it to an acupuncture session, use acupressure at home instead. Try applying pressure to the following regions of your body to help energy flow to your head:
- Between your eyebrows. This point is also known as the “Third Eye” point in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Between, and just below, the first and second finger. This point is called “Union Valley.”
- Between, and just below, the first and second toe. This point is called “Moving Between.”
Many times a headache can simply be a result of dehydration. Stop and ask yourself if you’ve had enough water that day. If you haven’t, it’s time to sip! Sipping, as opposed to chugging, allows our body to be slowly hydrated. Therefore, this “slow and steady” approach will help you win the headache relief race.