. . . and no, I’m not talking about that crabby co-worker. I’m speaking of that piercing, recurring headache which finds you seeking a dark room and laying down for a while. What can we do about those? Before you reach for that aspirin or Tylenol, try some natural ways:
First, drink plenty of water. Dehydration can leave our arteries thin and pulsating. Water enlarges our veins so blood can flow more easily. It washes toxins out of our system, restoring hormonal balance and prevents toxin-producing constipation Aren’t headaches exhausting?! It’s tiring fighting against toxins!
If you are an habitual cola or coffee drinker, relying on caffeine to get you through the day, it’s NOT advisable to go cold turkey to get off the stuff. Gradually tone it down – and I mean over days or weeks. I once counseled a patient who drank over 30 cups a day (!) and it took two months to wean her off of it.
Another side affect of excessive caffeine is that it artificially revs up our metabolism. Therefore there’s a possibility we’ll gain weight when we cut down our intake. Caffeine, nicotine are drugs and are NOT the way to lose weight because our body will recognize an unnatural threat and shut down our metabolism to protect us. If you’re a smoker, you’ll most likely incur headaches upon cessation of that habit too.
Caffeine is fine in moderation but also dehydrates and is a drug, so there could be withdrawal symptoms. Be advised that certain common medications taken for a headache also contain caffeine; Anacin, Excedrin, Dristan, Midol . . . If you take daily medication, drink plenty of water to maintain balance.
Second, get out in the fresh air. Fresh air releases natural endorphins which make us feel good. Go onto your patio or deck and recline, laying a lavender-infused cloth over your forehead. Play soft music in the background and feel the tension exiting your body. Of course if your spouse wants to massage your shoulders, that’s an added bonus! If you’re fortunate to have a pool, swim several soothing laps and see if that doesn’t make you feel better through water’s buoyancy. If you feel up to it, take a tranquilizing walk along the beach or in the woods. Nothing relaxes better than fresh sea air or pine!
Third, place a small amount of tabasco sauce, horseradish, wasabi or equivalent spicy seasoning on a teaspoon and swallow. The brain then releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Serotonin acts like a fireman over-powering the flames with feel-good chemicals which regulates the constriction of blood vessels! (Hot spicy foods is one of my recommendations to those who suffer from depression too.)
Fourth, try regulating blood flow with hot/cold compresses. Place a heated towel on your lower neck for a couple of minutes. Then place a cold compress over the same area. This allows the blood flow to pulsate, hopefully relieving the problem quite quickly. Make sure you drink water to again wash those toxins out of your system.
Fifth, place your fingers against the area affected. Press and inhale deeply through your nose slowly until you your entire lung area’s constricted. Hold it. This process increases nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates the arteries. Then slowly exhale.
Sixth, increase magnesium, calcium based foods: leafy greens, yogurt, bananas, walnuts, etc. which relax blood vessels.
Don’t lose heart, remember this too shall pass!
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,”
2 Corinthians 4: 16-17