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Headaches



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What Is Headaches

The head is one of the most common pain sites in the body.  A Headache is defined by any pain or discomfort in the head. Headaches can occur in one isolated spot or different locations at the same time.  One can experience a throbbing sensation, or feel as though his/her head is clamped in a vise.  Primary Headaches can stem from over-activity of the brain, stressed blood vessels, muscles, or pain in the neck or head.  Secondary Headaches are usually symptoms of other conditions that stimulate nerves in the head region. 

Signs Of Headaches

The symptoms of a Headache usually involve pain around the head region.  The pain is usually mild, but can also be intense, which people commonly interpret as a Migraine.  People with Migraines experience throbbing on both sides of the head and that pain is usually accompanied by vomiting or nausea.  Common symptoms for Headaches are:

  • Mild head pain
  • Pressure around the forehead
  • Tenderness on the scalp or forehead
  • Neck pain
  • Episodic attacks or constant pain
  • Sensitivity to light and sound (in rare cases)
What Causes Headaches

Headaches are primarily caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck regions.  Depending on the person, different foods, stressors, or activities may cause these contractions.  Cold temperatures, staring at a scree for too long, or driving for long periods of time can also cause Headaches.  Secondary Headaches are always caused by underlying conditions.  A doctor may be able to diagnose the condition based on the pain described by the patient.  Common causes for Headaches are below. 

  • Over-consumption of alcohol
  • Eye strain
  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Changes in sleep (or lack of sleep)
  • Missing meals
  • Certain foods (such as processed foods or meats that contain nitrates)
  • Sinus infections
  • Caffeine
  • Dry eyes
  • Cold or flu

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Because congested sinuses or sinus problems can cause Headaches, applying pressure to the craniosacral system can relax your brain and reboot it without pain.  The pressure on these spots makes the craniosacral system stop, rest, and start over.  It is not recommended to do this if you have a condition with increased pressure on the cranium.

  • The most important thing you can do to help keep Headaches at bay is to maintain a healthy diet. Contaminating your body with processed foods, junk foods, salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeine (coffee being the biggest one to avoid), meat, and dairy products can largely contribute to Headaches.  By switching to a more plant-based or raw foods diet, you can still get the proper nutrients you need without the added chemicals or nitrates that induce Headaches.  There are pain-safe foods, which never contribute to Headaches.  Broccoli, spinach, chard, collards, carrots, sweet potatoes, summer squash, cherries, cranberries, pears, and raw nuts and seeds are beneficial items to eat daily.  By maintaining a well-balanced diet that provides you with the proper nutrients you need, you’ll be less likely to develop Headaches. 

  • When you soak in a hot bath your muscles naturally relax in the heat.  A restorative bath can release dopamine, a hormone that combats stress, which can cause Headaches.  The bathtub is a place of solitude, and a chance for you to focus on nothing.  To help relieve stress even more, add Epsom salts or essential oils like lavender, Frankincense, rosewood, or cinnamon to your daily soak.  They have calming, soothing, and medicinal properties that the body absorbs through the skin, which is the largest organ in the body. 

  • Ginger root is your friend, your healer, and a great natural remedy to help calm Headaches.  When you ingest ginger root, lipid production begins in your cells, and lipids help to calm nerves that react when you feel pain. Peel a piece of ginger root and chew on it or drink ginger root tea to help reduce symptoms of Headaches.

  • Because Headaches can stem from neck pain, you can help relieve the pain by icing the back of your neck to reduce inflammation.  Place an ice pack on a flat surface, for example your bed, and lay down, placing the back of your neck and skull on the cold.  You can also help provide relief by rinsing a towel under cold water, ringing it out, and draping it over your forehead, where Headache pain is very common. 

  • There are many herbs that can help naturally soothe Headaches.  Ingesting herbs is the best way to achieve quick Headache relief.  You can also concoct an herbal tea of cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, and peppermint leaves.  Steep that in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes and drink to help get rid of a Headache.  Other herbs, which are used in aromatherapy, have anti-inflammatory properties, and help naturally relieve Headaches, include rosemary, willow bark, lemon balm, butterbur, and valerian.  If herbal tea isn’t your literal cup of tea, try making a headache-soothing lemonade with raw honey, distilled water, lavender oil, and the juice of six lemons. 

  • Make sure you drink enough water because dehydration, or not drinking enough water, can lead to painful Headaches.  A good rule of thumb is to drink eight 8oz glasses of water every day.  You can also drink half your body weight in ounces of water to stay hydrated.  If you weigh 150lbs, then you should drink 75oz of water per day. 

Things you should eat
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Green Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, & chard)
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
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