A headache, one of the body’s most powerful alarm signals, is often a sign of
physical or psychological overload. There are several types of headaches, and they differ according to how and
where the pain occurs. These include tension, cluster, simple and combination headaches and migraines-an especially
intense form that is often accompanied by nausea and impaired vision. The pain can be triggered by many things. A
common cause of headache is tense muscles in the head or neck. Headaches may also be a symptom of stress, caffeine
withdrawal, allergies, certain infectious diseases or the result of too much alcohol. Constricted or expanded blood
vessels, as well as altered pressure in the head can also produce headaches. Natural methods including relaxation
exercises, massage and homeopathic remedies can often be as effective as standard medications in preventing or
relieving the pain caused by the different forms of headache.
Run yourself this warm bath to alleviate tension and relax blood vessels. Combine
the following essential oils with an emulsifier (cream or honey): 3 drops of chamomile, 3 drops of lavender and 3
drops of rosemary. Add the mixture to the bathwater.
Headaches can be alleviated by cold compresses, baths, and acupressure and
relaxation techniques. You should minimize your exposure to external stimuli, exercise in fresh air and abstain
from smoking and alcohol.
Create a soothing environment, free of such external stimuli as light and noise.
Ventilate the room; a fan will help circulate the air. Close the windows and draw the blinds. Turn off the radio
and TV and unplug the phone. If the area is still noisy, put cotton balls or ear plugs in your ears. Consciously
try to relax, preferably with the aid of a relaxation technique, such as yoga.
Use your thumb and index finger to press against the bridge of your nose at the
corners of your eyes. Or, rub the center of the fleshy webbing between your index and
A footbath diverts the blood supply from your head to your feet. Bathe your feet
in a basin of 95 F water. Add hot water at 5 minute intervals until 115 F is reached. After soaking your feet for 5
minutes, pour in cold water until the temperature is lukewarm. Put on wool socks and lie down for about 20
Speak with a nutritionist or doctor about taking herbal supplements to prevent
headaches. It is thought that kava kava can relieve tension headaches, and feverfew and gingo biloba are often
recommended to prevent migraines.
Types of headaches:
Simple headache: Hammering, buzzing, pulsing in the head. Causes: Stress, sensitivity to weather
or changes in atmospheric pressure, high blood pressure, fever or lack of oxygen.
Tension headache: Dull, oppressive pain occurring in the temples. Begins at the back of the head
and neck or in the forehead and spreads throughout the head. Causes: muscular tension or bad
Cluster headache: Piercing, burning pain, this occurs on one side of the head and always in the
same place. Cause: unknown.
Migraine: Pain is
usually on one side of the head only. Often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and vision problems. Causes: hereditary
factors or circulatory disturbances in the brain.
Combination headache: Dull oppressive pain that usually begins in the morning and reoccurs between
migraine attacks. Cause: unknown.