By Venice Sullivan, CNMT
Headaches can be annoying or they can stop us in our tracks. If you are reading this I don’t need to tell you they can take over your life.
You will hear me say over and over again that pain lies. Headache pain and migraines are not an exception. The cause of the pain in your head is seldom where you feel it. It can be from a pain in your butt that you are not even aware that you have.
Over the years I have read about and discovered many easy ways that may help you get rid of that headache that does not involve medications. That being said I am not a Dr. If you have ongoing headaches please see your Doc and make sure there is nothing deeper going on that you need to be aware of.
There are a few quick fixes that can be done to minimize the intensity and duration of your painful headaches. So, give a few of these a try before reaching for that over-the-counter pain reliever. Most of these ideas work best at the first sign of headache pain but give them a try as soon as you think of them.
First and most important drink some water unless you have a water restriction. Your brain is mostly water and fat. If you are dehydrated you will have a head ache. The normal suggested amount of water per day is approximately one half your weight in ounces. For example: if you weigh 100 pounds, you should be drinking 50 ounces of water each day. This means water, not soda, coffee etc. They can cause your headaches and are dehydrating.
I tease my clients that I get rid of their headaches by teaching them to pull their hair, pinch their skin and hit themselves in the face, so here goes.
• Hair pulling – As a child in school you were taught NOT to pull hair, but pulling your own hair can actually reduce the tension in the muscles and facia of your scalp that cause headaches. Weave your fingers into the hair where your head ache is. Tighten your fingers into a soft fist. Does that cause discomfort? If not tighten your fingers a little more and tug a little. If there is no discomfort at the sight move around to other areas on your head. Go exploring. If you have no hair to pull you can also compress the scalp in the region of your headache. Either way hold the tender area for 8 to 12 seconds. Release and repeat. Use the pain scale of 1-10. 1 being no pain and 10 is OMG. Keep the discomfort level at a 5. This is the most therapeutic range. What you are looking for is to feel that tenderness to start to dissipate during that time. If it does not move around to other spots on your head then come back to that one again. Do one area at a time, your head will respond quicker this way.
• Pinching – Okay this is something else we were taught not to do. If your headache is in the forehead over the eyes, you can pinch the skin of the brow. Using your finger and thumb above and below the brow. Squeeze for 8 to 12 seconds and release. Repeat as needed moving across the brow. You can also move to the top of the bridge of your nose and move down the bridge on the bone. Next use the pad of your thumb and press gently up under the eye brow bone. Careful, it might be very tender.
• Tapping the side of the jaw (TMJ point) – Here is yet another way to help that headache pain that is very helpful, especially if you clinch your teeth. Gently tap the muscles of the jaw an inch or so in front of the center of the ear. Imagine checking to see if something is very hot. You want this to be a quick tap. Then skip a beat before you tap again. Now imagine tossing a pebble into the water and watching the waves move out from that spot. That is what happening when you tap. Tap for a couple of minutesmoving up and down the area in front of your ear from the top of the ear to the bottom corner of your jaw. Go to the other side and repeat. Remember pain lies.
• Hoku point – This acupressure point is awesome to reduce the effects of headaches and more! Find the exact point by pinching with your thumb and index finger in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger on the opposite hand. The muscle will bulge a little–that’s the sweet spot. Squeeze and hold firmly for a 8-12 seconds. Remember the 1-10 scale and keep it at a 5. This should begin to alleviate your headache almost immediately.
• Essential Oils –Peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus are the most effective oils to use. Any one of these can be applied to the forehead around the brow and the areas on the back of the neck. Keep in mind, only use pure essential oils, not oils that are “scented” with these essences.
In need of essential oils? HOPE Wellness Institute is a supplier of Young Living essential oils. These oils are pure, therapeutic-grade and designed for a variety of conditions. Contact us for more information of which ones may be right for you.
Remember if your headaches are persistent and lasting more than an average of 15 days per month, that may be a sign that there is some more serious imbalance in the body. You should seek medical attention immediately.
Hopefully, by using some of these headache self-treatments, you can get the relief you need and live your life pain-free.