Self-Care for Headaches
By Mark Richards, CMT
Headaches can be debilitating for many of us. There are a few quick fixes that can be done to minimize the intensity and duration of these painful headaches. So, give a few of these a try before reaching for that over-the-counter pain reliever. Most of these treatments work best at the first sign of headache pain.
• Hair pulling – you were taught NOT to pull hair as a child on the playground, but pulling your own hair can actually reduce the tension that causes headaches. Simply grab a handful near the source of the headache at the scalp and gently tug. No hair? You can also compress the scalp in the region of your headache. Both can be done for 8 to 12 seconds. Release and repeat.
• Pinching – again, something we were taught not to do as children! If your headache is in the forehead over the eyes, you can pinch the skin of the brow. Again, squeeze for 8 to 12 seconds and release. Repeat as needed.
• Tapping the side of the jaw (TMJ point) – gently tapping the muscles of the jaw an inch or so in front of the center of the ear can alleviate headache pain as well. Do this for a few minutes, typically on the side of the head where the headache seems to originate.
• Hoku point – located on the back of your hand, this acupressure point is awesome to reduce the effects of headaches and more! Find the exact point by bringing your thumb and index finger together 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 few minutes. This should begin to alleviate your headache almost immediately.
• Essential Oils – the most effective oils to use are peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus. 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 essential oils, not oils that are “scented” with these essences.
In need of some 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.
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. Always remember to HYDRATE! Since dehydration can be a trigger for headaches, you should be drinking approximately one ounce of water for every pound in weight. For example: if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be drinking 120 ounces of water each day.