Herbs as an alternative therapeutic way for migraines and to treat your headache
Ancient cultures dating back thousands of years have used herbs for cooking and healing.
The essential oils, leaves and roots of certain herbs can lower your blood sugar, make your heart healthy, help you beat overweight and obesity, make your skin and hair young looking and healthy and ward off insects.
The following herbs have multiple health benefits, among them, the ability to ease and treat your headache pain.
White Willow Bark
White willow bark, as well as bark from some other willow trees, makes an excellent pain-reliever.
This applies to physical pain as well as treat your headaches.
Made into a tincture and applied directly to the temples or forehead, white willow bark can provide rather quick relief from headaches.
Understand that the pain relief comes from analgesic properties, so your pain is addressed but not the underlying cause of your headache.
Feverfew and Butterbur
More research has probably been done on these two herbs as far as pain relief from headaches goes as opposed to all other herbs combined.
That is because these natural healers are so good at treating the pain which accompanies headaches produced by a migraine condition.
Migraines are different than regular headaches, in that they are usually accompanied by a sensitivity to light and sound, very severe headache pain, and nausea or dizziness.
Butterbur and feverfew are excellent for treating migraine headaches, since they address the rapid change in blood flow that happens in your head when a migraine headache is experience.
For regular headaches some people may find relief, but these two herbs are usually not as effective for treating the pain from non-migraine headaches.
Used to treat anxiety and insomnia for hundreds of years, passionflower is a calming herb.
If you easily get “worked up”, upset and excited or passionate, passionflower can help calm you down and even out your emotions.
This herb is also effective way to treat your headache pain because it calms your nervous system.
Proponents of passionflower as a natural headache pain treatment say that headaches don’t last as long as usual when treated with this herb.
This is a plant native to North America that has an age-old reputation for treating rheumatism.
It is also effective for treating headaches associated with what is commonly referred to as “black cloud depression”.
If you find yourself in a depressed state of funk, where you believe a black cloud is following you around everywhere, creating gloom and doom in every aspect of your life, this herb may help. Because black cohosh has effects of estrogen it seems to work better for women than for men.
Cannabis – Can You Puff Away Your Headaches?
I researched Cannabis many years ago for inducing early psychotic episodes in young teenage patients within a large multi-center study which covered four large international psychiatric hospitals.
Current research on Parkinson’s disease and reducing their tremor have shown promising results and reducing Epileptic seizures in other disability studies are nothing more than spectacular.
However, this may have additional health benefits, but it shouldn’t be regarded as a magic bullet.
This compound has been previously banned for many reasons, but this should not prejudice its usage.
In increasing cities, states, townships and locales around the world, marijuana is currently being legalized for medical use.
However, this has led to wider acceptance of marijuana for personal use as well.
Cannabis proponents cite the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana as having pain-relieving and stress-relieving properties.
When stress and either physical or mental pains are low, you will experience fewer headaches.
Medicinal marijuana which is regulated and licensed, and tested frequently, has been used effectively to treat the following conditions.
* Headaches, both “regular” and migraines
* Epileptic seizures
* Dravet’s syndrome
* The spread of cancer
* PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)
* Multiple sclerosis
* Muscle spasms
* Crohn’s disease
* Ulcerative colitis
* Night terrors
Marijuana and Migraines
Medical marijuana has been prescribed to treat your headache and migraine pain-relief for some time.
However, it wasn’t until the earliest part of the 21st century that we began to realize exactly what was going on in the migraine/marijuana relationship.
As an effective pain-reliever to treat migraines, marijuana worked, but we didn’t know why.
That is not totally the case anymore.
One study conducted by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado showed what several other similar schools of research have discovered.
It seems that the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana triggers a response in the human brain that dulls pain perception.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a migraine headache will disappear when medical marijuana is prescribed.
What it does mean is that symptoms are not as severe, because of the dulled ability of the human brain to detect pain.
In the Skaggs study, the 121 volunteers that regularly suffered from migraine headaches saw their monthly migraines drop from 10.4 to 4.6 on average.
A full 85% of test subjects reported fewer migraines each month when they either ate or smoked cannabis.
Another 12% saw no change in migraine frequency, and 11.6% said that when they had a migraine, using cannabis stopped the headache entirely.
It is interesting to note that nearly 20% of the subjects in this study reported they believed medical marijuana helped to prevent migraines.
While researchers believe they understand the ability of marijuana to relieve migraine severity and symptoms, its preventive properties are not understood.
Remember to only use marijuana if it is legal to do so in your area.
Don’t forget that there is plenty of research showing marijuana can be addictive when abused and used too frequently.
It also causes severe effects with your emotions and your memory when taken regularly, so only use legally and infrequently.
Hypnosis as a Proven Headache Pain Reliever
Don’t think of hypnosis the way Hollywood would have you believe it is performed.
Very seldom does anyone enter a trance-like state where someone else can direct them to do something against their wishes.
Hypnotherapy does not work that way.
Hypnosis has been proven very powerful as an alternative healing method for a number of conditions, both mental and physical, and is no longer considered a fringe medical practice.
A study was conducted in 1975 to see if hypnotherapy could lead to pain-relief in migraine patients.
Migraines are conditions accompanied by extremely painful headaches, and often dizziness, nausea and an extreme sensitivity to light and sounds.
Researchers found lower severity levels in migraine symptoms, and a reduced number of migraine attacks for those volunteers treated with hypnotherapy as opposed to traditional migraine treatments.
Another study took place in 1992, using 42 volunteers who suffered from chronic, recurring, frequent headaches.
In every case, these patients had reported very little to no relief from traditional headache pain treatments and medications.
These chronic headache sufferers were split into two groups, one receiving hypnotherapy for pain relief and the others receiving no treatment.
The group using hypnosis as a way to treat headaches saw reductions in both duration and frequency of headaches by approximately 30%.
That second study is important because these individuals were the hardest to treat.
All traditional methods and medications had been used, to little avail.
Most people do not have chronic headaches.
When you do have a headache, it may respond to treat your headache more positively than the 42 patients in the 1992 hypnotherapy study.
Multiple studies before that research was conducted, and after, have shown that when headaches are infrequent and not chronic, hypnosis often provides relief.
For those who experience negative side-effects from headache medication, hypnosis shows promise.
The hypnotherapy either will or will not work, and since medication is not employed, addiction and other negative side effects are not experienced.
There is a financial benefit as well.
Hypnosis creates a cost-effective alternative to prescription drugs and other pain-relievers.
A form of hypnosis known as minimal contact therapy proved to be almost $500 cheaper than drug treatment for chronic migraines.
This money-saving aspect of hypnosis versus traditional treatment for headache pain was reported in the June 2011 edition of the journal appropriately named Headache.
Hypnotherapy has been used for decades to treat stress, anxiety and depression, all health conditions which promote headaches and increase their severity.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine … For Headaches?
When you encounter stress of any kind, either real or perceived, your body releases chemicals as a result.
Cortisol and other stress hormones are part of a natural stress response.
When they are produced in abundance, when stress is chronic and unrelenting, these and other hormones and chemicals can cause physical problems.
In the same way, when you encounter things that make you happy, that make you smile and laugh, your body releases chemicals to tell you that you are experiencing something enjoyable.
All your organs and physiological systems calm down, your mind is at ease, and you are healthier and happier than when you are stressed out or experiencing pain.
This natural endorphin release happens every time you laugh.
for Headache Relief and Heart Health
You may have heard that laughter is the best medicine.
That saying has been around so long that no one really knows when it was developed.
What is known is that laughter has been proven in scientific studies and clinical trials to improve heart health.
When you enjoy a good laugh, you experience an increase in blood flow.
This improves the health and the function of your blood vessels, reducing the chance that you may have a heart attack, while also lowering blood pressure.
Part of the same process also relieves stress.
As mentioned earlier, stress hormones can wreak havoc on the entire body, and can cause headaches.
When stress levels drop while the happy chemicals released by laughter increase in quantity, your entire body benefits.
Some studies show that deep, intense laughter can actually relax your muscles for up to 45 minutes.
When your heart is happy, your muscles are not stressed and you feel good, your headache pain lessens.
Laughter Helps Your Immune System
Your ability to repel disease and infection is called your immune system.
This begins with your first level of defense, your skin.
It includes several different processes and systems, and is affected by stress, endorphins, cortisol and other chemicals.
The fact that laughter decreases the level of stress hormones while increasing endorphins and other feel-good chemicals means your immune system benefits.
When your natural defense system against sickness, infection and disease is strong, there is a reduced chance you will develop some condition which leads to headaches.
There is research that also shows a boost to your immune system after experiencing headaches and migraines can ease symptoms.
Laughter promotes immunity, which can be used to both treat and prevent headaches.
Soothing Headaches with Music Therapy
Music can soothe, and aggravate, headache pain.
Certain tempos and music types have the ability to cause headaches in a previously calm and stress-free person, and they can be equally as effective in relieving headache pain.
Using music the right way can lead to relief from headache pain, but has been known to aggravate severe migraines since an extreme sensitivity to external sounds often accompanies a migraine attack.
Binaural Beats for Migraines
Binaural beat technology (BBT) was discovered way back in 1839.
It has been used in many therapeutic treatments.
Binaural beats use two tones from very distinctively different, but similar, sound frequencies.
You receive 1 tone in one ear, and the second tone in your other ear.
The way your brain interprets the two frequencies simultaneously creates a third tone which is the binary beat.
BBT promotes relaxation and stress-relief, which has obvious benefits for migraine sufferers and those experiencing regular headache pain.
Music Helps with Physical Pain, Which Promotes and Aggravates Headaches
If you have a headache and you experience some type of joint pain or muscular pain, the aching sensation in your head can become worse.
Physical pain creates stress in your body that can lead to a headache when one is not present, as well as make an existing headache more of a pain.
Your favorite music triggers the release of dopamine in your brain.
This has a calming, pain-relieving effect, as dopamine is a sedative.
An acute pain is when you experience sudden pain, such as stepping on a tack.
Research has shown that music is very effective for treating acute pain.
This is good for preventing headaches, since there are multiple regions in your brain that process pain experiences.
You step on a tack and elecro-chemical signals move up your spinal cord to your brain.
Depending on the severity of your pain, this can lead to mental stress which promotes a headache.
Brain scans show that listening to pleasing music activates the part of your brain that rewards you with “feel good” chemicals.
This means that soothing music actually changes your brain chemistry, just like a physical pain response does.
It is harder to get a headache when your brain is telling you that you are in a pleasurable state.
If you develop a headache, this same response can be used to reduce your aches and pains, and even make your headache go away entirely.
The Takeaway – What Music Should You Listen To Treat Your Headache?
The type of music that you personally find relaxing and calming will have a lot to do with your own preferences.
What you find soothing and peaceful could prove aggravating to someone else.
In many cases, slow, melodic music without lyrics is the most helpful for treating regular headaches and migraines as well.
Ballads and other slow-paced, slow-moving songs have also shown to treat your headache pains, and for reducing stress.
Mental and physical stress can lead to headaches and can aggravate headache pain, so you may want to consider some low-volume, slow and tranquil music the next time you experience stress, suffer from physical aches and pains, or feel a headache coming on.
Top aromatherapy scents to treat your headache
Aromatherapy is the practice of using scents to produce physical and mental benefits.
Different smells create different emotions in people.
If you smell smoke where there shouldn’t be any present, there is an immediate stress response.
Your body senses the possible danger nearby, your heart speeds up, all of your senses are activated, and you instantly and unconsciously look for the source of the smoke, while also beginning to move away from the immediate area.
In the same way, what you smell can deliver positive responses.
A walk through a field of freshly mowed grass has proven to lower stress levels and create a sense of peace and calm.
The scent of lavender is equally as calming.
Lemon “wakes up” your brain and increases your mental focus.
It is in this way that aromatherapy can ease headaches and pains.
There are certain aromas that create a particular response in your mind which causes the release of chemicals that soothe and treat your headache.
You can smell these scents naturally, or use an aromatherapy diffuses to mist them into the air.
With a diffuser, a very small amount of essential oil is combined with a carrier oil.
That liquid is then heated or sprayed into the air, turning your surroundings into a scent-diffused environment of healing.
Since so many people have adverse effects to taking medications and other drugs for headache-relief, this provides a natural, simple and inexpensive way to treat your headache.
You can also apply essential oils topically, but they should always be diluted with a carrier oil first.
Since they are taken from natural, organic plants, trees and shrubs, they will either work for you or they will not, but there are no unpleasant side-effects.
Many have found the following aromas and essential oils provide quick relief from headache pain, almost instant relief in some cases.
Peppermint oil stimulates blood flow when applied to the forehead.
Peppermint essential oil, peppermint leaves boiled in water and other aromatherapy applications have been used to treat headaches for hundreds of years.
Lavender oil is the superstar of an aromatherapy practice.
It leads to many health benefits, thanks to its considerable abilities as a sedative and an antidepressant, anti-anxiety and calming agent.
Headaches caused by anxiety disorders and similar conditions respond well to lavender oil because of its healthy effect on the central nervous system.
Rub a little eucalyptus oil on your chest, nose and temples to quickly relieve sinus headaches.
This opens up the nasal passages and relieves any accompanying tension.
The Rosemary herb has been used for centuries for multiple healing properties.
It boasts inflammation-fighting and analgesic properties, and has shown an ability to reduce the effect of stress and emotional triggers that can lead to headaches.
~ I HAVE NO IDEA IF THIS WORKS, BUT IT WAS FUN TO WATCH