Oh My Aching Head! Holistic Remedies for Headaches
by Darlene Cheek
Frequent headaches can be caused by a vast variety of things! It is important to know and understand what is triggering your headaches, and what type of headache you have. So first and foremost... if you have frequent headaches, see your physician. Pain is a warning sign and is there for a reason. If you make the pain go away and ignore the signal, you could let something that could be treated turn into something that is much more difficult or even impossible to treat.
So... with all that out of the way, let's talk first about the types and causes of headaches... Migraine, Cluster Headache, Stress, Sinus, Allergies... or just the plain old run of the mill headache. If you've been to the doctor's office about your headaches, you are probably on medication for the pain... medication that makes you groggy, and sometimes doesn't work. You could, however, add a little self-hypnosis or reflexology to your treatment regimen and make your headaches completely manageable.
Tension Headaches: This is the most common type of headache... and did you know that they are mostly caused by the muscles in your shoulders and neck? These type headaches can be brought about spontaneously, or because of stress at work, sitting at a computer, poor sleeping habits and so on.
Migraine Headaches: The most common myth is that these headaches are psychological - not so! They are biochemical in nature and are also genetic. You will usually get some type of "visual" warning sign, sometimes no warning at all... and they are often accompanied by nausea.
Cluster Headaches: Not so affectionately nicknamed the suicide headache... I guess that tells us a lot about this type of headache! This headache is usually found around the eyes or in the forehead and can occur several times in one day. They are rare and severe!
There are three completely drug free ways that I work with for these types of headaches... 1) Hypnosis, 2) Imagery, 3) Reflexology. All three ways are extremely effective.
The hypnosis technique is quick and easy... I simply use the "Ruler" method for your every day, run of the mill headache. Using the ruler method, simply close your eyes... imagine a ruler... the ruler is numbered from 0-10... there is a sliding red arrow just below the numbers... the arrow is associated with your level of discomfort... imagine yourself pushing that arrow down... the arrow points at lower and lower numbers... your discomfort will lessen the more that arrow points to lower numbers... each time it drops to a lower number, lock it into place there so that it cannot slide back up...
This ruler method is very simple, and once you get used to using the longer scripts, you can always start using this one for even the more severe headaches. Another simple method for headaches is reflexology. There is a reflexology spot located in the fleshy part of your hand between the forefinger and thumb... when you have a headache, you rub in that location with your other thumb... you will feel a tender spot... just massage it away.
Sinus and allergy headaches can be treated with reflexology, too. Using a light massage oil, you'll massage the top joint of each finger (not the thumb)... I love reflexology because you can do it anywhere, and you don't need any special tools, not even the oil really. If anyone is unfamiliar with reflexology, an easy way to explain it is that there is a pressure point for every single part of the body located in both the hands and feet. When you add pressure to a certain spot (gentle massaging works), it stimulates that point, and the pain goes away.
I'm sure that most everyone doing an internet search on headaches, probably how you found this article, is having pain from either migraines or clusters. A word of encouragement... I have had many sufferers of these headaches tell me that nothing in the world will work... until they learned self-hypnosis. If you have some type of warning that you are at the onset of a headache, stop right then and run through this script. I always know a migraine is coming when I get "floaters"... spots in front of my eyes caused by thickening of the gel behind the eyes. I had a friend tell me this morning that she saw auras of people and objects right before a migraine.
Creative Imagery is probably the most effective relief for a severe headache. Anyone at all can do these exercises. Remember, if your physician has you on medication, to use the exercises in conjunction with your treatment.
A note or two on what to do and what not to do? Avoid any type of aromatherapy or fragrance that has gardenia. Gardenia is found in most all perfumes and is notorious for setting off migraines. Practice self-hypnosis every day for a few moments so that when you need it, you're ready... and of course to avoid those stress headaches. If you are okay with herbal therapies, I use Kava Kava for my headaches, but be sure to check with your doctor if you decide to try it. Even herbs can cause allergies and drug interactions with your prescribed medications. Of course, if you have the luxury of an hour or two, take a nap... start with your self-hypnosis and sleep that headache away... works like a charm.
© Darlene Cheek
Darlene Cheek is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master with years of experience in Holistic Therapy methods, including Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Crystal Healing and more.