I guess I can consider myself lucky: I rarely get headaches. But I have known many people close to me, as well as patients of mine, who suffer from chronic tension headaches or debilitating migraines. There are many causes for headaches including dehydration, viruses, hormonal imbalances, vascular malformations, and genetic predisposition (to name a few) and it is important to thoroughly examine why you are getting them before implementing a generic treatment. It is also important not to regularly rely on over-the-counter headache medicine like Ibuprofen or Aspirin or Excedrin as it can be extremely damaging to your liver (this, in turn, will make you even more susceptible to getting headaches in the future).
That said, here is a simple and effective natural headache cure shared to me by my colleague, Dr. Aguilera-Ruiz. She has used it on numerous occasions and swears by it. It relieves the headache in approximately 15 minutes, requires no medication, is inexpensive, and, best of all, provides extreme relaxation. Make sure to rule-out any underlying condition before attempting this treatment.
2 Hand Towels
2 Basins or Buckets
Cold Water + ice
1 cup of Epsom Salts (optional)
Lavender or Peppermint essential oil
What to do
- Find a relaxing place where you can sit comfortably with your head slightly inclined and supported. A couch would be ideal with a pillow or rolled towel placed under your neck.
- Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm-hot water (as hot as you can stand without burning yourself!) and a cup of Epsom salts.
- Soak the 2 hand towels in the basin filled with ice water. Wring one of them out completely and place it on your forehead. The other one will be used to replace the one on your forehead once it starts to get warm.
- Rub a little lavender or peppermint oil on your temples and behind your ears
- Sit this way for 15-20 minutes, replacing the towel on your forehead as it starts to warms to room temperature.
- Make sure the footbath remains warm to hot so you don’t catch a chill.
- Take deep belly breaths and hydrate.
How it works
Hydrotherapy (water therapy) is a powerful tool used in many situations dealing with pain and inflammation. In this natural headache cure, the warmth of the footbath draws the excess blood and toxins from your head and shunts them toward your feet. It also increases general circulation and rids the body of stagnant blood, which is usually the cause for pain.Photo Credit: Mislav Marohnic, Charroch