Headaches are extremely common and range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. They can be triggered by a number of things, including fatigue, hormonal imbalance, diet, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and more. The best approach is to find and address the cause of headaches for you. It is important to remember that a headache is a symptom – and by removing the pain, you may not necessarily address the reason the symptom is manifesting. The following are some safe, natural home headache remedies that help to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches in many people. Everyone’s body is different and these remedies may work for you or they may not, depending on the cause(s) of your pain. If you have severe headaches that persist, speak to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Tips to Prevent & Reduce Headache Pain
Improve Your Sleep
Studies show that people who do not get enough sleep are likely to have frequent headaches as a result. 1 That being said, sleeping too much can also be a trigger for headaches, so it is important to make sure that you are getting the right amount of sleep each night. 2 The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a pillow with the right amount of neck support for you, develop a consistent nighttime routine, and work on cultivating positive sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, and avoiding caffeine and screens before bed.
In some people who get regular headaches, low magnesium levels are the cause. 3 Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements can significantly reduce both the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. 4 However, magnesium can cause digestive issues in some people, so it is important to consult with a healthcare practitioner before adding magnesium supplements to your regimen to determine the right form of magnesium and if this approach is right for your. Always begin with a small dose of magnesium to see how your body reacts and slowly work your way up to more.
Other supplements have been used for headaches including feverfew and botanicals/vitamins that address the root of the symptoms.
Inhaling the scent of certain essential oils helps to relax muscles and soothe tension headaches. 5 The most effective scents are peppermint and lavender, which can also reduce the symptoms of migraines. 6 There are several ways to use essential oils for headache relief, including a diffuser to scent the air in your home, or by mixing a few drops of your chosen essential oil with a carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil) and applying the mixture to temples, jawline, wrists, or the balls of your feet.
If you are still experiencing frequent headaches after trying the above natural remedies, speak to a naturopathic doctor to help you determine what factors are triggering your headaches and come up with an individualized health plan to help reduce your symptoms.
Did you know dehydration can result in headaches? Have you figured out the optimal water consumption for you? Make sure you are drinking filtered water to the recommendations for your age and condition. Remember caffeinated drinks can be naturally dehydrating.
Ergonomics and body positioning are important in maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system. Muscle tension and skeletal misalignment can sometimes be at the root of head aches and pains. Visiting with your naturopathic doctor can be a great first step in understanding and treating the cause of your headaches.