Stress headaches, also called tension headaches are very common. Mayo Clinic describes tension headaches as a widespread pain that seems to wrap around one’s head. It is the most common form of headache and perhaps the most misunderstood in terms of causes.
The pain may come in fits and sometimes it can be chronic. STRESS is the number 1 cause of tension headaches.
Those most at risk for stress headaches include women and middle-aged people. Why? Perhaps it is because of hormone imbalance in woman, and the fact that those who are middle-aged face a pinnacle moment in their life where they are shifting from being in the younger percentile to being in the older percentile.
There are many home remedies for stress headaches.
Herbal oils such as Lavender Oil, Peppermint Oil, and Basil Oil as well as the herb Feverfew, are fantastic home remedies for stress headaches. Who says being healthy has to be unpleasant? Lavender and Peppermint smell great and are even better for getting rid of headaches.
Inhaled or applied on the skin, lavender oil works to soothe headaches. Another good idea is to make a rice sac scented with lavender oil that you sleep with over your eyes so you can inhale the soothing smell of lavender to calm headaches.
The same can be done with peppermint oil for a similar effect. Unique to Peppermint oil, this scent dilates blood vessels to improve blood flow. This increases O2 to tissues. Often, headaches are due to poor blood flow.
Basil oil is a muscle relaxant. Tension headaches are from tension which is basically a tightening up of the muscles. Basil oil relaxes those muscles and reduces risk of headaches.
Feverfew is a clinically proven herb in its ability to prevent and soothe stress headaches. It was originally utilized to reduce fever. Feverfew contains parthenolide, also found in Aspirin, to reduce inflammation and pain, without the side effects. The best way to take this is in a tea form.
Apple Cider Vinegar is so beneficial for your health, especially for preventing susceptibility to stress headaches. Use it as a compress for headaches.
Also helpful is fish oil. No, it does not sound too pleasant (and believe me, it’s not). Regardless, a tablespoon a day, keeps the doctor away (and the stress headaches)! Fish oil works very similar to peppermint in terms of blood vessel dilation.
Keeping with the “not-so-tasty” theme, ginger root and cayenne are beneficial as well. Ginger root inhibits prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins mediate inflammation and the alerting of pain receptors. With this inhibited, inflammation and alerting of pain receptors is hindered.
Cayenne is perhaps the cure-all of the herbs. Cayenne contains capsaicin that inhibits Substance P. Substance P facilitates our pain perception. Capsaicin depletes levels of Substance P- therefore leading to lack of pain perception.
This diet change element may be the most painful: reduce chocolate consumption. Regardless of how good it tastes, it is a common source of headaches.
The most important diet change is to embrace organic foods and avoid MSG. MSG or Monosodium glutamate, is frequently added to processed foods to improve flavor. This chemical provokes headaches.
Movements such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and plain old exercise are all antagonists to stress headaches as well. The main point is to just relax. Stress kills!
All of the home remedies listed above are helpful to prevent stress headaches. Relax, drink some cayenne, and sniff some peppermint oil!