Causes of Headaches – 9 Natural Ways to Prevent
By Sydney Johnston
There are lots of ways to reduce or get rid of the pain of a pounding, throbbing headache once it’s started. But many of these methods involve drugs with possible side effects. The safer, natural way is to avoid getting headaches so that the pain never begins.
1. Eyestrain Often Leads To Headaches
Eyestrain is called “asthenopia” and is a major cause of headaches for many people. We may unconsciously clench not only the muscles around our eyes but also those of our face, neck and even shoulders.
When you’re reading, whether on your Kindle, Nook or a print book, take a moment to make sure you are placing your reading material at a proper distance. If your book is either too far or too close, your eyes will have to strain to focus on the words.
And while reading, stop every 15-20 minutes and shrug your shoulders a few times while you close your eyes for a few seconds. This rests your eyes and allows your body to relax.
2. Palming = Eye Nirvana
A classic and highly effective way to relax your eyes is by “palming”.
* First, briskly rub the palms of your hands together for 5-10 seconds.
* Next, prop your elbows on a pillow or the arms of your chair so that you don’t have to support them in midair and gently place your palms over your eyes.
* Palm your eyes for at least 60 seconds – more is better.
It’s important to note that you don’t want to press down on your eyes. The warmth and energy in your hands will allow your eyes and their sockets to totally relax. This is an extremely effective way to combat eye and facial strain and simply cannot be done too often.
3. Afloat In An Ocean Of Toxins
The residents of modern civilization that’s us live in a sea of chemicals. Not only are there hundreds, even thousands, of toxic substances that are brand new to our species, but we have no idea of what happens in the human body when all of these alien substances interact. But one thing is certain: many people are adversely affected by these poisons.
The single best way to get rid of toxins is by breathing. It is a sad fact that human lungs are capable of taking in 2 quarts of air per breath yet the average human being receives only a pint. Here’s how you can get rid of huge quantities of toxins:
* Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and sit as erect as possible while still being comfortable.
* Most people breathe from their chest and they don’t realize that it is their abdomen that should be doing the work. So learn to breathe correctly. Put both of your hands on your stomach and exhale as deeply as you can without strain. Hold your breath for a second or two and then allow the inhale to occur naturally. If you are breathing properly, when you exhale your stomach should be pulled inward while your chest moves very little.
* Breathe this way at least 10 times per session and do as many sessions during the day as possible.
This may seem strange but if you practice it on a regular basis you will notice that your breathing will deepen and slow. This is the best possible way to breathe because it will remove huge quantities of toxins from your system. And, as a cool side benefit, your tummy will reduce in size.
You cannot overdo this kind of deep breathing if you want to prevent headaches and boost your health in dramatic ways.
4. Protect Your Brain Fluids
If you’re outside in the sun, be sure to protect your head by wearing a cap or hat. Strong heat can affect the delicate balance of the various fluids inside the brain. And, you guessed it the result can be a splitting, hideous headache.
5. Pressure Point Massage
The entire nervous system, the blood vessels, the skeletal and muscular systems are all interconnected. So there are certain pressure points that can be massaged that will soothe our bodies and relieve headache-causing stress.
The temples are a particularly sensitive spot so gently rotate your fingers in a circular pattern on this delicate area. Then massage the top of your shoulders, especially the area near the neck and then massage your way up the back of your neck where it meets the spine.
This relaxing touch will relieve all kinds of stress. If you feel tension in any of these areas, shrug your shoulders, stretch your neck and massage, massage to forestall the darned headache.
6. Especially For You Sinus Headache Sufferers
Sinus headaches are extremely common and breathing in steam is a great way to open up the sinuses and relieve the headache-causing pressure. That’s why when we have sinus problems we often feel better in the shower. But you don’t have to jump in the shower every time your head hurts.
Warm some water on the stove until it is steamy, but not boiling. Place the water on a table, put your head over it and cover your head with a towel. Breathe in these vapors until your sinuses feel better.
Here are three cautions:
* Don’t let the water be too hot.
* Close your eyes. You’re steaming your sinuses, not your eyes.
* There are certain herbs that will make your steam massage work even more effectively. Lavender is extremely soothing and relaxing while eucalyptus is stimulating and opens up the sinuses. I personally love the astringent smell of rosemary. Experiment with various herbs until you find one that you like.
7. Forget The Subwoofers
Noise pollution is a major factor in headaches. We’ve all noticed cars that blast music at deafening sound levels. And lots of teenagers – usually boys – install subwoofers in their cars which amplify the base tones. The entire human body is affected by such sounds, especially the head, and using these jarring devices is bad for your health in every possible way.
Of course, they aren’t the only unpleasant sounds in our culture. Jackhammers, heavy industrial equipment, big trucks, horns from angry drivers and all kinds of machinery are headache factories. Mentally contrast these with the sound of the wind blowing in the trees or the gentle tinkle of a wind chime and it is clear that noise is a major factor in headaches.
8. The Ultra-Valuable Headache Journal
If headaches are a frequent problem for you, consider keeping a ‘Headache Journal’. It might sound strange but there are two facts that are without question:
–Something is triggering your headaches
–You obviously don’t know what the trigger is … or you wouldn’t be suffering from them.
What should you write down? Actually, everything.
* Weather conditions
* Who you’re with
* Anything unusual
* Where you go
* What you’re doing
Once you can identify the headache-causing factors you can effectively deal with them. Guesswork won’t solve your problem.
9. De-Stressing Through Meditation
The single biggest source of headaches is stress. That comes as no surprise to any of us but the question is: how can we de-stress? The single most effective way is through meditation.
If the word “meditation” seems alarming to you it’s because it has been mystified and made into a ”big deal”, as though you need teachers and years of discipline to master it. If your goal is simply to de-stress enough to not develop a headache then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s very simple.
* Sit in a comfortable position. It’s best to have your feet on the floor, legs uncrossed but if sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you is more comfortable, no problem.
* You should be as erect as you can be and still be comfortable. When your spine is straight your energy can flow more easily than it can when you’re slumped in the chair. But don’t feel that you have to sit in some abnormal, uncomfortable posture.
* Place your hands in your lap so they are not touching.
* All you’re going to do is focus on either your breathing or a word that means something to you. That word can be something like “peace” or “calm”. The word doesn’t really matter just as long as it pleases you.
* Now all you do is place your attention on your breathing or your word for 10-20 minutes.
You might be startled to find how hard this is to do because your restless mind will be babble endlessly. This is why many people insist that they just can’t meditate but that is not true. The more restless your mind is, the more you need meditation. Don’t try to fight your mind and get upset with it because it won’t behave. When you realize your thoughts have raced off again simply return your attention to your breathing or your word. That restless mind, often called “monkey mind”, is the source of your stress – and many headaches.