Do you (or someone you love) suffer from frequent headaches?
Before you reach for that bottle of Tylenol, there are things you can do to reduce your exposure and susceptibility to common headache triggers. Diet, lifestyle and herbal allies can help if you know where to look.
Last Thursday’s Facebook Live focused on how to get to the root of the problem and find NATURAL ways to decrease the frequency of your headaches. (Please be patient, I do figure out that the picture is sideways and fix it in about 30 seconds) 🙂
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches rather than rely on over-the-counter medications. I created a handy PDF Headache Diary to help you track your headaches, as well as a few suggestions to reduce the frequency.
If you’re using any medication to eliminate or reduce headaches more than 2 times a week, it’s important to remember that you’re only suppressing a symptom.
One thing I didn’t mention in the handout or the live is water. If you’re dehydrated, you will likely have headaches frequently. We need water to keep our body functioning well, and the brain is one of the first things to suffer when we aren’t giving it enough. DRINK WATER! Some other things to examine:
Eliminate Food Triggers
- remove MSG (croutons, soups, restaurants)
- nitrites (processed meats contain more of this)
- caffeine – how much are you drinking/eating?
- eliminate alcohol
- tyramine (in aged foods including cheese, smoked fish, cured meats, some beer and wines)
- personal food sensitivities (grains, dairy, legumes, etc.)
Find the root of the emotion; how are you perceiving your life inputs?
- Where do you carry stress?
- Can your headache be looked at as a gift? As a way for the body to communicate that something needs to be changed in your life?
- Understand how you live your life and how the way in which you perceive your world may be contributing to headaches.
How can we increase resiliency?
- relaxing herbs – chamomile, lavender, passionflower, linden can all be explored
- massage/body work
- reduce stress in your life
- personal development to work through your thoughts and perceptions of life
- elimination diet (minimum of 30 days, up to 3 months) to identify sensitivities
- vitamin B2 – 400 mg/day
- magnesium glycinate – 600 mg/day
- mindfulness/meditation practices
- breath work
- after life is back on track, adding adaptogens like maca, eleuthero and ashwagandha