Reports show that around 50 million Americans suffer from severe, long-lasting, reoccurring headaches. Headaches/migraines are one of the most common reasons people see a doctor as well as one of the most misunderstood conditions in mainstream medicine.
(I’m using migraine/headache interchangeably as they often have similar causes and respond to similar treatments.)
There are several different root causes of headaches, which is probably why historically they have been so complicated to treat. Headaches are another classic example of the medical field missing the cause and simply ‘treating’ the symptom.
The common treatment for migraines in not very impressive, 50% of patients finding some prevention, with a range of serious side effects. Common treatment for tension headaches also infrequently knock the headache out, with the ANNOYING side effect of ‘rebound headaches- getting a subsequent headache because you took the medicine!
For anyone with chronic headaches, the medication options available are clearly not realistic long-term.
Magnesium is needed in over 300 chemical reactions in our bodies. Up to 80% of Americans have a magnesium deficiency.
You’re probably one of them. What if your headaches were simply a sign that you are magnesium deficiency?
Symptoms include “Anything that feels tight or crampy like headaches, constipation, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, muscle cramps or twitching, and palpitations.” (complete list here)
Supplementing daily with magnesium oil is a great option, as it’s more readily absorbed through the skin than the oral route. You can even make your own for cheap-cheap. Try rubbing this on your neck during a headache.
Gluten/wheat is one of the biggest triggers of headaches.
Food allergies often manifest as headaches.
Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar are other common food triggers (they all happen to deplete magnesium stores as well)
Be a detective and start a food diary- nailing down your triggers will be worth it.
3.) Gut TLC:
Gut dysbiosis (overgrowth of harmful pathogens in the gut) can be a large source of toxicity in the body, leading to many symptoms, including headaches. ‘Cleaning up the gut’ will turn it from a source of assault on the body to a source of nourishment.
Therapeutic probiotics, cod-liver oil, digestive enzymes, animal fats, homemade stock and fermented foods will all help to strengthen and rebalance the gut flora.
4.) Physical manipulation:
Four very effective modalities for getting to the root cause of headaches, and alleviating the symptoms long-term.
5.) Take care of that body!
Sleep, exercise and stress. Any 3 of these out of balance will easily cause headaches. It’s a no-brainer. Ha.
6.) Dump food additives:
Artificial preservatives and chemical additives like: MSG, nitrates, sulfites, and aspartame can seriously trigger headaches!
(another reason why making the switch to REAL food is just plain easier for your health in a million ways!)
7.) Essential Oils:
Peppermint, lavender, frankincense, DoTerra “Tension Blend” or “Deep Blue”– these work WONDERS when you feel a headache coming on and to reduce pain during it.
(My favorite are the blends with peppermint in them, or just the straight up peppermint, feels divine when you have a headache!)
As I have battled with chronic tension headaches for years now, I have come to realize that…
PREVENTION is the KEY when you’re being hammered by constant headaches.
It is more challenging to stop the headache naturally once it starts, but I am convinced that taking steps to address the root cause is the pathway to freedom from headaches. Don’t let headaches control your life, take control of your health and make these hugely beneficial steps to eliminate headaches from your life!!
Chiropractic Wellness, Volume 12, Issue 7, pg.32