Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Brenda Cobb0
Healing Headaches Naturally
In America today, approximately three-quarters of the population suffers from headaches ranging from mild and occasional to debilitating and severe. The National Headache Foundation says more than 29.5 million Americans suffer from migraines, with women being affected three times more often than men.
An estimate by the National Institute of Dental and Crainiofacial Research puts the dollar amount spent on headache treatment at $24 billion annually. Unfortunately, most headache medication simply masks the symptoms and does nothing to prevent recurrences or treat the root of the problem.
There are two major types of headaches: the tension headache and the chronic headache. The most common chronic headache is the migraine. Migraines can involve nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and occasional dizziness.
A major cause of headaches is toxicity. When the level of toxins in the body becomes excessively high, the nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck region become irritated, which can trigger headache pain. Reducing the level of toxins, including heavy metals, chemicals, additives and drugs is the first thing to consider when treating headaches in a holistic manner. Natural body therapies such as infrared sauna, colonics, footbath detox and reflexology can help remove toxins, and thus help eliminate headaches.
Foods are another major trigger of headaches, whether from additives, chemicals or overly processed ingredients. Eliminate foods that contain sodium nitrate, MSG, histamines, tannins, artificial sweeteners and alcohol and fill your plate with plenty of organic, fresh, unprocessed foods, including raw and living foods, to effectively prevent headaches.
Certain foods are particularly helpful in decreasing blood pressure, improving circulation and eliminating the triggers that can lead to a headache. Spinach lowers blood pressure and sesame seeds improve circulation. Sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels, giving them added headache-preventing abilities. Almonds, bananas, dried apricots, avocados, cashews, legumes and seeds are also nutritious sources of magnesium.
Dehydration can be a major cause of headaches, so instead of popping a pain pill next time your head throbs, consider drinking several glasses of water and fill up on water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumbers. The natural water in both fruits and vegetables contains essential minerals, including magnesium, that are key in headache prevention. Combat inflammation that often triggers migraine headaches with foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like chia seeds, cauliflower, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Finally, take a look at stressors in your life and work at developing coping strategies that reduce stress. Many people respond well to yoga, meditation and deep breathing. Others prefer a more active antidote to stress, like running or swimming. Still others find peace in learning a new hobby or artistic technique.
I personally had chronic migraine headaches for years and noticed that when I eliminated animal products, sugar, white flour and processed food, the headaches greatly improved. And after I cleansed and detoxed my body completely, the headaches went away and never came back.
Pain is the body’s way of telling us something is out of balance, and for me, getting that balance back happened with the combination of a vegan, raw and living foods diet and a thorough detoxification. With headaches gone, I experienced more clarity, better concentration, improved memory and most of all, freedom from pain.
4 cups spinach
1 cup avocado
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup cucumber
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp flax seed oil
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Pinch Himalayan salt
Chop the spinach, cauliflower, cucumber and walnuts. Toss with the lemon juice, flax seed oil, sesame seeds and salt and top with avocado.