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Tension headaches are caused by anxiety, nervous tension, eyestrain, posture, or tight muscle in the shoulder or neck. Migraine headaches are caused by an expansion of blood vessels in the head. Headaches can also be caused by colds and the flu, allergies, PMS, and digestive problems.
1. Herbal tea for tension headaches
Ginger decreases the production of pain-causing chemicals in the body. Chamomile and linden are mild relaxants that help ease emotional and physical tension.
250ml (8fl oz) water
1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon dried chamomile
1 teaspoon dried linden flower
Simmer the ginger in the water in a covered pot for five minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the chamomile and linden and steep for ten minutes. Strain, sweeten the tea if desired, and drink it hot.
2. Ease headaches with an aromatherapy compress
Lavender ease physical and mental stress and marjoram has deeply relaxing properties. Add five drops each lavender and marjoram essential oils to basin of cool water. Soak two washcloths in the water and lightly wring out. Lie down and apply one cloth to your forehead and one to the back of your neck. Rest for 30 minutes.
3. Lavender massage
To ease a tension headache, massage your temples with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil.
4. Take Valerian for pain
Valerian helps relieve the pain of tension or migraine headaches. Take half a teaspoon of Valerian extract diluted in warm water every 30 minutes until the pain has abated (up to three teaspoon a day).
5. Foot bath for headache relief
To help relive a headache, try immersing your feet in a bucket of water — as hot as you can stand it for 15 minutes. At the same time wring out a cloth in ice water and place the cold compress on your forehead, temples, back of the neck, or wherever the pain is concentrated. Hot water dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the feet, while the cold compress constricts blood vessels in the head, reducing the volume of blood flow an thereby reducing pain.
6. Loosen mucus
Spicy foods, such as horseradish and hot peppers, increase the flow of blood loosen the secretions of mucus in the sinuses. This has the effect of relieving the congestion the cause sinus headaches.
7. Massage away tension headaches
A simple acupressure massage can help relieve a tension headache. Place your fingers at the top of your spinal column, where your neck meets your skull. Move your finger out 5cm (2in) along the base of your skull until you find a small indentation on either side. There points will feel slightly tender as you apply pressure. Apply firm pressure with the pads, of your fingers, making a small rotating motion with your fingers. The more deeply you massage the points, the better. Breathe deeply, and imagine that you releasing tension with each exhalation. Continue for one to three minutes, and repeat as often as you desire.
8. Ginger for migraine
At the first sign of a migraine headache, mix a third of a teaspoon of powder ginger into a glass of water and drink it. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving compounds that may be able to halt a migraine attack.