How Holistic Treatments And Yoga Cured My Headaches

Work, family, and daily life stressors can cause headaches from time to time. We’ve all had these headaches at one point or another but they’re generally easily relieved by a few hours of sleep or a dose of ibuprofen. But what about chronic headaches?

It was a particularly stressful time for me towards the end of this past summer.  Just before Labor Day, I got a headache. What started out as a dull pain in the middle of my forehead grew to a throbbing, piercing pain that would not go away. I tried headache and migraine medicine for weeks, but nothing eased the intense pain. My head just continued to feel worse. I am prone to semi-annual sinus infections and bronchitis, so I went to an ears, nose, and throat doctor and began a cycle of antibiotics, nasal spray, and mucus relief tablets in hopes that I had an infection that would clear up. Ten days later, I didn’t feel any better.

Now that I ruled out an infection and the headache steadily increased, I did what most of you would do – I made environmental adjustments. I turned down the lighting at the office and dimmed my computer screen. I drove to and from work in silence. I watched television so low that the dialogue was almost indiscernible. Yet, each night ended the same, I was curled on my couch in the fetal position with a microwavable stuffed animal on my forehead. I assure you, it is as depressing as it sounds.

Now it was already October, and I did not have any significant reason to feel stress or anxiety. I started to talk to anyone that would listen about my five-week-and-still-going-strong headache, and I got a plethora of advice:

  • “Start eating red meat again and increase your protein.” I started adding tofu to my nightly salad.
  • “These are the winter blues so get some extra sleep.” I already slept 9-10 hours each night, so I had sleep covered.
  • “You are dehydrated and should drink more water.” I already drink tea and water as if I have a hydration backpack strapped to my back 24/7.

These tips didn’t help. Then I spoke to a family member about my headaches woes, and she suggested I try essential oils. She had some lavender essential oils on hand and walked me through my first treatment. Afterwards, I felt relaxed and my head felt clear for the first time in almost two months. Here was my “treatment” plan:

  1. Begin by setting some soothing mood music and clear your mind of thoughts or worries.
  2. Lay in a comfortable position with your head and feet each propped on a pillow.
  3. Put a drop of lavender essential oil on your left palm and use your right index finger to draw three circles around your left palm.
  4. Then, draw a circle with the right index finger around your navel.
  5. Rub your hands together until they become warm, and then cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply.
  6. Turn your head and exhale deeply away from your body.
  7. Repeat the deep inhalation and exhalation steps three times.
  8. Finish your session by rubbing any excess oil from your hands on your temples, forehead, back of neck, and up and down your arms. Now, you should be completely relaxed and enveloped in the sweet smell of lavender.
  9. Repeat this process day and night, or until your head is clear and headache free.

She also suggested I try meditation. I downloaded several meditation apps, audio recordings, and videos, but I just could not sit still and quiet for a long enough time. I am a traditional Type A personality and my wheels are constantly spinning, so I knew after a few recordings that I needed something more stimulating. Then, I thought of my friend B who is an avid yogi, and I thought I would give yoga a whirl. I’m not the type to do Zumba or other high cardio, bump and bounce exercises, so I thought that yoga would be the perfect fit for me.

I streamed a video on YouTube, and gave a simple 20-minute beginner’s video a whirl. And, guess what? I felt fantastic afterwards. I loved the teacher’s controlled movements and her calm voice as she walked me through that first session. My body felt tired – in a “I just had a great workout” sort of way – but my mind was free of negative thoughts and the next item on my to-do list.

Yoga makes me feel at home.

Since adding essential oils and yoga into my life,  I have never looked back. I wear varying essential oils daily, for relaxation, health benefits, and even as a perfume. I practice yoga in some form on a daily basis, and surprisingly, it doesn’t feel like a chore or an item on my to-do list. Yoga quiets my mind and relaxes me.  With each passing day, I can feel my body and mind growing stronger, and I am learning to manage daily stressors without negative physical manifestations. And guess what? No more headaches!

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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YouAligned. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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