The common, miserable, achy-breaky headache is almost always stress-related. Therefore read notes for Anxiety & Stress as well. Astrologically, headaches come under the rulership of Mercury, thought process, as well as Mars, which rules the head. Mars is a fiery, hard-driving, take no prisoners-planetary energy. Headaches occur more often for Aries and Ayurvedic Pitta types as they tend to have a fierce life force. Headaches are the gift to bring bodies back into balance when over-thinking, over anxiousness, and over-criticalness make us feel less-than, and fearful.
I am not addressing migraines here, other than to say that if the fundamental biochemistry of the body can be improved, very often the migraines disappear. Some wonderful work with increasing levels of serotonin, (This is the neurotransmitter that fights pain, by exploring ways and means of expanding blood vessels, has had success.
If you are at the mercy of too many headaches, start by changing your diet. Duh. The health of the digestive system leaves you less vulnerable to the ‘Sirene’s call.’
Stabilize blood sugar levels. Low sugar or hypoglycemia triggers migraines in some. Stop and eat if you are getting tired and run down. Don’t eat sugar or caffeine.
Eat foods with magnesium, and take vitamin supplements of the same. The magnesium improves the flexibility of blood vessels and supports the function of serotonin receptors. This is particularly important if you do have migraines.
Partake of more B’s, especially B2- riboflavin. It mitigates headaches because it facilitates oxygen use by the tissues, especially skin nails and hair. It helps with eye fatigue and helps prevent cataracts, It aids in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. B2 is found in poultry, spinach, yogurt, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, nuts, eggs, fish, meat, and currants.
Sometimes you can abort a headache if you take the B vitamin, niacin, early in its development, when blood vessels are constricted.
Try a strong cup of ginger tea, or take 500 mg of ginger, to stave off a headache
Epsom salts dissolved in water, which is a form of magnesium, can also abort a headache.
Eat a diet that supports the liver, not depletes it, especially women. The liver helps regulate hormones, and the stability of estrogen, which can trigger headaches.
Avoid the following:
MSG, caffeine, aspartame, the artificial sweetener.
Give up processed food, dogs, bacon, cured meats, smoked fish, chocolate, peanut butter.
Lower intake of high proteins, alcohol, and citrus.
Headaches can be caused by allergies to foods, so simply pay attention when you eat foods that make you suffer. Link mind and body with care and attention.
The best preventative is mind-body exercise: Yoga and Tai Chi are two – and get the heart going with aerobics. The mind-body work stimulates serotonin production which reduces stress. The more you stretch, open, and relax muscles the less tension the body can hold. Do stretching exercises after a tension headache to prevent another.
Often poor posture, too many hours at the computer, or carrying a baby constricts enough blood flowing to the brain. Get smart, do some Suns, get a massage.
Get enough light. This is particularly true for women, and important for those in lock-down winters.
Simple Acupressure Points for Headaches:
Gently pinch the webbing between thumb and forefinger, where the muscle begins.
Press down the top middle of the collarbone, where there is a small notch.
Behind the ears, halfway to the spinal column.
Halfway between the eye and ear. This helps temple pain.
Both sides of the bridge of the nose, squeeze gently. Good for sinus headaches.
Press where big toe bone and second toe meet, about two inches behind tips of toes.
“I love and approve of myself. I see myself and what I do with eyes of love. I am safe.”Louise Hay
“The Pain Cure” by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa with Cameron Stauth
“Heal Your Body-Metaphysical causations for Physical Illness” by Louise L. Hay
Basic Ayurvedic Tips for Headaches
There are three types of headaches matching the three doshas:
Vata type headaches are in the back of the head and often pulse or throb, moving back to front. It may come from neck and shoulder tension, and is often worse with movement.
Helpful remedies include:
Foot and scalp massage, preferably by someone else, but do it for yourself if all else fails.
Drink plenty of water. Vata headaches often come from dehydration.
Apply the nutmeg paste (above)
Pay attention to your diet, especially if you are constipated, which often accompanies Vata headaches.
Pitta type headaches are often in the temples and go to center of head. They are often felt behind the eyes or by a burning in the eyes. The headache can have burning or piercing pains, and is made more difficult by sun, high temperatures, and bright lights.
Helpful tips include:
Stay out of hot sun and or wear a hat.
Stay away from sour fruit, pickles, or spicy foods. (Pitta unbalancing foods)
Take 2 tablspoons of aloe vera gel, up to 3 times a day.
Drink a cumin-coriander tea, in equal amounts, 1 tsp. per cup. Drink at room temperature.
Pitta paste of 1 tsp sandalwood powder with water and apply to forehead and temples. Leave it on ½ hour.
Eat fruit, or something sweet.
At night massage soles of feet and scalp with a touch of brahmi oil or bhringaraj oil. (it stains so be careful of sheets.)
Kapha type headaches occur often in spring or winter, in the AM and or PM and grows worse with bending over. Sinus congestion is often the culprit. It may also come with other allergies and hay fever. It is a dull pain beginning in the upper front of head, moving down the forehead, often into the sinus’.
Helpful tips include:
Eucalyptus steam. Drop 10 drops of eucalyptus oil in boiled water, and inhale, with a towel over your head. Or use a ginger steam by adding ginger root to boiling water.
Make a ginger paste, of 1 tsp ginger powder, with water and apply to forehead, and bridge of nose and cheekbones. (be careful of eyes, and if it feels too hot on the skin, wash off.)
Or use a cinnamon paste with ½ tsp cinnamon and water.
If you have a headache lasting more than a couple of days, see a doctor! If a severe one wakes you in the night, check with your doc. And, or if it comes with blurred vision, stiff neck, blurred speech. Don’t wait.
Yoga Poses for headaches
For all three doshas-Do calming, slow flow Lunar/Moon salutations, meditative seated stretches, and poses that open the chest.
Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Fold Pose
Janu Sirsasana – Head to knee Forward Fold Pose
Agnistambhasana -Fire Log Pose
Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose
Salamba Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose
Halasana – Plow Pose
Savasana – Corpse Pose