Drug-free Solutions for Headaches and Migraines that Really Work
Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines? Most likely you do, since it’s a common problem many people struggle with. Chronic headaches have become so common, that folks are often unaware or insensitive as to how debilitated, drained, depressed, and hopeless they can make a person feel.
Did you know headaches have become the most common reason people seek medical attention?
I have many patients come to me simply desperate for relief. Often I’m their last resort after months or years of battling not only the pain, but the side effects of medications that are supposed to be helping them.
I’m happy to tell you there are other alternatives. This post on drug-free solutions for headaches and migraines that really work will provide a new beginning to the end of their pain.
The one reason modern medicine is failing the headache/migraine sufferer
With headaches being such an epidemic, there is no shortage of well-educated specialists available to write you a prescription to (supposedly) eliminate your headache pain.
These prescriptions may be as easy as an aspirin for tension headaches, but it’s not that simple. Did you know taking more than 3 aspirin or other OTC meds 2-3 times per week can turn intermittent headaches into chronic headaches?
And migraine sufferers may be given anti-depressants, beta-blockers, and even anti-seizure meds all in an effort to “manage” their pain.
Pain management is precisely the one reason allopathic medicine is failing. They do not look beyond the symptom of pain to find out what’s causing the headaches.
Pain doesn’t just happen for no good reason. It’s your body’s way of sounding the alarm that something is wrong.
By simply muting it with medication, we only exacerbate the problem and force the body to turn up the alarm, and in-turn, the pain and resistance to meds.
Pain doesn’t mean your body is broken or malfunctioning; on the contrary, it means your body is actively asking for help to correct an imbalance.
Step 1 to Healing: Identify which type of headache you have
The Chronic Tension Headache (most common)
- Affects more women than men.
- Tightening of muscles in the face, temples, head, and neck.
- Dull steady pain over the whole head.
The Cluster Headache
- 85% of which affect men.
- Brief but painful “bunches” of headaches over a period of weeks.
- Centered around one eye.
- Accompanied with nasal congestion.
The Chronic Daily Headache
- Minimum of 15 headache days per month.
- 180 headache days per year…ouch!
The Dreaded Migraine Headache
- 3 times more common in women than men.
- 50-75% of migraine sufferers have relatives with migraines.
- There has been a 60% increase over the past 10 years.
- Excruciating, sometime debilitating pain.
- Vision disturbances.
- Sensitivity to light and noise.
- Nausea, vomiting.
- May be triggered by menstrual cycle, weather changes, and/or foods.
Step 2 to Healing: Get help investigating the underlying cause
You shouldn’t have to do this alone.
If your current doctor isn’t your partner in ruthlessly investigating the cause of your headaches, then team up with an integrative practitioner experienced in your type of headache pain.
Though there are vastly more causes of headaches as there are types of headaches, here is a list of common causal factors to get you started (and your practitioner will likely have other ideas as well).
- Structural imbalances, specifically subluxations and joint dysfunctions in the neck.
- Emotional trauma
- Food sensitivities/allergies
- Drug or supplement reactions
- Environmental sensitivities including personal care products.
- Lack of sleep.
- Hormonal imbalance
- Liver/gall bladder congestion
- Digestive stress
As a chiropractor, I can report I’ve had great success in helping people eliminate their headaches and migraines.
Why is chiropractic so effective? Because it utilizes a variety of modalities to cover a wide range of causal factors.
A body out of alignment creates a health domino effect that can include insomnia, hormonal imbalance, and increased environmental sensitivity.
If you can work with a holistic chiropractor who understands nutrition, you will cover an even wider range of causal factors.
Step 3 to Healing: Begin eliminating common headache triggers
This can be overwhelming to anyone without a nutrition degree, so let’s break it down and take a look at the most common offenders (I’m also including some personal care items and pharmaceuticals).
- Pasteurized dairy
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose
- Fruit drinks
- Iced tea
- Breath mints (random but a common trigger)
- Chewing gum
- Artificial dyes, preservatives and flavors
- Laxatives such as Metamucil
- Antacids such as Alka-Seltzer™ or Tums™
- Medicine in syrup form
- Synthetic multivitamins
Word to the wise: don’t try and eliminate everything at once!
Take this list (or a list from your practitioner), and then meditate on it. See what stands out to you, begin eliminating 1 or 2 items per week, and write down any changes you feel.
If you eliminate everything at once, you may experience relief, but you’ll never know which of the offenders was causing you pain. If this works for you then great, but most people will benefit in the long-term from starting slow.
Step 4 to Healing: Find natural ways to alleviate and eliminate your headaches
- Chiropractic and craniosacraltherapy—Structural imbalances such as joint dysfunction or subluxations trigger cervicogenic headaches, which overlay many different types of headaches.
Chiropractic and craniosacral therapy will take care of that!
- Yoga –- Excellent for reducing stress, increasing mindfulness, and toning the entire body without extra wear and tear, including your organs. I recommend yoga as the perfect exercise for the stressed patient.
Phew, we’ve covered a lot of ground today. Let’s recap…
Step 1: Identify your type of headache.
Step 2: Get help finding the underlying cause.
Step 3: Eliminate common triggers (slow and steady wins the race).
Step 4: Find natural ways to alleviate and eliminate your headaches.
A closing word of encouragement for long-time headache sufferers
If you’ve been living with chronic headaches, you may feel like you’ve exhausted every option.
And you’re exhausted: physically, emotionally, spiritually. You miss the person you used to be, the things you used to be able to do.
Perhaps you think you must accept a life of going on and off medication, while living with either pain or negative side effects.
My patients have told me the same thing, and it never gets easy to hear.
But I know from experience, that it doesn’t have to be this way. This is not the way of the body – the body is designed to heal – it just needs the right tools.
If your body is still sounding the pain alarm, it means it is not broken and it hasn’t given up on finding a solution. You mustn’t either!
Don’t give up on your body. Don’t give up on rediscovering your true, pain-free self. If your doctor isn’t inspiring and encouraging you, fire him and find another one!
Use this post as a springboard, find a practitioner you can trust, start experimenting with aromatherapy, meditate to relieve stress, take up a yoga class, and resolve to start eliminating possible triggers.
Take it one day at a time, and be open to your body’s amazing capacity for change.
How do you overcome headaches without drugs? Was there a “magic bullet” for you? Perhaps one I haven’t mentioned above? Please share with our readers below so we can all benefit!
Click here to learn my easy 60 Second Stress Buster Meditation Technique which will support you in relieving headaches naturally. What have you got to lose? We’ve all got a minute to dedicate to our health!
Wishing you well,
Hi! I'm Dr. Jessica
I’m Dr. Jessica Payne, Medical Intuitive, Doctor of Natural Medicine, and your go-to guide for living your life naturally…More
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