acupressure

5 Natural Headache Helpers

Next time you have a headache and want to reach for pain killers, try out some of these natural remedies instead:

1. REMOVE ANY “HEADGEAR” – Take off your hat, headband, helmet, ponytail holder, goggles, glasses, or anything else you might have on your head. These items can cause external compression headaches and often the headache will go away shortly after removing the offending item. I find this to be true quite often when I have my hair up too tightly.

2.  TRY ACUPRESSURE – Apply pressure to the acupressure point in the webbing between your thumb and index finger to help ease the pain of a headache (*this is not an acupressure point that pregnant women should press*). Also, gently pressing the back of your neck with three fingers on each side can also help relieve muscle tension in your neck that might be causing the headache (it’s very common for neck tension to cause headaches). I also love using an acupressure mat as both a preventative and treatment tool for headaches

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3.  APPLY A COLD COMPRESS – to your forehead and/or the back of your neck. Any cold compress will be helpful, but if you add 3-5 drops of peppermint oil to a damp washcloth and put it in the freezer for a few minutes, you’ll get the benefits of the cold plus the relaxing and uplifting aromatherapy benefits of the peppermint. The scent of peppermint is well known for providing headache relief. Leave the compress on for about ten minutes while lying down. At $6-$8 per bottle, peppermint oil is a non expensive natural remedy to keep on hand.

{Aura Cacia Peppermint Essential Oil}

4.  DRINK SOME H20 – A very common cause of headaches is dehydration. Drink water throughout the day and make sure to go to bed well hydrated so you don’t wake up with a headache. Also, I have found it very helpful to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to start the day off in a good hydrated state.

5.  RELAX – We often hold a lot of tension in our jaws so unclench your jaw and relax your face… Now relax the rest of your body while you’re at it and take some nice deep breaths. Let the tension melt away.

Win an Acupressure Mat!

WHAT IS IT: a Heavenly Acupressure Mat that has a total of 8,820 contact points, which stimulate your skin and acupressure points in your body. By laying or standing on the mat, the contact points can help your body to release endorphins and oxytocin, your body’s own pain relieving and feel-good hormones. Ideally, by using the acupressure mat for just 20 minutes each day you can effectively relieve pain, promote relaxation and increase energy levels.

To be more specific, with regular use you may achieve the following benefits:

  • Reduced pain, including backache and tension headaches
  • Decreased muscular tension and stiffness
  • Stress and anxiety relief
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased metabolism and mental clarity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased energy levels and decreased chronic fatigue
  • Improved sleep, especially stress induced insomnia
  • Deep sense of relaxation

Definitely a great range of possible benefits! To be honest, it’s pretty weird at first… think bed of nails. Or don’t think bed of nails because that probably sounds really painful for good reason. It is far from the feeling of lying on a bed of nails (not that I speak from personal experience), but the general idea is similar. Actually, I found that if you wear anything that is too thick when using the mat then you barely feel the contact points. So I definitely suggest that you opt for very thin clothing or even bare skin.

HOW TO WIN IT:

  1. Be a follower of this blog & leave a comment below
  2. Extra entry for liking the {new facebook page} (please leave a separate comment)
  3. Extra entry for tweeting about this giveaway (also, separate comment)

The giveaway mat is orange (exactly like the one here). You have until 10pm EDT Sunday, May 1st to enter. The winner will be announced on Monday, May 2nd. Good luck!!

An Optimal Foot Massage

The next time you’re giving or hopefully receiving a foot massage, it’s great to keep this reflexology chart in mind to make the massage even more therapeutic. I’m a huge fan of acupressure. If done correctly, you can find relief from such a wide range of ailments including hormonal imbalances, breathing disorders, back aches, circulatory problems and so much more! Make it even better: soak your feet  in warm water right before the massage.

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Quick Headache Relief

This is a simple acupressure technique that is excellent to prevent a looming headache or to lessen the pain of an existing one. This is definitely one of my favorite natural remedies!

How to:

  1. Use your thumb and first two fingers (pointer & middle) of your right hand to press and massage the soft area between your thumb and pointer finger on the left hand.  Your right thumb should be on the top or back (nail side) of your hand and the other 2 fingers beneath on the palm side (You pretty much end up making the shape of a claw).
  2. Next, simply apply light to medium pressure and alternate between massaging and pressing that fleshy area of the left hand. Do this for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Switch and alternate hands.
  4. Continue this for a few minutes and continue doing it periodically throughout the day.

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Massaging this area topically hits the acupuncture point known as He Gu or Large Intestine 4*. This point is commonly used in acupuncture for the relief of frontal headaches that might be a result from sinus pressure or congestion or jaw issues (like TMJ).

*Not recommended for pregnant women (it can induce labor!!)

I LOVE acupressure!! More posts coming soon…

Acupressure Foot Massager

This foot massager simply looks like a dream to me. The heavenly description: “Like a masseuse and reflexologist in one this chiropractor-designed massager targets every sensitive point on your feet in a sequence based on acupressure principles.” There’s also a heat option. This is definitely on my wish list!

Photo Credit: Gaiam, Inc.