There are many different varieties of headaches. However, for our blogging purposes, today our focus will be on the dreaded tension headache, which is also ironically the most common type of headache.
Not sure what a tension headache is? Well, most often it is head pain which is located at the top and sides of the head. It may feel as if someone is squeezing or adding weight to that area of the head. Some people may also feel pain in their neck or shoulder area. It is often brought on by various stressors, foods and/or activities.
So, what can we do about it? Again, for our purposes today, let’s discuss how essential oils can help alleviate the pain that is often associated with a tension headache.
Here are our top picks to help with tension headaches. Drum roll, please …..
Peppermint stimulates blood flow, reduces stress and relaxes muscles with its cool and fresh feeling and scent. Peppermint is not only calming, but it is also numbing which makes it an ideal oil for headache pain. Dilute with a carrier oil (such as grapeseed oil) and apply it to the forehead, temples and back of the neck. You can also diffuse it or inhale it. Always a great idea to keep peppermint essential oil at your desk or in your car.
Seeing as one of the reasons you may suffer from tension headaches is lack of sleep, Lavender essential oil has made our list. It has mild sedative-type properties that help restlessness and allow for a peaceful, undisturbed sleep. Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to your temples and the back of the neck. Also, a great oil to diffuse all night long.
Eucalyptus offers a fresh and minty scent that helps cleanse the body of toxins, reduces sinus pressure and pain. Deep inhalation is great for headache pain, as is diffusing the oil. Adding eucalyptus oil to a diffuser can help keep nasal passages moist and helps treat nasal congestion and sinus pressure.
Rosemary oil is a great stress reliever, which helps to alleviate tension headaches. Try to massage the head (forehead and temples) with Rosemary essential oil (diluted with a carrier oil) to relief headache pain. This oil will also help with migraines and other headache pain. A great pain reliever. Try adding a few drops to a hot bath.
Chamomile has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Some use it in a tea to help relax at night. Used in the oil format, Roman Chamomile has been known to have a mild-sedative property that assists in providing relief to those suffering from tension headaches. It also has great anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties. Dilute with a carrier oil, and apply to the forehead, temples and back of the neck. Roman Chamomile essential oil is also known for relieving pain by constricting blood vessels around the cranial nerves, which will relieve pressure in the head.
This oil offers great anti-inflammatory properties, as well as providing a calming effect, which can reduce stress or anxiety. Clary Sage essential oil helps to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the veins and arteries, which helps reduce stress and tension. It also works to widen blood vessels and encourages blood circulation. It also provides the body with more oxygen.
When applying essential oils topically, always ensure you are diluting them with a carrier oil. You may want to try grapeseed or coconut oil (which are great carrier oils). Using undiluted essential oils directly on your skin may cause irritation or damage. Add 9 drops of essential oils to 15 ml of your chosen carrier oil. Never ingest oils internally. It is extremely unsafe to do so. Also, always make sure you are using pure and unadulterated essential oils under the recommendation of a certified Aromatherapist.
Marian Grande is a Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional (CAHP) with the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists, in good standing.
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