Stress and Headaches
Stress and Headaches can go hand in hand…
Headaches may be triggered or exacerbated by stress, making relaxation an important part of headache treatment. Obviously booking a massage springs to mind straight away. The other option is to book into our steam room and relaxation area, for a full day of luxury.
However, this is not always possible. An alternative option could be to try aromatherapy, which uses essential oils from plants for healing. You could always look at at home pressure points to relieve tension. This is another topic which I will cover in another blog…
Although there is not much scientific research to back up aromatherapy, it has been used to relieve stress and pain for thousands of years and is usually safe. But as a precaution, check with your doctor first if you’re interested in using aromatherapy – they can advise if anything will conflict with any medication your are on etc.
I am just going to chat about a couple of pretty safe options for aromatherapy. Like I said, stress and headaches can go hand in hand, so here are a few options that may help when our head is pounding…
Lavender oil comes from the plant’s blue-violet flowers. Some small research studies suggest that lavender oil has a calming effect when its scent is inhaled. It may also help reduce pain — aromatherapists often use it to help treat headache. Just place a few drops of lavender oil into boiling water and inhale the vapours.
Lavender oil can also be rubbed into the skin for pain relief. But keep it away from your mouth and eyes — it’s toxic if ingested.
I have sometimes put this on a tissue and just kept smelling it, when I am a little stressed. I am not a massive fan of lavender on its own, so I often mix it with Rosemary or Bergamot.
Rosemary is another essential oil that is frequently used in aromatherapy. Rosemary oil applied to the skin has been used to treat muscle pain and improve circulation, so it makes sense that it could help relieve migraine or headache pain.
One study supports the use of rosemary for reducing stress and anxiety. Essential oil of rosemary may be added to base oil and rubbed into the skin. It can also be added to bathwater, but avoid contact with the eyes or any open cuts.
I have created a spray with Rosemary, as personally I love this oil. I always say it helps clear my mind. When I can’t see the wood for the trees – this is the oil/spray you need. I call it my stress spray. I often recommend people keep it in the car, just so when we are feeling stressed with other drivers, we can spray this and alleviate a little tension.
Bergamot oil is made from a type of orange tree. It has an intense lemon aroma that’s been used for both pain and anxiety, so it could also be a helpful headache treatment.
Bergamot oil aroma is inhaled — some researchers believe that smell receptors in the nose react to essential oils by sending messages to the brain that cause relaxation, similar to the way medications work. I love citrus smells. I have added this to one of my room sprays too – no surprise it is called Relax and Unwind. Perfect to spray in your bathroom before a bath…
These are just a few little tips to help ease that headache, naturally.
I would also look at areas in your life that are causing stress. Take yourself for a walk in the fresh air, nothing like a little exercise to release those endorphins and release some stress.