Exercise

20 Ways to Stop Headaches Naturally

600 500 Kristi Corder

The World Health Organization states that headaches are very common. They go on to say that nearly everyone has a headache occasionally and 1 in 20 will have a headache every (or nearly every) day. What you need to know is that while they are very common, they are not normal.

Headaches are your body’s way of telling you it cannot overcome the daily stressors that you place upon it. Whether a headache shows up from eyestrain, hormones, food intolerances, or anything else, you should never ignore the warning signs OR cover them up by reaching for prescription or over-the-counter medications. All medications have side effects, and you wouldn’t want to trade one condition for another.

Instead, try a few home remedies or natural approaches to reduce, or even eliminate, headaches for good. Here’s a good list of 20 ways to stop headaches naturally.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

1. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care to stop headaches naturally

Chiropractors look to the spine for the cause of disease, including “minor” aches and pains like headaches. While we do not treat the headache or pain, we do check your spine for something we call vertebral subluxations that may be hindering the body’s ability to communicate properly with the brain. With a gentle chiropractic adjustment, we can remove the interference in the communication pathways which will set the body back into motion towards health. Want to know more about chiropractic? Read my post What is Chiropractic?

2. Homeopathy

Homeopathy for headaches

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that utilizes a principle of “like cures like” to treat illness and disease. It doesn’t just treat the illness but takes into account the entire person and their overall health picture. It is safe, gentle, and very effective in not only treating headaches on an acute basis, but it can dig deep and really uproot chronic headaches for good. Here are a few homeopathic medicines that may help with headaches:

  • Sepia – useful if headaches are related to female hormones
  • Sanguinaria – a headache coming from the sinuses
  • Gelsemium – headache brought on by colds or the flu
  • Mag phos – can be employed for tension headaches
  • Nux vomica – great for headaches after overindulgence

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

3. Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy to stop headaches naturally

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on form of bodywork that focuses on releasing tension and dysfunction in the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Our brain and spinal cord are the most important organs in our body, and any undue stress and strain placed upon them can lead to illness and disease. This method of therapy is typically used by some chiropractors, massage therapists, osteopaths, and occupational therapists and consists of light touch to release the restrictions around the central nervous system.

4. Nutrient-dense snacks

Nutrient dense snacks can help stop headaches naturally

Nutrition is extremely important for our everyday body functions. Improper nutrition or skipping meals can cause our body to scream at us that it is lacking in vitamins and minerals. Headaches can be one of those ways our body is trying to tell us it needs to be fed. One easy way to stop headaches naturally is to grab a handful of carrots, an apple, or some trail mix to give your body a boost.

5. Hydration

Staying hydrated can stop headaches naturally

Headaches may be a sign that you are dehydrated. Our body is comprised of mostly water, and many people don’t do a good job of keeping it hydrated. And just like with foods, water provides our bodies with some basic minerals we need for our body to function normally. There’s no set amount of water that is beneficial for everyone, after all, we are all different. But if you suffer from chronic headaches, make it a point to track your water intake for a week and then increase it by an additional cup daily. You just might notice the headaches start to disappear.

6. Exercise

Stretching

Not only can exercise relieve stress, but it can calm the muscle tightness that is associated with certain types of headaches. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Gentle exercises such as walking, stretching, deep breathing, or yoga can be very beneficial. Also, exercise releases endorphins which are our “feel good” hormones. These endorphins actually block pain in our body and naturally aid in healing.

7. Massage

Massage

We are a society heavily dependent on technology. And because of daily computer and handheld device use, we are becoming a society where most people have forward head posture. What this means is that when you view someone from the side, their head is not directly lined up with their shoulders. When this happens, the muscles of the head, neck, and upper back become overstretched and overworked. The normal body response to prevent further injury to these tissues is to tighten up or spasm those muscles. With this tightening can come headaches.

Similar to craniosacral therapy, massage therapy is a hands-on form of bodywork that focuses on releasing tension from the muscles and fascia of the body. It also stimulates lymphatic flow which helps to reduce toxin build-up in our body which can be another cause of headaches. Massage therapy uses a somewhat deeper pressure to relieve tension from the areas involved than does craniosacral therapy.

8. Acupuncture/Acupressure

Acupressure can help stop headaches naturally
Disclosure: This product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Everything in our body is comprised of energy. A headache can be a sign that there is an abnormal energy pattern occurring within the body. Acupuncture uses needles placed on points along energy channels, or pathways, in the body to help restore the body to balance. Acupressure has the same premise but doesn’t involve using needles. Aculief is a wearable acupressure device that is inexpensive and easy to grab and use when a headache is imminent.

9. Herbs

Herbs drying

There are quite a few herbs that can be used to combat headaches. Both chamomile and passionflower are great for relaxing muscles and promoting sleep. Butterbur can be used to reduce inflammation in the body. And feverfew can help get rid of pain, nausea, and sensitivities that accompany headaches. Herbs can be steeped in water and consumed as a tea, or they can be taken in supplement forms like capsules or tinctures.

10. Vitamins/Supplementation

Vitamins and supplements

Vitamins and supplements are things I list here to use if you truly have a severe deficiency. Otherwise, true supplementation can be addressed by using high quality, nutrient-dense foods. B-complex vitamins and magnesium seem to be the most beneficial vitamins and supplements for combating headaches. B-complex vitamins boost the production of neurotransmitters and can be lacking in those that suffer from chronic migraines. Magnesium controls the normal function of blood pressure, muscles, nerves, and heart all of which can cause headaches in abnormal states.

11. Essential Oils

Essential oils can help stop headaches naturally

Aromatherapy has long been used to treat headaches. Only in the last few years have essential oils become more mainstream thanks to many network marketing companies and the power of word of mouth. Aromatherapy uses oils extracted from all types of medicinal plants for topical and inhalation methods of healing. Lavender essential oil helps relieve tension and stress as well as promotes relaxation. Both peppermint and spearmint essential oils decrease pain and tension and stimulate blood flow. Eucalyptus essential oil can decrease both pain and swelling associated with headaches. While some oils can cause reactions on the skin of some people, you should start with adding a few drops of the oil to coconut oil before applying topically. Use a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing in a diffuser for inhalation.

12. Ice

ice pack

Ice is anti-inflammatory and can decrease the firing of nerve signals. It can also break muscle spasms. While many people will reach for a heating pad when dealing with a headache, some find that an ice pack or cold compress has a better effect. Some headaches respond best when you alternate ice and heat.

13. Heat

heating pad

Heating pads and warm compresses can stimulate blood flow, increase oxygen, and relax muscles when someone is suffering from a headache. Place the pad or compress on the back of the neck or on the shoulders to help get relief of muscle spasms when you have a tension-type headache. Placing a warm compress over the sinuses when you are suffering from a sinus headache will help thin the mucus and relieve the pressure. For even better results, alternate with a cold compress.

14. Sleep/Rest

rest can help stop headaches naturally

Sleep is healing and restorative. To prevent headaches from becoming chronic, be sure you are getting adequate sleep without the distractions of electronics. If you suffer from a headache during the day, you might find relief by going into a dark and silent room so you can concentrate on relaxing tense muscles and decreasing stress from your body.

15. Breathing techniques

Deep breathing can stop headaches naturally

Deep breathing improves circulation, stimulates nerve function, increases oxygen flow to the brain, and causes relaxation throughout the body. To perform deep breathing, you want to see your abdomen expand, not your chest. Concentrate on the pit of your stomach and breathe in through your nose for about 5 seconds, hold for another 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Just getting into this relaxed state may be enough to put a stop to an acute headache.

16. Get outdoors

get outdoors

Fresh air is sometimes all it takes to make a headache go away. Take a few minutes and go outside. Couple it with deep breathing and you’ll be feeling better in no time. If you want to learn how trees can be beneficial to your health, my friend Verla shares plenty of information over at her site Trees Mend Us.

17. Trigger elimination

Remove triggers like alcohol to stop headaches naturally

Whether your headaches are triggered by foods, alcohol, caffeine, or anything else, you have a leg up on everyone else. Many people don’t actually know why they are having headaches. They just assume that it’s stress or hormone-related without actually knowing. Remove the triggers for the time being and then consult with a health care practitioner who can help you focus on healing your body. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to experience headaches when your usual triggers are encountered or added back into your life.

18. Bath

Baths can stop headaches naturally

Baths can be a very relaxing way to stop a headache. Warm water increases blood flow and oxygen circulation throughout the body. Add in some Epsom salt to aid in detoxification or essential oils to help relieve built-up muscular tension.

19. CBD

CBD can help stop headaches naturally

While still controversial, many people have found great benefit in using CBD for headaches, especially migraines. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp plants. CBD from hemp plants acts just like our own natural body cannabinoids. It inhibits pain signals and decreases the inflammatory response.

20. Reduce stress

Stress relief

Stress can come in three forms: physical, chemical, or emotional. These stressors put our body into a fight-or-flight response. This response can increase blood pressure, tension, and inflammation and can decrease oxygen thus leading to headaches. Employ any of the methods mentioned in numbers 1-19 above to help reduce stress and stop headaches in their tracks.


Know that you are not alone in dealing with headaches. But also know that there are safe and side-effect free, natural remedies to stop and even eliminate headaches for good. Next time you experience a headache or migraine, opt for one of these natural methods first.

Do you have other natural methods you use to stop a headache? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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No Need to Count Sheep: 7 Ways to Improve Your Sleep

600 500 Kristi Corder

With Daylight Saving Time coming up on March 10th and Sleep Awareness Week March 10th-16th, I thought I’d take some time to share a few ways you can naturally improve your sleep (without counting sheep).

Nearly 40 million American men and women suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Are you one of them? Many times this can be attributed to stress, general health maladies, or the inability to shut off the brain.

Sleep is just as important to us as eating a good diet and getting plenty of exercise. Our body uses sleep to heal, increase metabolism, improve our mood, and even stimulate immune system function. If you’re having some difficulty getting adequate sleep, you may want to choose one of the following methods to not only help improve your quality of sleep but improve your health overall.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

1. Chiropractic Care

chiropractic adjustment to improve sleep

I found it interesting in my research that Johns Hopkins Medicine states “a healthy amount of sleep is vital for ‘brain plasticity,’ or the brain’s ability to adapt to input.”

As a chiropractor, my main focus with patients is making sure the brain communicates with the body properly. When there is miscommunication between the brain and the body, either the brain or the body suffers.

I have had numerous patients report back to me that they (or their child) slept better the night after their adjustment than they had in a long time. It never surprises me because chiropractic is all about restoring proper communication within the nervous system. So if you’re having issues sleeping, think about seeing your family chiropractor.

2. Homeopathy

Homeopathy to improve sleep

Have you ever taken Arnica for an injury? If you’ve used the little white sugar pills from the health food store, then you know a little bit about homeopathic medicine.

The premise of homeopathy is that “like cures like.” What this means is that the effect a substance has on a person in its gross form, it can have the opposite and curative effects in its highly diluted form.

Coffea cruda is one such example of how homeopathy can help with sleep. Coffee in its gross form is a stimulant. When it is homeopathically diluted, it aids in the calming of the person. And when used for chronic sleep issues, it can help to uproot the condition for good.

We have successfully used Coffea cruda 15 minutes before bed with one of our children who has difficulty shutting off her brain at night. For the first couple of weeks we used this remedy every night but now we only use it on a rare occasion.

There are many other homeopathic remedies that may be employed to help with acute or chronic sleep issues. Choosing the correct one requires careful examination of the person as a whole.

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

3. Nutrition

Nutrition to improve sleep

The health of your gut can play a huge role in how well you sleep. Have you ever heard that your gut is your “second brain”? Then it only makes sense that a healthy gut will play a role in how well (or bad) you sleep.

The sleep-wake cycle and hormones that regulate our sleep are directly affected by our gut microbiome. The more diverse the microbiome, the more balanced and healthy our gut becomes.

So how do we create a diverse microbiome?

Proper nutrition!

Increase your raw fruit and vegetable intake, drink bone broth daily, and incorporate wide varieties of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. And if you need a little extra help, you can always add in a high quality probiotic.

4. Exercise

Walking to improve sleep

Everyone should be getting exercise numerous times per week to maintain a healthy body. But did you know exercise can also aid our sleep?

There are still a lot of unknowns in regards to exercise and sleep. Some researchers say that exercising increases adrenaline and can prolong getting to sleep, while others say that as long as you exercise during the daylight hours it aids in sleep. One promising study has shown that exercise can improve the quality of sleep in older adults.

So hit the gym, put on your walking shoes, or go out dancing. Regular physical activity may just be the answer you are looking for!

5. Soak in the Tub

Soak in the tub to improve sleep

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice relaxing bath?

Before bed, draw up a nice warm bath for soaking. The warm water will soothe tense muscles and increase blood circulation. Add some epsom salt to help detoxify your body, and diffuse a bit of lavender essential oil to help calm you from the stresses of the day.

6. Limit Electronics

Limit electronics to improve sleep

We live in a world with electronics. They have made some aspects of our lives easier. But sleep is not one of them.

Electronics give off blue light. Blue light has a short wavelength and thus higher energy. Harvard researchers have also found that blue light decreases melatonin secretion more than any other type of light which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep.

But electronics are also addictive. At one of my recent chiropractic seminars, Dr. Joseph Mercola stated that “cellphones are the cigarettes of the 21st century.” Check out his post with some frightening statistics regarding cell phone use.

Many people go to bed with a cellphone in their hand which causes a cycle of sleep deprivation. I mentioned in the previous paragraph that light from a cellphone decreases melatonin. This makes it harder to go to sleep. If we can’t go to sleep, then what do we do? We look at the cellphone even more. And then the cycle just gets worse over time.

So put away those screens before bed. Start gradually by limiting screen exposure 30 minutes before bed. Then after a week, limit exposure an hour before bed, and so on.

7. Pillow and Mattress

Pillow to improve sleep

A good pillow and mattress can make all the difference in your sleep.

As a chiropractor, I’m asked time and again which pillow and/or mattress is the best for the health of the spine. And time and again, I’ve had to say I don’t know. It’s been a real struggle for me personally to find the best pillow and mattress for myself. And how can I recommend something that I won’t even use?

While I loved our Sealy Posturepedic mattress for the first 5 or so years we had it, it got worn out and needed replacing just like any other mattress on the market. And as far as pillows go, I have spent my entire chiropractic career searching for a great pillow. And just recently at a chiropractic seminar, I think I found the mattress and pillow that I can honestly say are the best I’ve ever come across.

While I haven’t purchased the mattress, I have slept on the pillow for the last 2 weeks. No pillow has given me a good night’s sleep like this pillow. It’s not too fluffy, not too hard, not too thick, and not too thin. It cradles my head and curves around my shoulders which provides gentle traction for my neck at night. And bonus! It is made from REAL Talalay latex, unlikethe synthetic latex many other companies use.

If you’re in the market for a great pillow, I highly recommend the Side Sleeper Pillow from Chiro-Core. It was designed by a chiropractor, and is chiropractor approved!


If you’re like the other 40 million Americans that have difficulty sleeping, take some time to evaluate each of the methods I’ve mentioned above to see if they will help you catch some much needed zzz’s.

Do you have another method that helps you get to sleep? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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