Headache: natural remedies


Headache: natural remedies

Headache, migraines… How to get relief quickly, avoiding medication and painkillers? Yes, more grandmotherly remedies as we like them! Let’s look at the causes and symptoms of these headaches that affect so many people. If allopathic medicine is fantastic for the treatment of many pathologies, it is not the best against headaches. Would Chinese medicine have something to say about it? What about herbal medicine?

The different types of headaches

So, let’s talk about the common headache. Most people suffer from it for a few days a year, and some chronically.

Tension headache

Tension headache is a headache that is located on either side of the skull. The internal sensation can be described as if the head is pressed in a vice, heavy. The intensity may be mild or moderate. Moving or doing activity does not change the intensity of the pain. 

Often the origin is the person’s state of tension. For example, overworked and under stress. Most of the time, there is a lot of muscle tension in the neck area. But also in the peri-cranial muscles and in the shoulders. This headache appears from time to time, or becomes chronic. In which case, the causes may be psycho-emotional.


Migraines combine headache and other symptoms. The most common being discomfort with light, noise, nausea and sometimes vomiting. The pain is mild to intense, located on one side of the head, “pulses”, and occurs gradually. The pain increases with physical exertion and lasts for several hours to several days. Often, these are migraine attacks that occur at certain times in the person’s life.

Causes of headache

There are 3 main causes of headache. Arthrosis, ophthalmic and neurological causes.

Arthritic causes 

Cervicalgia is pain in the cervical spine, sometimes associated with dizziness and sometimes even nausea. The most common cause is what people call “false movement”. I would also add the dental cause. A bad position of the jaw can also be one of the causes of tension headaches. And influence the cervical vertebrae. 

Ophthalmic cause

Indeed, we often hear about ophthalmic migraine. Commonly, we hear “your eyes force too much”. Translation: it may be a vision problem: hyperopia, the beginning of presbyopia, astigmatism, glaucoma. In which case, it is important to consult a health professional. Sometimes the problem can be solved with orthoptic sessions. But if the problem is more serious, your ophthalmologist will advise you on the procedure to follow.

Neurological cause

In this article I will not discuss the important pathological cases that can cause headaches. Such as Horton’s disease, tumor, subdural hematoma, meningitis… They appear suddenly with acute pain. These are important cases, which require a precise diagnosis and thorough medical analysis.

External factors

Weather: rain, heat. Transient illnesses: sinusitis. Sign of dehydration.

According to Chinese medicine

The body is balanced when everything functions correctly in harmony. That the fluids circulate well to promote exchanges (blood, other substances). This includes the “subtle movements” of energy, not necessarily tangible… at the moment. When there is an imbalance, it is the whole organism that is affected. For each organ feeds or is fed by another in qi. 

Everything in the body is interconnected. In the same way that when you get injured, your muscle chain will adapt so that you can function. So some muscles will work doubly hard to relieve the one that has suffered a shock for example. In the same way, if one organ is dysfunctional, the others will compensate… and get tired. 

A dysfunction can have structural as well as structural, physiological or psycho-emotional causes. According to this perspective, the origin of the headache can be linked to either :

  • A void

For example, a vacuum of “qi” or energy, yin, blood (which is also a form of energy), other substances. This can be related to several factors: too much sport, too much sexual activity, following childbirth…

  • To an excess of

Either yang or fire, or stagnation. For example a hormonal change, shock or accident (whiplash), eating too much fat or sugar, intense emotions not controlled. 

Of course, I could elaborate, but in this article I remain quite general about headache. And not specific to Chinese medicine. However, I would like to specify that I have been treating headaches with shiatsu alone since 2003… Including for pre-menstrual syndromes. By the way, it also works in Chinese and Japanese self-massage, which I share with you in dance therapy class!

Natural remedies to relieve headache


  • Drink water and avoid soda and coffee
  • Eat almonds
  • CBD or CBG
  • Infusion of chamomile, St. John’s wort, passionflower, ginger (for certain cases)
  • Avoid eating too much fat, too much sugar

Relieve by taking care of yourself

Relieve headache with natural remedies at home

  • Massage your head and face with oil and a few drops of peppermint or lavender essential oil.
  • Massage the back of your neck with wintergreen essential oil, if you feel a lot of muscle tension.
  • Apply a cold towel to your forehead neck and temples (in the summer, I put two or three in the freezer).
  • Inhaling rosemary, or a few drops in your bath, in the bathroom in sauna mode!
  • Breathing meditation or sound meditation
  • Prevent headaches by getting enough sleep at regular times.
  • Do regular physical activity: it keeps the thoughts out of your head.

-> Check my article about the benefits of dance for health

Relieve headache with a profesionnal

-> Check my article about what is Usui Reiki Ryoho

Finding the root cause of headache

You can come for a consultation to restore the energy balance. And help your body to find its homeostasis with shiatsu or kinesiology touch for health. Also, I always check with osteo cranio-sacral if a vertebra in your neck or your pelvis is not displaced. Indeed, this is a frequent cause of headaches! Then, it is good to look for the origin of your headache, especially when there are psycho-emotional factors.

Some food for thought… 

3 key words: distance, patience, flexibility… You can’t control everything in life, acceptance is the key to a life that flows!

You want to control? Do you want to be in control? Slow down, settle down, breathe. Come back into the BODY to refocus on your emotions. Leave the head… and get back into the senses. Dance therapy can help you a lot.  

Did you learn anything from this article? 

Help a friend by sharing it on social networks!

And if you suffer from a headache and want to share what worked for you? Share it with us in comments, or ask us your questions.

Headache: natural remedies

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