When I was growing up I got headaches ALL the time. I feel like they were almost daily throughout elementary school. In high school they were here and there, but as a young adult and up until about 5 years ago I truly was getting headaches daily.
So, let's talk headaches. There are all types of headaches and part of my problem-o was A) I didn't know that and B) even when I learned that, I wasn't always sure which kind of headache I had. We've got Sinus, Cluster, Tension and Migraine.
Sinus: pain is usually behind the forehead and/or cheekbones.
Cluster: pain is in and around one eye.
Tension: pain is like a band squeezing the forehead.
Migraine: pain, nausea and visual changes are typical.
As an adult I was diagnosed with three types of headaches, one of which isn't even mentioned. Sinus and migraine were the "easy" ones to diagnose, but get this, I was also diagnosed with daily chronic headaches! What-the-what!?! Yes! DAILY CHRONIC HEADACHE. So, if using the descriptions above I would say they were somewhere between a cluster and a migraine. Awful!
I clearly suffered and had a hard time figuring out what in the world to do about them (aside from popping heavy amounts of ibuprofen) - hence me having them daily. Before I was blessed with essential oils in my life, I finally discovered a few things that helped me tremendously, but still wasn't pain-free, plus I was putting toxins in my body, but didn't even realize or think anything of it. Mainly because I trusted Western medicine and was following doctors orders.
For my Migraines I was prescribed Sumatriptan. Boy did these work. Within 20 minutes of popping this pill my migraine was under control and well on it's way to being gone. The drawback (that I was aware of even at that time) was that it's also used for epilepsy. Oh and for some reason every time I took one of these pills I would get a horrible pain in my jaw. Especially the first bite of food I tried to chew. It didn't matter if it was 1 minute, 10 minutes or an hour after taking the pill. It burned, hurt, ached and was more than uncomfortable for about 5-10 minutes of eating. But hey - no more migraine.
Second, for my sinus headaches it was suggested that I take an over-the-counter 24 hour allergy med. So I did what any rule follower does, I took my daily dose of the allergy pill every morning.
Last, and probably my best choice thus far, was taking Iodoral supplements every day. This one was "natural" and is an iodine/potassium supplement. I do believe it certainly helped, but I still suffered in some form or fashion until essential oils were brought into our home.
Which leads me to, I wish I had oils when...I had consistent headaches.
I've been able to eliminate ALL of the above. No more ibuprofen, 24 hour allergy pill, Sumatriptan or Iodoral. Now I very rarely get headaches and when I do I know the exact reason - lack of water and/or food. So what's my secret sauce? I know you're probably going to expect (and want) me to blurt out an oil, but if you are truly interested in what's helped me that's not the first on my list.
First, I'm going to recommend doTERRA's Lifelong Vitality supplements
. Seriously a supplement! Why? The short of it is because these bad boys will get everything in your body on point and operating at its peak. These have helped me tremendously in many areas of my life, but head tension is certainly high on that list of extremely noticeable differences.
Second, I'm going to recommend doTERRA's Peppermint. Especially for a sinus pressure/tension, but honestly my go-to first oil of choice these days when that ache starts creeping in. The cooling sensation and scent are the best! It opens up your airways and is just all around an amazing oil. For the next level up in pain, I would say doTERRA's PastTense. It's strong and potent and can address tension or cluster really well. I'll tell you to use caution when putting it on your temples, because this oil blend is undiluted and super strong. For that reason I don't recommend using it on a kiddo without diluting it with fractionated coconut oil or your carrier oil of choice.
I have two more combos to share. They are a little more involved, but do work wonders.
1) I will do a drop of Frankincense on my thumb, then press and hold my thumb to the roof of my mouth for about 2 minutes. In addition I will take a Copaiba pill (or oil if that's all you've got). Then I will lay down where I can totally stretch out my body (which you should do) and I focus on my breathing, deep, deep breath in....long exhale. I do this for about 5 minutes and 9 times out of 10 the head tension has already subsided.
2) Another combo that I've found that works wonders when you don't have the luxury of laying down, is Litsea and Manuka. Now, these will be harder for those of us in the United States to come by, unless you're like me and stocked up when we were able to buy these oils from the Australia/New Zealand market. I put Manuka on my temples and across my forehead, then do 2 drops of Litsea in my hands - rub on the back of my neck. I then also cup my hands together and breathe in and out for a couple minutes.
I know there are lots of other great combos and oils that work wonders on head tension and related issues, but these are what I've found work for me. I think the best thing is to avoid getting them altogether, right? I mean if you can prevent that unwanted pain from coming on in the first place that's your best bet! Then having the resources and tools to turn to when one sneaks up is key.