For everything from anxious feelings to a cold and sinus congestion, there are a number of natural remedies you can use to help relieve head and neck tension. Work, play, socializing, you name it – as you already well know migraines, neck pain, and general headaches can be a burden on your life.
First, our obligatory disclaimer: While we personally use these as substitutes for prescription drugs and over the counter medications, we are not physicians and therefore cannot make any specific drug claims. These are results we find successful in our home. Okay, moving on…
5 Tips for dealing with headaches and neck pain
Before we present our favorite natural remedy for head and neck tension, here are a few basic tips for relieving your pain:
- Eat nuts: For the typical everyday tension-related headache, certain nuts like almonds can be a great natural pain reliever. Almonds contain something called salicin, which is a property that is commonly used in over the counter killers.
- Apple cider vinegar: This remedy has a lengthy history for its many health benefits, used for a range of ailments. If you feel head or neck pain coming on, make an apple cider vinegar (ACV) compress with ¼ cup of ACV, 3 cups of boiling water, and 1 cup of cool water.
- Stretch and relax: Considering our busy, fast-paced society, sometimes relaxation is all it takes to eliminate tension. Doing yoga, practicing breathing exercises, and stretching your body can help relieve head and neck tension.
- Exercise: An aching head and neck generally does not spark a desire for physical activity In fact, it’s usually the last thing you want to do. But getting regular exercise, establishing routines, and enjoying nature can invigorate both your mind, body, and soul.
- Heat or ice: This is a tricky one, because what may clear up a headache for one person, might do the opposite for another. It all comes down to the muscles and blood vessels. You’ll have to play around with it, but head pain stemming from tension and anxiety can get worse with ice. Just remember that if the headache worsens, you’ll want to remove the heat or ice immediately.
Aromatherapy – a healthy natural alternative
Natural remedies like essential oils can also help relieve the burdening pains from head and neck tension. While there are many different oils you can apply, the top two we use are lavender and peppermint.
Rubbing a couple drops of peppermint around your temples, or applying a few drops in a bath or shower, can offer significant relief. Note: Peppermint, particularly when mixed with citrusy oils like orange and lemon, can also give you bursts of energy. Peppermint also promotes good respiratory health, which can make it effective at relieving sinus pressure.
Another aromatherapy option, lavender can also naturally help ease head and neck pain. It can be particularly effective when tension stems from stress or a poor mood. It is a calming oil that is best applied by:
- Running 3 to 5 drops through a diffuser in your home or office. If the pain is keeping you up at night, place the diffuser on your nightstand or near your bed.
- Applying topically to your temples or wrists. The oil seeps into the bloodstream within a matter of seconds, providing you instant relief.