How to Naturally Get Rid of a Headache Using Massage
It turns out that many of us — including myself — spend our days with clenched teeth or jaws. Ever heard of TMJ? And let’s be honest: there’s a lot of annoying-ass things that happen throughout the day where it’s just easier to hold it in, than explode your feelings onto all of your co-workers. But clenching and keeping that in isn’t great, either. This has been a dilemma of mine for, well, years now that I think about it. There are many methods of attempting to fix this that I’ve tried, including acupuncture, breathing exercises, and, I guess, de-stressing completely and surrounding yourself with an all-around calm (sounds idyllic, right?). None have really, totally worked. I believe the acupuncture has helped me immensely in a multitude of ways, but I don’t go often enough to offset my daily stress currently. But then I read this article at Prevention. It seems to hold up!
The trick? Find your masseter muscles on each side of your face. They’re in dark red in the chart below, and it turns out they can be tight as a result of your jaw-clenching. They’re our target for the massage and eventual headache relief.
How to do it:
Step one: Lightly massage your masseter muscles on each side of your face while you open your jaw as far as you can.
Step two: Next, sloooooowly close your jaw until your lips meet. You can include breathing techniques here if you’d like.
Step three: Repeat until headache is gone.
I was skeptical at first, I’ll admit it! But I have always had an issue with clenching my jaw and gritting my teeth during the day. [I don’t think I grind or clench while I sleep, but who really knows?] It’s always come up at the dentist when they notice my teeth are slightly dulled, and am always asked “Do you grind your teeth?” No. The follow-up question always tends to be “Do you clench your jaw often?” Bingo! So I’m ultra-aware of this issue and know I’ve still got a long way to go. That said, I have a lot of natural products I use to remedy headaches, too. So if the massage doesn’t work…
More Natural Remedies for Headaches
Peppermint Essential Oil (organic, therapeutic grade only): If you’re an oil-lover like me, you likely have a million blends for every different malady that you can choose from if needed. Of all my essential oils, Peppermint does the trick for my headaches. For me, I’m all about the solo oils, straight. It is recommended that you mix your essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba, but over the years I’ve learned that my skin can take certain oils straight to the skin (and that I don’t mind the burning just me? lol). However you choose to prepare your peppermint oil, I recommend putting it directly onto your temples and third eye area. It works quickly.
A CBD salve or lotion: Regardless of your opinion on marijuana, it’s hard to argue with the medicinal effects of CBD. I’ve been lucky to try a wide range of CBD products from patches to bath bombs, but what I really like for a headache is some CBD. I just take a bit in my finger and massage it into wherever is hurting, but namely my temples and third eye. I’ve even jade rolled with it, which is an experience I strongly recommend. The CBD products I’ve used lately for headaches are Papa + Barkley’s releaf balm, Mary Jane Medicinals salve, Prestige CBD’s salve, and Apothecanna’s relieving cream.
Boiron homeopathic meds: In the rare cases that I find myself sick, I’ll stop by my natural health food store and stop by the Borion shelf. They have a fix for pretty much everything (sinus, indegestion, and I love their “coldcalm”) and they also have a bottle of pills (Kali Phosphoricum) as small as a chapstick that you can take with you anywhere.
Weed: When the pain gets TRULY bad and if you’re able to… you know the drill.
What are your natural remedies for headaches? Leave ‘em in the comments below!