Natural Headache Remedy?
Question: Dr. Dan, I have a headache right now. What natural remedies do you recommend for headaches?
I’m going to give you a piece of advice few people consider when treating headaches – stop thinking.
One of the simplest things you can do to treat your headache is take five to ten minutes and lay down in a comfortable position, turn off the lights, close the curtains, and let yourself relax. In those ten minutes, stop controlling your mind and just let it go. Let it run free. You can visualize this as going to a dog park for your mind, where you take your mind off its leash and let it go. And as it’s thinking about this or that, or jumping between this thought and that thought, consciously change your processing of the pain you are experiencing.
Remember, most of us wrestle with our minds every minute of every day, and this takes a physical toll on our bodies. It’s stressful to deal with an overwhelmed mind. So let it relax.
Use a meditation app
For those who need help creating this habit, a good meditation app can help with moving you into that space where you can let your mind run free while still feeling like you’re in a safe environment. Personally, I recommend the Cleveland Clinic Stress app for these short meditations (non-affiliate link).
Thinking too much
As an osteopathic doctor, I meet patients every day who, quite simply, think way too much. When it comes to their health, they come in with a mountain of health concerns. They’ve done their research and they’re convinced their symptoms add up to condition A, B, or C. For some, it becomes an obsession. They’re constantly online, they’re constantly identifying symptoms, they’re constantly asking others online what their symptoms could indicate. They are constantly thinking.
Stress causes headaches
Research tells us that stress contributes greatly to headaches. As you probably have experienced, thinking is a physical activity. Overthinking literally stresses your body.
So if you experience headaches, I recommend you minimize your thinking time. If you worry too much, set aside “worry time” in your day where you sit and write down all of the things you are worried about. And once your “worry time” is up, don’t allow your mind to go around and around in circles worrying.
When we’re stressed and exhausted, we can feel depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. But stress is a normal part of life. No matter what we do, it will cross our path. If you are careless and do not make relaxation a part of your lifestyle, you will experience headaches, depression, anxiety, and even physical pain. But if you can recognize the power of not thinking and the benefits that come with relaxing, stress becomes just another part of life. It does not have to affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Thank you for reading!
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Dr. Dan Williams is an internationally trained doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) and a certified acupuncture practitioner. Dr. Dan is based out of Indianapolis. You can find more information by visiting drdanielwilliams.com.
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