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Tension Headaches --Top 10
Natural Remedies
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Last updated June 2, 2017, originally published March 2, 2010


By Gita Narrayani, Contributing Columnist, and Susan
Callahan, Health Editor


What Are tension headaches?

Among various kinds of headaches,  tension headaches are
the most common. Most adults have a tension headache at
least once a month. About a third of adults have tension
headaches more than twice a month and about 3 in 100
adults have tension headaches more than 15 times a month.

Tension  headaches can be episodic or chronic. Unlike with
migraines, the pain is usually on both sides of the head and
may vary from mild, to moderate to very severe. The
headache may be triggered by stress, eyestrain, sleep
deprivation,
high blood pressure and even caffeine
withdrawal.

Because tension headaches are so common in all parts of the
world, numerous research studies and practices have
developed around the world for treating them. Here are the
Top 10 natural remedies for tension headaches, based on
these research studies:



























1.        
Massage.   A soothing massage is relaxing and is
great for relief from all kinds of pain, including tension
headaches. In 2008, a study sponsored by the Boulder
College of Massage Therapy in Colorado utilized massage as
a treatment for chronic tension headaches.
The participants
received eight 30-minute massages directed primarily at the
neck and shoulders over a 4 week period.

After the first week, the number of headaches reduced by
almost half in the study group and by the end of 4 weeks
there was a further reduction in frequency. The severity of
symptoms was also alleviated by the treatment.

2.        
Herbal Teas.  Chanchal Cabrera Director of Herbal
Studies at the Coastal Mountain College of Healing Arts in
Vancouver, British Columbia advocates herbal teas made
from chamomile and passionflower. Chamomile and
passionflower teas relieve tension headaches by aiding in
relaxation and de-stress the muscles, thereby reducing
pressure on blood vessels. It is this
internal high blood
pressure  which is at the root of many tension headaches.
(Read more about
foods that reduce blood pressure.)

3.        
Chiropractic Treatment Reduces Tension Headaches.
This is another option for both tension and migraine
headaches. In the Australian/New Zealand Journal of
Medicine (December 1978), a study compared joint
manipulation by a chiropractor, general medical practitioner
and a physiotherapist. All the treatments helped in pain
relief, but the patients who received the chiropractic option
felt a greater reduction in pain.

4.        
Lian Gong Relieves Tension Headaches. These are a
series of health exercises with three parts, each having a set
of 18 exercises. Dr. Zhuang Yuan Ming formulated and
developed this art in China in the 1960’s. When a medical
survey was conducted on 1361 patients in 1980, they
reported an improvement up to 98% in pain relief after 2-4
months of training. Many of the exercises are for the neck
and back and help enormously in pain relief.

5.        
Peppermint Oil Is a Natural Remedy for Tension
Headaches
. Peppermint oil can be a good remedy for tension
headaches. This oil has natural relaxant properties and has
been found to relieve pain. One study in 1997 at the
University of Manchester, UK found that a 10% peppermint
oil solution reduced pain as much as acetomenophin
(Tylenol) did.

6.        
Acupressure and Acupuncture.  Another natural cure
is acupressure which is like acupuncture but without the
needles. This helps healing by stimulation of energy channels
called meridians.

Acupuncture also can be effective in reducing tension
headaches. A 2005 study from the Centre for Complimentary
Medicine in the Technische Universität in Munich Germany
discovered that acupuncture can reduce the number of days
you suffer from tension headaches by up to 50%.

7.        
Yoga.   As tension headaches are usually due to
muscular tension, yoga can be an ideal solution. Yoga
exercises or asanas as they are called relax muscles and
thereby provide relief. In a study at the New York Headache
Center in 2008 and published in Current Pain and Headache
Reports 2008, it was found that patients benefited from a 3-
month intensive yoga program.

8.        
Reflexology.  This is a method where pressure is
applied to parts of the feet and sometimes the hands and
ears, to exert a positive impact on other parts of the body.
This treatment has been found to be effective in pain relief of
tension headaches. In 2008, a blind random trial of 32
patients in Denmark found that a reflexology treatment of 12
sessions helped considerably in alleviation of pain.

9.        
Tai Chi.  A low-impact mind-body synchronized
exercise program, Tai Chi has been found beneficial in
tension headaches. At the University of California Los
Angeles in 2008, a research team conducted a 15-week Tai
Chi program and found that it was effective in reducing
headaches. Tai Chi focuses on relaxation, breathing and
coordination and this may help relieve stress, which is the
primary trigger in tension headaches.

10.        
Hypnotherapy.  This treatment induces a state of
deep relaxation and is guided by a hypnotherapist. In 1996,
a 12-member team of the National Institute of Health
Technology Assessment Panel on Integration of Behavioral
and Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic
Pain and Insomnia came to the conclusion that research and
other evidence pointed to the efficacy of hypnosis in the
treatment of chronic pain, including tension headaches.





































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Practicing Tai Chi can help reduce
tension headaches, new research
shows.