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Four Steps to Relieving a Tension Headache

The last weekend before Christmas is always crazy! If you’re on the island like me, this also means you’ve been without power this weekend! The stores are crazy, the weather is crazy….it is feeling hard to stay organized this week. If the extra crazy has brought on a little tension, here is my 5 step process to relieve a tension headache and how to incorporate your essential oils. I always like to try natural methods first, it often works if you catch it early enough.

One thing to keep in mind, like western medications, essential oils can take 20 minutes to two hours to start taking effect. I like to start by apply the oil so it gets working asap for me.

1. Apply your essential oils! Make sure they have been properly diluted in a carrier oil, you can also use my Head-Helper roll-on, designed specifically for headaches. I like to apply it to my temples, back of my neck and traps. I usually roll on and massage in.

2. Apply heat. I use a neck pillow, throw it in the microwave and voila!

3. Use peanut or massager on neck/traps. Once my heat bag has cooled, I use a roller for the back of my neck/head and traps. If you have someone near by, I’m sure they could help you out! If you don’t have a roller, a tennis ball or hockey ball work great. I usually apply pressure as it feels good.

4. Drink lots of water. Water helps flush toxins out of the body. If you’re massaging the area, different chemicals may be released in the body bringing out toxins in the body πŸ™‚

When we have busy days we sometimes forget to drink water (I’m guilty…it usually starts with forgetting my water bottle at home). When you become dehydrated, your brain tissue shrinks causing it to pull away from the skull. This often causes headaches and can be solved with hydration!

As someone who suffers from chronic migraines and headaches, the best thing you can do for yourself is listen to your body, respect its needs and rest! Making sure you notice when it’s coming makes a huge difference too πŸ™‚ if I can catch it at the early stages, I usually start drinking water and I apply my roll on and massage it in. Often times this is enough to stop it !

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Why Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are EVERYWHERE these days. It’s a great and a bad thing. The term ‘aromatherapy’ means using essential oils from plants for improving or maintaining health and beauty.

EOs are organic compounds and may react to light, temperature, air and time. They are volatile at room temperature and shouldn’t leave you feeling greasy. It takes them anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours + to penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream. Yes, you ready that right…into your blood stream.

Essential oils are extracted from plants using a variety of methods, usually with distillation or expression. An essential oil has the β€œessential” aromatic and chemical properties of that plant.

Essential oils are made up of minute molecules that are very easily absorbed. Each oil has a unique chemical composition of terpenes, esters, oxides, alcohols, phenols, ketones, and aldehydes. These components interact with bodily systems, and depending on the essential oil support various systems of the body.

I’ll write more another day about how they work πŸ™‚ For now, let’s chat 5 reasons why you should use them.

1. They’re versatile. No, there isn’t one oil to rule them all…but we can get close. Take an oil like peppermint. Peppermint has 10 properties: analgesic, antiseptic, decongestant, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory and on. This means you can solve a lot of problems with one tiny amber bottle. This also means that you can use them for anything from low energy to chronic pain.

2. They’re natural! Hollaaa, they are from plants. There is a reason the use of essential oils can be dated back around 5000 years. I’d rather start natural and use western medicine if I absolutely must. No point filling my body with shit if I don’t have to πŸ™‚

3. They work to help heal the body and to help relieve symptoms as apposed to masking them.

4. You can skip the chemical dyes and scents. No not all essential oils smell awesome, but some do! The scents of the forest, rose, coffee, amber, citrus, eucalyptus…yum.

5. You can clean with them! If you have dogs and kids that lick everything (hopefully that’s not just my house), natural cleaners are important. Your skin also absorbs everything you put on it, which means every night you do the dishes or clean the bathroom, your skin is lapping up the Vim, lysol or whatever it is you’re using.

Now, like anything there are risks. If you are pregnant, prone to high blood pressure, epilepsy etc. it is important to check with a certified aromatherapist before using.

Different oils and uses require different dilutions. It is important to understand how to dilute your EOs for topical use. Please please use safely. Make sure their properties align.