Got a headache? Good news: You may not need a doctor’s prescription—or even a trip to the drugstore—to treat it. There are effective, all-natural remedies that will alleviate the pain so you can continue on with your day. Try these three super-easy, expert-approved cures.
1. Make a (pressure) point. Tom Ingegno, licensed acupuncturist at Ancient Arts Acupuncture in Baltimore, recommends pressure point massage to put an end to the pounding. That involves applying and holding moderate pressure at specific points on each side of the body, depending on the type of headache and location, for 30 to 45 seconds. For general and sinus headaches, press the belly of the muscle between each thumb and index finger. If your temple’s pounding, go for your feet—start at the webbing between the first and second toe and “finger walk” your way up towards where the two bones meet. Then, slide your finger back slightly and look for the sore point, and press. For headaches at the base of the skull, pinch the area between the high point of each ankle and the Achilles tendon.
2. Do something fishy. Yoga’s Fish Pose promotes blood flow to your head and stretches the neck and back muscles, reducing the stress and fatigue that often produce headaches, says Kimberly Fowler, founder of YAS Fitness Center in Los Angeles. To get into the pose, first lie on your back on the floor, bring your hands—palms down—under your butt. Next, lean on and bend your elbows by pressing them into the floor and lift your chest to the ceiling so your back is arched. Bring your elbows toward each other and drop your head back, towards the floor behind you. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
3. Blend the essentials. Emilie Hoyt, founder of the natural-ingredient skin care company Lather (and longtime migraine sufferer!), recommends essential oils as the fix for every kind of headache. “Essential oils stimulate circulation, alleviate congestion, indirectly raise and lower blood pressure and possibly aid in normalization of hormonal secretion, which can affect migraines.” For tension headaches, inhale a few drops of lavender or rose oil from a tissue. For migraines, blend a few drops of jojoba oil with four drops of chamomile, six drops of lavender and four drops of rose onto a dry washcloth. Fold the cloth so that the oil is not exposed, place it in a refrigerator or freezer until cold, and then rest it on your forehead for five to 15 minutes. Some essential oils may irritate the skin if applied directly, so using a carrier oil like jojoba dilutes the concentration. For sinus headaches, blend a few drops of jojoba oil with three drops of tea tree, eucalyptus, lime and rosemary oils, and apply to wrists.