I used to suffer from migraines. So not only do I have some personal experience on this subject, I completely sympathise with anyone who also suffers from migraines. Mine were completely debilitating at times and I would spend hours just lying in a dark room waiting for the pain to pass.
Today, my migraines are rare. When I do get one they are nowhere near as bad as they were. I was never comfortable using lots of prescription medications and often didn’t use any because I didn’t want the side effects. Instead, I found a couple of natural ways to deal with the migraines; massage therapy and essential oils for migraine relief.
In this article, I will share everything I learned about using essential oils to reduce my migraines and headaches. If you’ve never used oils to help with your migraines, it’s absolutely worth trying. Oils are a fun and natural way to absorb healing properties. There are no side effects, and some of the relaxing and rejuvenating feelings you get just can’t be matched with medicines.
Which Essential Oils Are Good for Migraines?
Lavender oil is commonly used to help reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It has natural pain reducing properties and it can help calm you down just from the lovely floral scent. It also has anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. If you feel a migraine coming on, lay down and diffuse some lavender.
Roman Chamomile Oil
Roman chamomile has a lot of similar properties to lavender. If you don’t like the lavender scent then this oil can be a consideration. It has a strong, crisp scent and is commonly used to help relieve stress.
I use eucalyptus oil with steam therapy to help relieve my sinusitis. Which was often connected to my headaches and compounded the pain. This is one of the best essential oils for sinus headache pain or if you have a cold.
Menthol is a strong pain relieving compound. Peppermint oil is great being diffused or used with steam in a hot bath or neti pot. Menthol has a lovely calming effect and the scent is fresh and relaxing.
Wintergreen oil uses a herb that has strong aspirin-like properties. So it’s a natural alternative to popping pills, which is always a good choice. It reduces pain all over the body and will take the edge off a strong migraine fairly quickly.
How to Use the Best Essential Oils to Treat Migraines and Headaches
There a few ways you can use oils and it’s going to depend on how you feel and what you’re comfortable with. A lot of people like to gently massage the oil into their temples, or have someone do it for them. Always dilute the oils with a carrier first and blend it well. If this is too painful, or you just want to relax there are some other options.
I like using diffusers to diffuse the oil into the air around me personally. This allows me to just lay down and relax and let the diffuser do the work. If you use a relaxing oil like lavender it’s easy to fall asleep which is nice. You can also put a few drops on your pillow if you’re lying on the bed.
What Causes Migraines and Headaches?
It’s really hard to narrow what causes headaches and migraines and when you’re about to have one. Some people maintain a log and make notes on how frequent they are and what times of the day. Sometimes you can find a pattern, but in most instances you’re not going to be able to figure it out. Some of the more common things that cause headaches include:
- Stressful and hectic lifestyle
- Certain foods
- Poor nutrition
- Being over tired and not getting enough sleep
- Exposure to light and noise
As you can see, some of these are under your control to a certain degree. So it’s worth making some lifestyle changes along with using oils and medicines to find a good, healthy balance that works.
Essential Oils vs Traditional Medicines
Most people fall into either one category or the other. I like to use a blend of both traditional medicines and alternative medicines. There’s no reason why the two can’t complement each other, and used in combination you will see much better results.
The main drawback with traditional meds is side effects. It can be said that no tablets come without side effects. They can range from mild and unnoticeable, to some pretty severe side effects. Essential oils on the other hand do not have side effects. There are some precautions to be aware of which I cover below, but they are generally very safe to use.
Another factor is the cost. Although you can’t really put a cost on your health. Oils are a lot less expensive than traditional medicines, so that’s an added bonus.
Precautions and Using Essential Oils Responsibly
It’s worth mentioning that persistent migraines and headaches can be an underlying issue for other health problems. You should always take the advice of a healthcare professional before treating yourself.
When you start using oils you should always act with caution and follow the guidelines on the bottles and the manufacturers advice closely. Oils are safe when used correctly, but using them incorrectly could potentially cause some health risks.
Some oils may not be applicable for use with certain medicines too. Seek advice regarding your specific medicine before use. But with proper use and a short trial period I’m sure you will be fine. I know several other people aside from myself that have found tremendous benefit from oils. I wish you the same.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.