Lots of folks complain of nagging, occasional and mild headaches. Taking pain pills has been shown to be harsh on digestion and should be used sparingly at most.
According to Ayurveda, there are two reasons for an occasional mild headache. Perhaps the most common type of discomfort is from stress or tension, where the muscles around the head and neck contract temporarily, causing sluggish blood flow. This block of blood flow can cause occasional discomfort usually from the back of the head spreading to the forehead.
The second most common cause is vascular discomfort. Vascular discomfort happens as a result of stress, where the vessels in the head and neck first contract, and then expand and dilate. The expansion can cause vascular pressure and discomfort, usually in the forehead or sides of head and spreading to the whole head.
Ayurvedic Therapy for Occasional Headaches
To help support both types of head discomfort and pressure there is a classic Ayurvedic technique called, “Heat to the Feet and Cold to the Head.”
In the cases of both vascular and tension types, compromised circulation of blood into the head and neck is a factor. In the case of tension, the blood cannot get in, and in the case of vascular pressure, the blood cannot get out.
Heat to the Feet
When you put heat to the feet, the vessels in the feet, which are many, begin to dilate. This increases circulation and pulls blood from the rest of the body to the feet. Areas of congested circulation are often released in this process. To apply heat to the feet, wrap them in a towel with hot water bottles or dunk them in a warm foot bath for 20 minutes.
Cold to the Head
Putting cold cloths or even an ice pack on the head will help constrict the vessels in the head and pump congested blood from the tension and congestion in the head towards the feet – improving circulation. Meanwhile, the heat on your feet is pulling this congested circulation down quickly and efficiently by dilating (sweating) the vessels in the feet. Contracting the vessels in the head and dilating the vessels in the feet gives the body improved circulation and new blood flow for moving toxins and congestion out of the body.
Lie down on your back while doing this and stay reclined for 20-30 minutes. It is best if someone can be monitoring the hot and cold packs for you – keeping the head cold and the feet hot. Both the hot and cold should be comfortable, but significant in degrees.
This therapy is best for occasional mild headaches, not frequent or migraine headaches. Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing frequent or migraine headaches.