The best cure for tension headaches is to remove the source of tension.  What if that is not possible?  Next is adjusting our reaction to the source.  Everyday functioning is hard enough to do without concentrating on our reacton to some irritating source that won’t go away.  Relaxing is the opposite of tension but who can relax when tension is all around us?

A number of things combined may create headaches that manifests as a tension headache.  One of the first sources one can control is one’s food intake.  Make sure it is a pain-free diet by avoiding foods containing nitrites and sulfites which dilate capillaries and increase blood flow to the brain.  These foods are processed meat products (hot dogs, lunch meat) caffeine, and chocolate.  One may have to remove dairy products also if pain persists, also check with dentist to make sure your teeth are not the source of the pounding headaches.

Natural cures include use of the pressure point method to try relieving tension by pressing the shallow indention in the back of the head at the skull’s base.  At the same time, firmly press the upper hollows of the eye sockets and the bridge of the nose( the “T” of the eyebrow bridge).  Press softly at first then more firmly and hold.  Repeat three to five minutes, and do this as often as needed.  Chili pepper compound contains capsaicin which blocks substance P, the body’s protein that is a nerotransmitter (a biochemical substance that carries nerve messages) of pain.  Aspirin blocks this message and the body is not “aware” consciously of the pain.  Another remedy is Willow bark tea which contains salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin.  One teaspoon in a strainer per cup of hot water is the ratio for this tea.  Drink while warm.  If one is a caffeine “addict”, the withdrawal from the addictive source has to be gradual or a “tension headache” can be the result of too much too soon.  Another headache remedy is pepperment oil in 10% solution applied to forehead and temples.  Use pepperment oil as directed on the bottle.  Avoid daily use of pain killers such as medications with acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or other drugs.

A herbal bath with one or more of the following: basil, catnip, chamomile flowers, comfrey, elder (whole plant), evening primose flowers, hyssop, jasmine flowers, juniper berries, lemon balm, linden flowers, marshmallow roots, melilot, mullein, passion flowers, rose flowers, slippery elm inner bark, tansy flowers, valerian roots, vervain (whole plant) and violet.  Valerian and sweet flag are good for relief of tension.  Place 1 cup of dried herbs in cloth pouch to soak in hot water until your body can stand to get in and soak.  Take a soaking bath every night for several days in a row.  A herbal “health” store is a good place to start looking for already mixed herbs for relieving aches.

A combination of two or more methods may bring faster relief — as in tea and pressure point.  Watch what you combine especially in intake.  Methods such as relaxation and getting away from a tension source are not as dangerous as taking too much peppermint oil and chili pepper at the same time!  A hot soothing bath sounds so nice I think I’ll go soak for awhile.