Headaches are arguably the worst epidemic in the world that affects everyone, young and old. At one time or another, most people suffer from headaches. When suffering from a headache, most people reach for Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen. While pain killers offer temporary relief, they do not address the root cause of the headache and often headaches return.
Ayurveda, the traditional medicine from our rich land, is a holistic, natural approach to health and well being. Ayurveda utilizes herbs to offer natural relief while striving to correct internal imbalances. More importantly, Ayurveda looks toward a person’s lifestyle as the primary cause of headaches.
Headaches fall into three major categories: Migraine headaches, cluster headaches and tension headaches. These are caused due to aggravation of three different doshas. Headaches are also caused by:
- Over work
- Mental stress
- It may also be present as a symptom of some disease
- Excessive consumption of tea, coffee, aspirin or nicotine is also known to contribute to headache
- Nervous weakness
- Deficiency of oxygen in the blood
- Sitting too close to the television
- Reading with insufficient light
- Reading in a moving train or car
The goal of Ayurveda is to restore balance and optimum function within the patient. This is accomplished through proper diet, herbs, exercise and stress reduction. Stress reduction includes meditation, yoga and the creation of a harmonious lifestyle.
It is the creation of a harmonious lifestyle that is the most challenging for patients. Caught in a cycle of crisis management and struggling to survive, many patients are just keeping their head above water. The busier we become, the more our lifestyle suffers and the more difficult it is to take proper care of ourselves. It is no wonder we get sick. If a plants needs are ignored, it wilts. If a cars needs are ignored, it breaks down. If a humans needs are ignored, we suffer and become ill.
A harmonious life is one that supports the body to function optimally. It is a lifestyle that is relaxed and at ease. This does not mean laziness or a lack of productivity. Just the opposite, a person living a harmonious life can be more productive as they are sick less and their mind and body are clear and able to focus.
Try these simple practices to bring harmony and balance into your life and see if your headaches are improved.
- Simple cooked vegetables without oil, vegetable juices and soup, fruits like apple, mango, grapes and fruit juices should be taken in sample quantities. Rice, salad and buttermilk are also good.
- Some sweets and milk products can be taken moderately with small quantities of nuts.
- Hot cow milk is very good to drink.
- Avoid fried foods, meat, sour and spicy food.
- Yogurt should be avoided, especially at night.
- Adequate rest should be taken and exposure to cold, heat and rain should be avoided.
- The natural urges (sneezing, passing stool and urine, hunger, thirst, sleep, breathing and yawning etc.) should not be suppressed.
- The patient should also try to keep the mind free from anxiety, anger, mental tension and worry.
Equipped with a deep understanding of the root causes of headaches and lifestyle changes that help in avoiding headaches, we will lead much happier headache-free lives.