Are you experiencing headaches at the same time every month? You might be dealing with hormonal headaches. Although they are a headache to deal with, there are ways to relieve the pain and reduce the risk of future headaches naturally.
What are hormonal headaches?
Hormonal headaches are headaches that are caused or triggered by changes in sex hormone levels, as the name suggests. They may also be referred to as menstrual headaches if they occur around your period.
Hormonal headaches can occur at any time when hormones fluctuate, including ovulation and even through peri-menopause. But most typically, they will occur between 3-4 days prior to menstruation through to 1-2 days into it. This is because of the rapid change in oestrogen and progesterone levels that occurs right before your period starts.
Simple tips to reduce hormonal headaches
No one likes to have a headache, especially when you might already be feeling glum or grumpy! This post on PMS is sure to help you also – Read HERE
Make sure you’re hydrated – dehydration is a leading cause of non-hormonal headaches. Staying hydrated is a good way to make sure you’re not dealing with two headaches in one! But hydration is also essential for hundreds of functions in the body, including those that influence hormone levels. When you feel your headache coming on, have 1-2 cups of water. It won’t hurt, and it might just help.
Try some magnesium – Magnesium is nature’s relaxation mineral. It helps to relax muscles, as well as calming the nervous system. Add some Epsom salts to your bath or munch on magnesium-rich foods like nuts and green leafy veg. If the headaches are particularly severe, a practitioner-level supplement may be beneficial.
Take care of your sleep and stress levels – both sleep and stress can play a role in hormones, but also in how sensitive you are to pain. If you’re sleeping poorly or highly stressed, you’re more likely to experience more pain. So get plenty of shut-eye, and find ways to minimise stress.
How acupuncture and Chinese medicine view hormonal headaches
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are many different channels that run through the head. To treat hormonal headaches effectively, the channel or channels that are imbalanced for that individual need to be identified.
In some cases, headaches are caused by having too much stuck energy or qi around the head, making it feel full. Others have ‘deficient’ headaches, meaning there isn’t enough energy flowing to the head because it stuck elsewhere in the body.
There are many different ways to help rebalance the system and relieve headaches. A combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet and lifestyle changes can work together to address the issue.
As acupuncture restores energy flow throughout the body based on a person’s specific case, the acupuncture points treated for one person will differ from the next. Depending on the underlying problem, an acupuncturist may treat both local and distal points to help relieve the pain. The goal is to also treat the root cause, so that the headaches don’t return.
How massage can help with hormonal headaches
Massage can also be beneficial for those suffering from hormonal headaches. Some of the ways that massage can help to relieve the pain of your headaches include:
- Reducing the stress hormones of the body naturally
- Encouraging the release of endorphins, a type of feel-good chemical that help relieve pain
- Increased release of brain chemicals dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, which make you feel happier and less sensitive to pain
- A massage may also incorporate essential oils that help you to feel more relaxed
Put an end to the monthly hormonal headache. Make the time to see one of our practitioners today.