‘Pop a panadol’, ‘just take an aspirin’. Two phrases that in my opinion is far too common in our western society. We live in a world where people will give painkiller to an infant on a plane just so they will sleep. We pop a pill several times a week or even every day just to survive at work or to recover from that nasty hangover.
Before I cleaned up my diet and made my health a priority in my life, this was totally me. I grew up in a family where popping over the counting prescriptions was the norm. My mum was a nurse; so she never batted an eyelid at giving me some medication for pain. This is not digging at my mum as she did the best job she could. It wasn’t until after I had my kidney removed that I really started to question this.
As I cleaned up my diet and removed chemicals from my environment by eating more organic food, using natural/organic personal care and household products, my headaches slowly became less and less until now I very rarely get a headache and I can normally tolerate it until it passes.
My feeling on this is that my headache is body’s gentle way of telling me to stop doing something because it hurts or to take it back a notch because I am burning the candle at both ends or even simply (and most often) its saying just drink some bloody water! Well that’s a novel idea; isn’t it? Drinking a few glasses of H2O before reaching for the packet.
It seems like we now live in a world where we just don’t want to experience pain or discomfort. It’s easier to take a pill and numb the pain than it is to look deeper and take the effort into finding the real cause of the problem.
The attitude that people have on this seems to have a knock on effect. Whenever we don’t want to feel pain in any part of our lives, we just pop a pill or take something to numb the pain. It sounds so cliché but it’s totally true!
Feel pain…. Take a pill
Feel pain…. Have a drink
Feel pain (including stress) …. Have a line of coke
Feel pain……. Eat some food.
Feel pain…..smoke a cigarette
Are you seeing a pattern here? I use to be that person so I am not casting judgment here. I just want to bring awareness to the patterns that we have created in our life, most of which is learned behavior from our culture.
So if you are still reading this; I am guessing that you may be getting headaches and you might be at the point where they are really starting to give you a case of the apple squirts?
So, before you reach for the pain killer, next time your head starts throbbing; perhaps take a moment to think about the areas of your life that may be causing the problem.
- Water. Ok captain obvious… everyone knows this right? But do they really? We are made of 60-70% water and it is possible that 90% of all headaches are actually from dehydration. Drink 2 glasses of clean filtered water and wait 20 min to see if you feel better. You should be drinking at least 2 liters a day. No; coffee or beer, do not count in the equation! If you don’t like the taste of water flavour, mix it with mint or lemon or ginger or drink herbal teas.
- Caffeine. Do you find you get a headache if you don’t have your morning caffeine fix? This is a sure sign of addiction and is also a cause of many headaches for people. Tea and Coffee are diuretics and therefore can cause dehydration in the body. Try cutting back on the amount you consume slowly over time. I’m not saying that you should not have it but I think one cup a day for your coffee or tea ritual is more than enough. It is also a good idea to have a break for a while every now and then. Match every cup of caffeinated beverage you have with a glass of water ON TOP of your daily amount of required water. Don’t forget there is also caffeine in green tea as well as energy drinks like red bull.
- Processed foods. Most packaged foods are full of flavours, colours and preservatives. All of these can cause headaches especially if you are having a lot of them and the body can not cope with the load.
- Environments Toxins. Start to look at what chemicals you are putting into your mouth and onto your skin as well as the chemicals in your environment. They all add up and can put a toxic load on our liver which can in effect cause many headaches as I experienced first hand for many years. This includes personal care and cleaning products
- Stress. Again another captain obvious point you may think but the important question is how do you manage it? Are you in a stressed state all the time? Stress above everything else can have diabolical effects on your health. Taking some deep slow breaths is often the best way to manage it and it doesn’t require too much effort. Just a little bit of awareness. If you want to know more about this watch my Vblog about breathing.
- A healthy nervous system. I have just started seeing a chiropractor for no particular reason other than to maintain/ improve my health. I was totally scared off by chiropractors when I had my kidney removed as I was going to be adjusted for what I thought was back pain. It turned out that it was actually it was my kidney that was bleeding internally! However, I have recently learnt about the holistic philosophy chiropractors take from listening to the Wellness Guys Podcasts, so I thought I would give it another go. Keeping your nervous system in check is extremely important for your health and sometimes an ill functioning nervous system can be the cause of the problem. This can also include problems with the Jaw etc so if your headaches are chronic, it may be worth investigating
- Loads up on the Plants. Make sure you supply your body with all the nutrients that it needs. This perhaps may not be the main cause of a headache (or it could be) but it will most definitely help the overall functioning of your body.
- Sugar. It is as addictive to the body as cocaine. If you are addicted, it can give you a headache the same as caffeine simply from having withdrawals. Some people also find they get a headache when they have too much sugar in their diet but they may not be aware of it. Sarah Wilson does a fabulous sugar detox program called “I quit Sugar”. I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy to do but it is well designed and it will stop you from craving the white stuff.