The Alternative Medicine Guide – Aromatherapy for Migraines
Migraines are a common yet debilitating type of headache. For those that suffer, they’re difficult to treat without medication and other conventional treatments. But aromatherapy is one form of alternative medicine that can be effective in treating migraine symptoms.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to create an aroma that is thought to have healing effects. It’s based on the belief that the sense of smell can affect our emotions, mood, and behavior. In aromatherapy, therapists may use different scents to address a variety of physical and mental issues.
How Can Aromatherapy Help with Migraines?
Aromatherapy is thought to ease migraine symptoms like headaches, nausea, and light sensitivity. It may also help improve relaxation and reduce stress, which can be a major trigger for migraines. Depending on the type of migraine, certain scents may offer more benefits than others.
Essential Oils for Migraine Relief
There are certain essential oils that may be particularly beneficial for those suffering from migraines. Here are a few options worth considering:
- Peppermint: Peppermint essential oil has strong antispasmodic and analgesic properties which can help reduce pain.
- Lavender: Lavender is thought to have calming and soothing effects, and may help decrease inflammation.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is an anti-inflammatory oil that may ease headaches and reduce pain and strain.
- Lemon Balm: Lemon balm is believed to be a natural nerve relaxant and can reduce stress, which can trigger a migraine.
Using Aromatherapy for Migraine Relief
There are several ways to use aromatherapy to treat migraines. Here are the most common:
- Inhaling: One of the most common ways to use essential oils for migraine relief is by inhaling them. Put a few drops in a diffuser and inhale for 15–20 minutes.
- Massage: Massage essential oils with a carrier oil directly onto your temples or the back of your neck. Lavender and eucalyptus are two good choices.
- Baths: Add a few drops of lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus oil to a hot bath for a calming and soothing effect.
- Compresses: Put a few drops of essential oil onto a damp cloth and apply as a compress on the back of your neck or on your forehead.
Aromatherapy may be an effective way to reduce migraine symptoms. However, it’s important to remember that aromatherapy is only a complementary treatment and should not be used in place of conventional treatments. If you’re experiencing severe or chronic migraines, it’s important to speak with your health care provider.