Serenity with water
For thousands of years ancient cultures have used water as a natural medicine to treat a number of ailments, especially those brought on by stress or excessive tension. It is an effective therapy for many ailments, including headaches.
+ Egyptians, Chinese, Hebrews, Greeks and native Americans used sources of water for their healing properties to treat illnesses and injuries. Today, the method of using water therapeutically has been readopted and introduced as a beauty treatment, to relieve inflammations, to relax muscles and for its detoxifying and purifying properties. In addition hydrotherapy may work wonders against stress, which is why this therapy is so commonly used to treat symptoms related to backaches, anxiety and headaches.
You should always consult your physician before taking hydrotherapy practices.
WASHING THE FEET AND HANDS
Footbaths may be a very beneficial therapy for relieving headaches, but you should take certain precautions such as using this remedy in a warm room to avoid colds and flu. It's most effective to use this therapy before going to bed, cover up well directly after the bath. Soak your feet, covering the entire foot up to the ankles, with hot water for 15 minutes. Simultaneously apply a cold compress on your head. The hot water will stimulate and open the blood vessels in your feet and the cold compress will constrict the blood vessels in the brain, which may help the pain to disappear. For the foot bath you can alternate hot and cold water. You may use the therapy that stimulates and affects the points on the feet that reflect the nerves.
For headaches, compresses may be the most effective therapy to relieve pain. Use linen clothes soaked in cold water. Wring the cloth out and fold several times. Apply to the head for 10 minutes.
Baths are great to relax you, reduce your anxiety and to relieve chronic pain; they are used to stimulate and improve blood circulation. It's best to take warm baths when the water temperature is between 97 to 100°F/36 to 38°C and to stay in the water for 20 minutes. After taking a bath, dry off and cover up, cozy in bed and rest for 30 to 40 minutes.
As steam decongests, it may be used to relieve headaches caused by colds and flu. Breath steam from boiling water (you can use water alone or with aromatic herbs) for 10 to 15 minutes. Afterward, cover up or lie down in bed for at least half an hour, until you stop sweating. If you add herbs to the water, it's best to use those recommended for headaches (see Essential oils from A to Z, on page 31).
You can use this therapy as a pain reliever and to reduce swelling. Wrap crushed ice in a towel, cover with plastic and apply to the head, in the spot where you are experiencing pain. You should keep the ice pack on the area for no more than 10 minutes; take a break and repeat if necessary.
When your headaches are caused by excess tension, a spa –which can be found in almost any city or town– can be a great way to relieve your pain. However, you can also create a temporary spa in your home, using different therapies to relax, increase your physical health and to relieve pain: using soaking baths with essential aromatic oils, massaging shower heads, steam baths, saunas and Jacuzzi. These are great sedative techniques to relax your muscles and to relieve the tensions built up from straining daily activities.