You’ve heard of oxygen therapy to get rid of headaches, but have you tried hydrotherapy? Soaking in a hot bath is one of the best home remedies for headaches, including agonizing migraine headaches. How can something as simple as a tub of hot water possibly cure chronic headaches? In many ways, a therapeutic bath is the ultimate natural migraine headache treatment.
Let us count the ways that a warm bubble bath can get rid of headaches and cures migraine symptoms…
#1: You are getting very sleepy…
If you struggle with insomnia, try taking a dip in a hot tub before bedtime. Don’t have access to a Jacuzzi? Fill up your bathtub with hot water- not too hot. (For some, excessively hot baths or showers actually trigger migraines.) The National Sleep Foundation affirms that soaking in warm water before going to sleep induces feelings of drowsiness and promotes deep sleep.
#2: Meditate on this.
Learning how to relax is essential for relieving migraines. You might not have time to meditate each morning before breakfast, but you certainly have time while dozing in the tub! Put on a relaxation CD, light some candles- it’s easy to practice deep breathing in the tub, because the water amplifies the volume; laying back, listen to your lungs filling up with air, note the stillness as you hold your breath, and then focus on the sound of your lungs gently exhaling.
#3: Who’s tense?
Often, tension headaches trigger migraine headaches. Stress causes your muscles to contract; without relief, your muscles remain contracted, causing neck pain, shoulder pain, facial pain, and often, migraines. Soaking in a hot bath is an excellent way to provide relief to tense, sore muscles and prevent migraines at the same time. For even greater natural migraine relief, rub a deep heat ointment on your neck and shoulders, thirty minutes after getting out of the bath, after your pores have closed.
#4: Say bye-bye to the blues.
Depression is a detrimental side effect of migraine disorder- a disproportionately large number of migraine sufferers also experience severe feelings of sadness, isolation, and despair. According to a Yale study, physical warmth from a hot bath often translates into feelings of warmth, comfort, and contentment.
#5: Catch the scent-sation!
Assuming that scents are not one of your migraine triggers, bath time provides an excellent opportunity to benefit from aromatherapy. Sprinkle a few drops of healing essential oils into your running bath for the ultimate in spa getaways… without even leaving your home. Not sure which oils to try? Here is a list of oils and their therapeutic properties:
- Anise oil- for respiratory health, muscle pain following exercise, and positive mind and mood
- Basil oil- for respiratory health, muscle pain following exercise, improved stamina, and cognitive functioning
- Bergamot oil- Soothes stress and tension, and lifts the mood
- Eucalyptus oil- soothes bronchitis, suppresses coughing, relieves “brain fog” and improves concentration
- Ginger oil- soothes muscular pain following exercise, maintains healthy circulation, and relieves sour stomach
- Lavender oil- soothes stress and tension and improves your mood
- Peppermint oil- relieves sour stomach, occasional indigestion, stress, tension, and absentmindedness
- Rosewood oil- relieves stress and tension, promotes positive mind and mood
#6: Drain that pain away!
Sinus headaches are another trigger for migraines. Congestion in the nasal cavities causes sinus pressure, which in turn causes head pain by your temples, nose, forehead, and cheeks, ear fullness, and sore throat. Untreated, it can lead to a sinus infection. The most efficient way to relieve sinus headaches is with constant moisture- drinking plenty of fluids, using nose drops, gargling saltwater, and taking a steamy bath.
#7: Itching for a migraine cure?
If psoriasis is one of your migraine symptoms, then you’re in luck. A bounty of skin-softening bath treatments are available that treat flaky irritation, redness, itchiness, and skin sensitivity- colloidal oatmeal, sesame oil, Dead Sea salts, and yogurt are all effective natural remedies for migraineur’s skin rash.
#8: I’m all flushed!
Speaking of bath salts, make sure you stock some Epsom salts in your medicine cabinet. The sulfates in Epsom salts flush toxins and other harmful elements from your body, thus relieving muscular pain and migraine headaches. Add two cups of Epsom salts to your bath water and soak for at least ten minutes.
Read more about natural migraine treatments:
6 Safe Migraine Treatments for Pregnant Moms
The Substitutability of Physical and Social Warmth in Daily Life
Healthy Sleep Tips- National Sleep Foundation – Information on Sleep Health and Safety
Essential oils Listed with Healing Properties – Pure Inside Out
Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits
Image credits, from top:
jdurham, mconnors, winnond, starblue, kahle, dave