Medical professionals and researchers are not entirely clear about what causes migraines. It is widely believed that genetics, food and environmental factors play a role. While we are not 100 percent certain on a cause, most healthcare practitioners agree that the common trigger for migraine attacks is stress.
Another safe and effective option to try with Acupuncture is aromatherapy, which uses essential oils from plants for healing. Aromatherapy has been used to relieve stress and pain for thousands of years, and is part of a holistic, natural wellness lifestyle.
Using essential oils to help alleviate a migraine or tension headache is becoming an increasingly popular practice.
Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids made from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Aromatherapy often involves essential oils that can offer health benefits like reducing stress and improving circulation via scent or applying topically.
Essential oils can help treat certain conditions like headaches or migraine. They also provide benefits without the long lists of side effects that can accompany prescription headache and migraine medications.
There are two essential oils specifically that may be helpful. Lavender may help with migraines and symptoms, and Peppermint may help with migraines and tension headaches.
Lavender essential oil is commonly used for stress relief and relaxation. There’s also strong evidence that lavender can help treat headaches and migraine.
In one study, 47 participants with migraine were divided into two groups. One group inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 minutes in the early stages of their attack. The other group used liquid placebo for 15 minutes.
The participants were asked to record the severity of their migraine headache in 30-minute intervals for a total of two hours. Using a standard 0-10 pain scale, the participants who inhaled the lavender essential oil had a significantly greater reduction in migraine headache severity compared to the control group.
Another study found that people reported a significant reduction in pain after only 15 minutes of inhaling the lavender oil.
Peppermint oil is one of the most used essential oils to treat headaches and migraine attacks. It contains menthol, which can help relax muscles and ease pain.
Researchers have looked at the benefits of peppermint oil on headaches for decades.
A 2015 review of essential oils and aromatherapy suggested that peppermint oil may work for headaches.
The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Medicine also suggest that peppermint oil can help with tension headaches and migraines.
The active ingredient in peppermint oil is menthol. About 44 percent of peppermint is menthol, which may also lessen the intensity of acute migraines. This active ingredient makes peppermint effective for the additional symptoms that migraine, such as, nausea, stress, and muscle pain.
There are several different ways to use these essential oils to treat a migraine, including:
Essential oils are generally safe when a person uses them properly.
Some people are also allergic to essential oils, even in their diluted form, so it may be helpful to put a small amount on a patch of skin to test for any allergic reaction first. If there is no reaction within 48 hours, then the oil is safe to use.
Visit your local Modern Acupuncture clinic today to speak with one of our Licensed Acupuncturists and create a treatment plan for long-lasting, natural migraine pain relief.
Modern Acupuncture® is a natural pain relief solution and the leading provider of Acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that Acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body.