By Katy Bergen and Tsandlia Van Ry
Kin Korner is a health and wellness column by the students of Joanna Sheppard’s Kinesiology 360 class. Check back every week for a wide variety of tips and tricks of how to stay sane as a student in an insane world.
We all get those pounding headaches during midterms week and final exams. They make it hard to focus and study, which contributes to increases in stress. Instead of reaching for another ibuprofen to relieve the tension, think about essential oils. Essential oils have been used in traditional cultures for centuries, and have remarkable therapeutic properties.
As a part of aromatherapy, a natural herbal medicine uses plant-based oils to improve physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Essential oils serve as headache treatments because they safely and effectively treat the headache trigger, getting to the root of the problem instead of minimizing the pain temporarily.
If you’re wondering where you could find an essential oil that would work for you, we suggest trying Peppermint Halo essential oil, which contains peppermint, lavender, and rosemary as an herbal oil blend. Peppermint Halo not only works to relieve you of your headache, the menthol within peppermint works to relieve tension and stress. Tension and stress are said to be the most commonly reported cause of episodic headaches, and even chronic headaches. Roll it over your neck, shoulders, and behind your ears to start feeling the effects within minutes, or even put it in your humidifier at home.
Now, we’re not just suggesting essential oils for no reason. There’s increasing evidence against the effects of over-the-counter remedies including the all-popular ibuprofen. As said before, essential oils provide a natural relief, unlike ibuprofen, and do not interrupt the body’s natural process of reducing pain. Over-the-counter remedies usually involve a synthetic process in order to relieve symptoms of headaches.
Over-the-counter and prescription drugs that control inflammation, like Advil, Aleve, and Motrin, are among the most popular drugs people take. Without a prescription, they can relieve short-term pain from backaches and headaches, and at higher doses can reduce the inflammation behind chronic conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Recent studies have questioned their safety.
Finding excessive relief from NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is also associated with increased chances of heart disease and strokes. Researchers have concluded that aromatherapy is a natural and noninvasive gift of nature for humans. It’s not only the disease symptoms which are eradicated, but the whole body is rejuvenated by the use of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy regulates the physiological, spiritual, and psychological upliftment for the new phase of life. This therapy is not only preventive, but can also be used in the acute and chronic stages of disease, and is completely natural and environmentally friendly, as it is extracted from plants, flowers, and bark.
When it comes to healthy living, it is important to make informed decisions, and choose the remedy that works best for you and your body. If faced with chronic headaches, or migraines, or you’re just unsure, please visit your family physician, or another medical professional to discuss your options.
Image: Simer Haer/The Cascade