Sources: Papers On Health

There is a vast variety of ailments associated with what is

called headache. In itself, it is just more or less pain in the head.

When there is such pain, it means that some of the nerves in the head

are in a wrong state, probably in nearly all cases a state of more or

less pressure. This pressure hinders the free flow of vital action

along the nerve, and this hindrance we feel as pain. To remove the

pressure is, then, to relieve the pain. Pressure from overwork often

causes headache on week-days, which goes off on Sabbath. The rest

here removes the pressure, and so the pain. The pressure results from a

failure of energy in some part of the head, slight swelling then taking

place. To increase the energy is to effect a cure. This may be done by

first, at bedtime, soaping the back with warm water and SOAP (see).

Then dry, and rub firmly yet gently with hot olive oil, until the whole

back glows with warmth. This may take perhaps fifteen minutes. Then

give three minutes of warm water pouring over the back. Dry again, and

oil with hot oil, and put the patient to bed. Avoid much tea. Avoid

altogether tobacco and alcoholic liquors, which of themselves will

often cause the trouble. This treatment applies to all that numerous

class of headaches which arise from overwork and fag. A cure may often

be had by its means, without taking a holiday. But where this can be

done, it is well to take it.

The headache, however, may be caused indirectly by the failure of some

of the organs to do their duty, when other methods must be adopted. The

use of tobacco so injuriously affects the whole system that headache

often results, and refuses to be cured unless the tobacco be given up.

It is hard to do this, but the difficulty must be faced. Cold, damp

feet are a common cause of headaches. Let these be well bathed (see

Bathing Feet) for some days, even twice or three times a day, and many

kinds of headaches will be cured. Constipation, or sluggish action of

the bowels, frequently causes headache. The cure is obvious (see

Constipation). Imperfect action of the kidneys also causes it. In such

a case apply a large, warm bran poultice (see) across the back behind

the kidneys. Oil the skin before and after poulticing. Do this once a

day at bedtime for a week, if necessary, but not longer than a week at

a time. Take half a teacupful of water before each meal. Use freely the

lemon drink described in Drinks, Refreshing.