Advil isn’t always the answer

by Cam Duffy | Photographer

For three years, my day-to-day was riddled with obscure headaches that never seemed to find their end. As empty Advil bottles made their way to the back of nightstand drawers, and as my money started going to the real deal — Tylenol, Extra Strength — my options were running low.

After all, these headaches weren’t that bad. In fact, most of the time, I hardly noticed them. Nevertheless, Advil after Advil, I became frustrated with myself. Was I going to have to take Advil for the rest of my life? Was that the most sustainable option for me, or was there another avenue that could not only make my pain subside but also prevent it from happening again?

During these years, I also suffered from other traditional ailments like fatigue, trouble falling and staying asleep and other discomforts and insecurities like acne, dry skin and brittle nails.

Thankfully, junior year of high school, I was complaining to my English professor — a holistic healing connoisseur — about my headaches, and she bluntly said, “Duh! It’s because all you do is take Advil.”

This comment was a shock to me. What else was I supposed to do? All my life, I had been conditioned to take some form of pain reliever to make my pain subside.

This was the moment that I was introduced to holistic healing methods of treating very real ailments, which were otherwise treated with over-the-counter medication.

After doing some research of my own, the first item in my cart was a line of skin-safe essential oils along with ingestible ones — a blend of cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary. These items could be used to ease the minor headaches I was suffering from by mixing coconut oil and a drop of peppermint and lavender and rubbing it on my temples and the nape of my neck.

Along with topical treatments, I found relief from seasonal allergies and sore throats by putting a drop of ingestible oil blends on my tongue once or twice a day.

For the other ailments I mentioned, cell-salts were a blessing in disguise. Cell-salts contain compound minerals that can assist and supplement the ones we naturally lack in our own bodies. Personally, I used the popular brand, Hyland’s Naturals, and took three to four doses a day, and after about three months, I saw results in my acne, nail beds and overall well-being.

Along with cell-salts and essential oils, I began a regular routine of gentle fitness, such as yoga or jogging, and mindful eating. After reading “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, I learned how much these two things could change both my physical and mental health.

I am not here to say that cell-salts, peppermint oil and yoga are the cure for cancer, but I am saying that, very often, the answers to everyday pains are not found in an Advil bottle. And while sometimes the call for a quick pain relief is needed, the possible long-term consequences are not worth it when it is used as a first-resort option.

As of now, I no longer suffer from day-to-day headaches, and the only struggle that remains is acne. So, the next time that daily discomfort hits, maybe do a quick Google search of other more holistic methods that could be the answer to your problems.