Before you reach for the usual OTC medications take a look at some of these alternatives.
Headaches are a very common form of pain. Rather than reaching for over-the-counter painkillers why not try some of these natural treatment methods. An ounce of prevention can go a long way to relieving many of the common causes of headache.
It’s a good idea to start the day with a large glass of water, add the juice of a lemon and a pinch of pink sea salt. It rebalances and hydrates the body after a night of sleep.
Here's a tip, make it a rule to drink a glass of water every 2 hours and always ask for water when you order a coffee.
Once you get into the habit your body will thank you for it in so many ways. Your skin and eyes will shine, your kidneys will eliminate toxins more efficiently the list goes on. But first and foremost you’ll lower the incidence of dehydration head aches. Of course it makes sense, the hotter the weather is the more you need to increase your water intake. And if you have a headache, drinking a couple of glasses of water is going to make you feel better.
Staying hydrated may be as simple as carrying a water bottle around and sipping on it throughout the day. Eating foods high in liquid, such as fruits, smoothies, or soups, may also improve hydration.
A cold compress may be a simple headache solution that many people have on hand. Applying an ice pack or another cold item to the head or neck may help constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation in the area whilst temporarily relieving headache pain. Try it for 30 minutes, it may alleviate the pain of migraine too. You could try frozen peas, a sports ice pack or chill down your lavender eye pillow for some instant relief.
In other cases, such as tension headache the muscles become tight. You might find that a warm compress will relax these muscles and bring relief. Place your lavender eye pillow in the microwave for a few seconds to speed up the benefits and relieve the pain.
Remove any pressure on the head
Your headache may relate to tightness and constriction of the head. Check for anything that is putting too much pressure on the head. This may be a ponytail or bun that is too tight or a hat or headband that has been on too long.
Turn down the lights
Some people who get headaches become sensitive to light. Bright office lights or even the bright light from a smartphone may make symptoms worse.
It may help to rest in a dark or dimly lit room while recovering from a headache. Block out the light completely with your lavender eye pillow.
Check for food intolerance.
If a headache seems to show up after meals, it may be helpful to keep a food journal of everything you eat each day. It might help to identify any sensitivities and avoid the foods that could be responsible for triggering your headaches. Sometimes food intolerances may be the underlying cause of symptoms such as a headache or triggers for migraines.
Getting too much or too little sleep or not sleeping soundly may influence a headache in some people, as they have not fully rested their body.
Different issues may lead to headaches, and sleep problems are among the more common ones.
Try to restrict screen time a couple of hours before you go to bed and avoid screens in the bedroom. The blue light at night tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime seriously impacting your ability to relax and sleep. Ideally aim for healthy 8 to 9 hours every night. You might want to try blue light blocking glasses at night.
Try some herbal tea
Other potentially calming teas include herbs such as peppermint, chamomile, and lavender. Herbal tea may be a useful way to add water to the diet while also enjoying the benefits of other natural compounds. Ginger tea may also help with a migraine, try a simple tea of warm water and ginger powder it may ease your symptoms.
Regular, moderate exercise may help, such as briskly walking or riding a bike for 30 minutes a day. It will also increase oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Exercise may help keep the body healthy and promote better circulation, which might reduce the chances of a headache showing up. If you don't take a lot of exercise, just make a start, take it easy and enjoy the journey!
Massaging pressure points
Massaging the neck near the base of the skull may also help release tension. Massaging certain pressure points may help relieve tension in the head and reduce a headache. Many people do this instinctively, such as rubbing the back of the neck or pinching the top of the nose when they feel stressed. Try adding a dab of lavender oil and massaging into the temples.
Try using your lavender eye pillow to improve mindfulness meditation and yoga relaxation. Find your ' Happy Place' and take time out for you and be in the moment!
Drinking a beverage with caffeine, such as tea, or soda, may sometimes help ease a headache. Some pain medications designed for headaches include caffeine, as the compound may improve their effectiveness.
Inhaling lavender essential oil for a few minutes may reduce the severity of headaches. Try peppermint oil for reducing tension headaches. Experimenting with different oils to find the one that works for you may be the key to relaxing and easing the symptoms of head ache. Try resting back with your lavender eye pillow for 15 minutes to further support your relaxation.
Cluster headaches have been linked to low levels of magnesium. Adding magnesium supplements may help. For a more natural therapy simply make sure you are eating adequate daily portions of green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, avocado, banana, raspberries, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans. Try to include salmon or tuna in your diet once or twice a week. The good news is that you'll also find magnesium in dark chocolate!!
Limit alcohol intake
A headache is one of the more common side effects of a hangover. This may be because alcohol may lead to mild dehydration symptoms in some people or make headaches worse.
Avoid contact with chemicals or other strong smells
For people who often experience migraines, avoiding strong smells may be a wise step to take when trying to prevent them. Some perfumes or other strong-smelling chemicals may trigger migraines after just a few minutes of exposure. It may help if people avoid sources of these smells, such as department stores, others who wear a lot of perfume, or chemical smells from cleaning products.
What type of headache is it?
There are many different types of headache, and one natural remedy may be more suitable than another to ease a specific kind. Some common headache types include:
Tension Headache - The most common headache, these often occur after a person has become overstressed and their muscles have tensed. Pain appears in the middle and top of the head, which may feel as if it has a tight rubber band around it.
Sinus Headache - This type involves pain behind the eyes and nose and a general congested feeling in the head. A similar headache occurs when a person has a hangover.
Cluster Headache - These headaches may appear throughout the day, causing a stabbing, sharp pain that occurs in one spot of the head.
Migraines - Migraines usually cause a throbbing pain behind the eyes that grows and pulses throughout the head. The person may also become very sensitive to light, activity, or movement.
It's important not to ignore a persistent headache as severe and persistent head aches might be an underlying symptom of another health issue.
If you do get regular headaches speak to your health care professional.
Listen to your body, after all you know it better than anyone else!
The secret to wellbeing is to stay in tune with your body, create greater self awareness, tune in to the stimuli that it likes and avoid the ones that it doesn’t.