Headaches can be debilitating. Instead of popping a pill, try these natural methods of relief:
1. Apply peppermint oil along your hairline. It creates a cooling sensation that relaxes the muscles in your head and neck. You can find this in health food stores.
2. Sip some ginger tea. This aromatic tea can be purchased at your local grocery store or make your own by crushing up an inch of ginger root and add it to boiling water. This homemade tea reduces inflammation easing tension headaches.
3. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to a headache! Drink a tall glass of water as soon as your head starts to hurt, and try to continue drinking small sips throughout the day. You should gradually feel the pain start to ease.
4. Find a quiet, dark place to take a break. If you can, try to lie down and relax for at least 30 minutes. Shut the blinds, turn off the lights, and focus on your breathing.
5. Use a cool compress. Placing something soft and cool over your forehead can help the blood vessels constrict, which might ease some of the pain of the headache.
6. Massage your scalp, neck and ear lobes. Doing some light massaging can distract you from the pain, as well as improving circulation and relieving tension. For a basic massage, gently press your fingers over your temples, and move them in slow circles.
7. Reevaluate your diet. Certain foods, such as chocolate, aged cheese, citrus fruits, red wine, and others, may cause headaches in susceptible people. For long-lasting management of headaches, it is important to identify and reduce food-related headache triggers.
8. Rub a dab of capsaicin cream. The active ingredient in this cream is cayenne pepper. Apply a small amount to the inside of your nostril that’s on the side of your head where you are experiencing pain. The cream works to block nerve pain signals. This effective remedy can be purchased in a health food store.
9. Increase your magnesium intake. Magnesium deficiency is a suspect in the cause of headaches, so supplementing can therefore be a preventative measure or an effective remedy. The mineral relaxes the arteries and muscles in the body, helping to relieve the pain.
10. Apply an acupressure massage. This ancient Chinese healing method involves applying pressure to certain points on the body to relieve pain. One universal pressure point is in your feet. Place your finger in the depression between your first and second toe and press firmly for 3 to 5 minutes.
What is really going on?
Headaches are quite common and, in fact, are the most complained about health ailment. It is important to note there are different types of headaches. Here are some of the basics:
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. It feels like there is a vice squeezing your head. They are caused by contraction of muscles that cover your skull. It is often caused by stress and lack of sleep.
Cluster headaches are rare but can be severe. The pain of a cluster headache is often described as a concentrated stabbing feeling. The name comes from the fact that the headache occurs in a cluster of days over several weeks. The pain is often followed by a runny nose or fever, so they are often known as “histamine headaches.” Cluster headaches commonly occur in the winter due to temperature changes.
Migraine headaches are one-sided throbbing pain that causes sensitivity to light and sound, and may cause nausea. Migraines run in families and women are three times more likely to have them than men. Experts believe that migraines may be caused by nerve signals that the brain misinterprets as pain.
Hormone headaches are due to changes in hormone levels. This type occurs most often in women during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menses, menopause, or even changes in birth control when hormones are unbalanced. As your body attempts to correct the levels, headaches are a frequent side effect.