Few things can ruin a day like a headache can. Whether it’s a throbbing behind the eyes, or is broad enough that the whole brain feels bruised, or a dull ache that threatens future agony, it’s hard to go about your daily routine. Using over-the-counter pain medications may or may not help, but recent studies suggest that there can be health risks with prolonged use. Fortunately, there’s a broad range of other options for relieving the pain of a headache, as well as numerous ways to prevent headaches.
Diet Related Methods
Your diet can play a role in headaches, good and bad, both in terms of prevention or ridding yourself of them.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, drawing fluids out of the body, which is the perfect set-up for the serious hangover headache and dehydration.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking 3-4 glasses of water before sleeping, after a bender, can prevent the dreaded morning after headache. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, drinking water regularly reduces the chances of getting headaches related to dehydration.
- Limit red wine. Some women, and probably men, say they get headaches from red wine. This could be either psychosomatic or due to the increased blood pressure sometimes triggered by the amines present in red wine.
- Limit coffee. An extra cup of coffee on a sluggish morning may not be the best choice. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a diuretic and can contribute to headaches associated with dehydration.
- Limit chocolate. While rumored by some people to be better than sex, chocolate can contribute to headaches, due to the presence of caffeine.
- Eat properly and regularly. A diet lacking in the proper nutrients can cause headaches. Lack of protein for breakfast, for example, can contribute to headaches later in the day. Also, try to eat regularly, with more whole foods and reduce the amount of processed/ convenience foods consumed, as these tend to lack valuable nutrients. Finally, eating regularly
- Increase omega-three fatty acids. With some much nutritionally deficient foods in the typical diet of many people today, it’s easy to miss out on omega-three fatty acids. Research has shown that this nutrient can help reduce certain types of headaches.
- Reduce fried foods. Fried foods can serve as a trigger for certain types of headaches. However, reducing fried foods is a good idea for improving over-all health, as well. Better nutrition and health in general can serve to decrease the number and severity of many types of headache.
- Lemon juice. Used both internally and externally, lemon juice can be an effective means of dealing with a headache. Some remedies suggest drinking a bit of lemon juice and water, possibly with freshly grated ginger root. Externally, the clean citrus scent of lemon juice and lemon skins applied to the temples can clear the mind and ease a headache away.
- Cinnamon water. Mix cinnamon and water to the consistency of a thin paste, then apply to temples and forehead. This is an eastern remedy, coming from healing traditions thousands of years old. A warm spice, cinnamon is especially useful for headaches that come from getting chilled.
Physical activity related methods
There are a number of physical solutions for preventing or dispelling headaches.
- Get enough sleep. Failing to get enough sleep sets the stage for several types of headaches. Tiredness can lead to excess caffeine consumption, which often leads to poor eating habits, compound the problem further.
- Get fresh air. Besides escaping a co-worker’s overwhelming perfume/ cologne, fresh air can help a headache fade. Just getting out of a stuffy room, thanks to the change in air pressure, can reduce headache pain.
- Exercise. A brisk walk can clear the head and relieve a headache. Any regular work-out program improves health and decreases stress, which increase blood flow and oxygen distribution.
- Take a hot shower. The warmth and steam of a hot shower relaxes muscle tension, thus easing headaches.
- Massage the pain away. Muscle tension often causes headaches. A good massage can ease that tension and allow the body to relax.
- Aromatherapy can sooth. Environment often contributes to stress, a major cause of headaches. Aromatherapy can sooth that stress by creating a relaxing environment. The scent of the essential oils and the massaging of oils into the base of the neck, temples, scalp, or forehead is also soothing. Try chamomile and geranium for stress headaches, lavender and rosemary for headaches associated with muscle tension, and rose for depression-related headaches.
- Try meditation and relaxation techniques. Draining the tension from the body with meditation and relaxation techniques can help to avoid headaches altogether, as well as stop one in progress. The increased oxygenation that results from the deep breathing is also very helpful.
- Practice yoga. India’s ancient knowledge about yoga is becoming mainstream in the modern world, and a valuable tool for dealing with headaches is gained. Samukhi Mudra, also called the Six-faced Gesture, from Hatha yoga, is one of many yoga techniques that can help with headaches.
- Use acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of Chinese healing traditions and becoming more commonly used in the Western world for a wide range of ailments including headaches, as recent studies show.
- Pinch a pressure point. This is a technique that stems from acupressure, which is similar to acupuncture, but uses pressure instead of needles. Pinching the fleshy part of the hand found between the thumb and index finger, or the “bowl” of the ear, and slowly releasing the pressure can stop a headache.
- Try the application of hot or cold elements. Simple but effective, applying heat or cold, depending on the type of headache, can produce fast results. A cool cloth, for example, on the forehead can relieve a heat-related headache, whereas a hot towel at the base of the neck may be more effective for a tension headache.
- Practice stress management. Practicing stress management skills will help prevent one of the most common types of non-migraine headaches. Learning to say no, to arrange your time to decrease schedule pressure, and to delegate tasks and responsibilities are just a few of the ways to better manage the stress in your life.
- Have sex, make love. The physical release of sex helps reduce tension, relax the body, and increase blood flow, all of which can relieve a headache. Making love is even better, as it adds an emotional context that can lift the spirits and enhance feelings of well-being, easing headache pain.
Original article source: 23 Ways To Get Rid Of & Prevent Headaches