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Nutrition

7 Home Remedies For Headache Relief

by Chris 'The Kiwi' Ashenden - 8 months ago

You eat a good diet, you exercise most days and you drink more than the recommended two liters of water a day. Yet you still experience headaches more often than you should… And that’s when you search yet again for effective headache relief remedies.

What do you do? Put your faith in over-the-counter medication? See the doctor and get something a little stronger? Or try a few home remedies for headaches that you’ve heard about?

Headaches do seem to be a part of modern life for many, with a multitude of food allergies, hormone imbalances, and busier lives than ever before.

These days, people also spend more time sitting at the desk and staring at screens. The advancement of technology has, unfortunately, resulted in more cases of back and neck strain, eye strain and – yep – headaches.

And if you suffer from headaches, you know that not all headaches are equal. There are tension or ‘stress’ headaches, hangover headaches, period-induced headaches, cold weather-induced sinus headaches, severe migraines, and many others.

The good news is that, if you want to go down the path of home remedies for headache relief, there are many that you can try. Each has had some success with headache sufferers but, of course, there’s no guarantees they’ll work for you.

That’s the thing about headaches – they’re very personal. But here are 7 natural remedy ideas you can try for headache relief.

Headaches twenty20 guy sleeping OPTIMISED

1
Learn The Power Of Hot And Cold

To find the most effective form of headache relief, you must first figure out which sort of headache you have.

Tension and sinus headaches both respond best to heat, so apply a heating pad or warm cloth to your neck, back of your head or directly to the area that’s causing you pain. Or, jump in a hot shower.

If you’ve been struck down with a migraine, firstly – you have our sympathy. Secondly, try applying a cold pack or bag of frozen peas to the area for 15 minutes (while lying in a quiet, dark room).

The gel pads available from many pharmacies may help and can often be used both for cold compression (by freezing the gel pack) and hot compression (by heating in the microwave).

2
Take Magnesium Supplements

If you suffer from serious headaches frequently, including migraines, you have probably already seen a doctor and been prescribed medication.

If this is not working, give the proven benefits of magnesium for headache relief a try. Some people have found it life-changing.

Magnesium can slow signals to the brain – namely the visual and sensory symptoms that we experience during a nasty headache. What’s more, it can also block the pain-transmitting chemicals before they reach your brain.

 You can take magnesium supplements with other pain medication but, taken daily, it is one of the best home remedies for headaches and, for many people, it has replaced traditional painkillers.

It is considered especially effective for pregnancy headaches as it is very safe and side effects are almost non-existent.

Here’s what the American Migraine Foundation says on its website about magnesium:

The ideal medication for prevention and treatment of migraine would have no side effects, no risk, would be safe in pregnancy, as well as being highly effective while remaining inexpensive. Of course, no such medication exists, but magnesium comes closer than many interventions on all these fronts.

3
Experiment With Essential Oils

Both peppermint and lavender essential oils are hailed for their headache-healing abilities, thanks to their numbing and calming effects.

Peppermint oil has a natural cooling effect on the skin, and is believed to relax muscle contractions and increase blood flow to the forehead, while calming lavender is known to act as a natural sedative.

Headaches twenty20 lavender OPTIMISED

Keep both of these oils handy in your medicine cabinet and, when you need a headache relief formula, just squeeze a couple of drops into the palm of your hand and massage into your temples, forehead, and neck.

Keep in mind that, for some people, peppermint essential oils can cause a headache, so it’s a good idea to test it in a low dose first (when you are healthy!) to see how you react.

4
Hop In An Apple Cider Vinegar Bath

By now you’re probably aware of apple cider vinegar’s fantastic health and beauty benefits – it aids digestion, lowers cholesterol levels and clears the skin.

While there’s no scientific evidence, it’s also thought this “super-fluid” may be suitable for headache relief.

Add two cups of apple cider vinegar to a relaxing hot bath – it’s said the steam vapors will relieve sinus pain and pressure. Alternatively, you can soak a washcloth in apple cider vinegar for several minutes for a soothing compress.

If an apple cider vinegar bath doesn’t work on its own, try it with other home remedies for headache pain mentioned here – or with your usual medication. It may help ease the pain in combination with the other treatments.

Headaches @ourhavenn IG bath

@ourhavenn

5
Try Your Hand At Reflexology

Traditional Chinese medicine provides some useful insight into headache pain. Indeed, acupuncture has been used for centuries to help cure chronic pain of all types. However, this is not something you can try at home!

But headache relief can come through another form of Chinese medicine that you are able to try at home: the ancient art of reflexology.

Reflexology is based on the theory that there are four zones on the feet and hands that correspond to different areas of the head.

For example, if you’re suffering from a migraine or a temporal headache, press your thumb in between your big toe and second toe (on the opposite foot to your sore temple) and massage for 60 seconds.

If you have pain in your face (below the eyes, cheeks, and jaw) you can massage the top of your big toe.

It’s not advised to practice reflexology in the early months of pregnancy as it’s said to contract your uterus, so check with your doctor first if you’re expecting.

Otherwise this method is minimally invasive, has few side effects, and may help ease pain. So it could be worth a try.

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6
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

It sounds obvious, but when it comes to preventing and relieving a headache, hydration goes far beyond drinking a glass of water (although we highly recommend this too!).

A well-hydrated body absorbs moisture continuously throughout the day from food as well as liquids. This may mean you need to take a look at your overall nutrition to include fruits and vegetables with a high water content – think grapefruit, watermelon, celery and cucumbers.

This should supply steady hydration to your body to supplement the glasses of water that you should also be sipping throughout the day.

7
Use Technology For Headache Relief

Technology may be a cause of more headaches with more ‘screen time’ resulting from increased mobile and computer usage. But it may also help with headache relief.

There is an app out there that is creating quite a stir. It’s called Curable and was developed by a team of physicians, pain psychologists, physical therapists, and neuroscientists.

It was designed for people who experience any type of chronic pain that has persisted for over three months and for whom medication has not provided much relief. People who have suffered migraines for much of their lives are typical users of the app.

Using a combination of pain science education and evidence-based techniques, it brings more understanding to what’s happening in your brain, in your body, and in your life. This helps you get a more complete picture of the cause of the pain

It then takes you through a series of steps to start relieving your chronic pain: this includes guided meditations, visualizations, CBT techniques, and expressive writing exercises.

Very often, pain is not located where it is felt. It is the brain that fires pain signals and controls all physiological changes in the body. So this app works on the principle that “pain does not exist until the brain says it does”.

This is not a new concept but with the app’s guidance, it helps sufferers with techniques to control their pain by effectively ‘reprogramming’ the brain’s neural pathways.

Anyone who has experienced migraines knows that the pain may be triggered by a known cause or appear to start without any reason at all. The debilitating effects are the same – and you feel helpless.

This app helps you take more control of your pain and understand it so that you can take steps to relieve it. The app has been getting some rave reviews from the medical community and from users:

“The approach Curable uses is the most effective treatment I have to offer patients with persistent pain.”

– Jon Stacks, M.D. • Northwestern Memorial

“I have had an 85% reduction in migraine attacks since I started using the Curable app, and the trend looks like I may be pain free before too long. I’ve got my life back! My neurologist is thrilled and is recommending it to other patients. The neuroscience is easy to follow and makes a lot of sense, and the program is too.”

– Susan

Getting The Better Of Your Pain

Put simply, headaches are a real pain. They not only pound our temples, but they upset our schedules, sleeping patterns, exercise routines, workloads, and social lives too. There is nothing to like about a headache and when we suffer from them, all we want is for them to stop.

But with the natural home remedies for headache pain outlined above, you’ll stand a better chance of getting the better of your pain; some of them may also prevent further attacks. Your life may become less interrupted, less disrupted and, yes, less painful.

Try them in isolation or in combination. You don’t have to worry about serious side effects with any of them as they are natural remedies that have very few negative effects on the body. If in doubt, check with your doctor or naturopath,

What are your natural remedies for headaches? What works best for you? Tell us in the comments below or share it with the #GreensTeam Facebook community!