How to Get Rid of a Headache without Medicine
A headache can be debilitating. It can keep you from doing your work, and even from enjoying the things you enjoy the most. Many people’s first instinct is to grab for a bottle of pain reliever medication. However, medication is not necessary to treat a headache, and many times relief can been obtained with a number of different remedies without ever having to open a bottle of pain reliever medications.
Massage can be extreme healing to the human body. When a headache strikes, especially when the headache is caused by tension in muscles, a massage can help to relieve the tension in the head, neck, and shoulders. The benefits of scalp massage are something that a person can do for themselves no matter where they are at, and they do not need anything else to assist them. If there is tension in your head causing a headache on one or both sides of your head, you can gently apply pressure to the area and gently massage the scalp. This will help to improve the circulation of blood flow to the head and face. You can also have another person to massage your head for you. If your headache is a tension headache, by focusing on the area on the back of your head where your neck and head meet, you can help to relieve the tension that causes the headache. In addition, drinking water before and after a scalp massage can help your body to clear out the toxins causing the headache.
There are a number of healing properties that come from the use of essential oils. One oil that helps to improve blood flow is peppermint oil. This oil can be diffused into the air, put into a carrier oil and applied to the temples, or even a couple of drops added to a cup of warm tea. Breathing in the oil will help to reduce the tension. Peppermint oil can also help to improve breathing, so if the headache is caused by sinus pressure, it is a good choice. A second oil to consider is the use of lavender oil. This oil has a calming effect on the body. It can be rubbed into the skin or can also be diffused into the air. It is very effective in helping to relieve migraine headaches or helping a person to calm themselves enough so that they can get to sleep. The last oil is basil oil. While it is not as commonly used, it also has the ability to help relax muscles and relieve tension headaches.
Replenish Potassium and Magnesium
There are a number of different reasons why a person can get a headache. If they are dehydrated, say from too much time in the heat and not enough water, or from drinking too much alcohol the night before and facing a hangover, by replenishing potassium in your body, you are able to help relieve these types of headaches. Of course, you could take a potassium supplement to do this, but there are much better ways of getting potassium into the body. For starters, eat a banana for breakfast or a snack. Or at the first sign of a headache try to eat a banana to keep it at bay. Or consider eating a potato. Potatoes are rich in potassium and also provide other essential nutrients which can help your body to fight off a headache. Almonds are also a great option in that they provide the body magnesium, which can help to relax the blood vessels in the body and help to discourage headaches from occurring.
One major cause of a headache can often be a result of being dehydrated and not getting enough water into the body. By drinking water regularly, you are able to fight off headaches before they even occur. If you start to feel a headache coming on, drinking a cool glass of water is one way to try to find immediate relief. Other options for drinking fluids include tea. Many herbal teas have peppermint or other ingredients which can be soothing and help to bring a sense of calm, reducing the symptoms of the headache. Although most of the time drinking caffeine is discouraged, when facing a headache, a cup of coffee may actually help to fight a headache. Many headache medications actually have caffeine in them for that very reason. Just do not overdo it on the coffee or you might find yourself having trouble sleeping or changes in your heart rate.
Hot vs Cold
Heat and cold therapy are often used to help fight off a headache, but it is important to first know what type of a headache you are dealing with to make sure you are using the right one. If your headache is brought about by anxiety or tension, the use of heat, be it from a hot compress, hot water bottle, or a warm shower, you can get some relief. If your headache is a result of the blood vessels expanding too quickly in your head, the the use of cold can help to relieve the headache. You can put a cool wet rag on your neck or forehead. You can use an ice pack, or even a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch to get some relief. If you are at home, another option is always to take a cool or hot shower depending on the type of headache you are facing.
There are a number of different exercises which can help to relieve a headache. Stretching exercises are particularly good for helping to relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, and back which can contribute to the causes of headaches. Participating in yoga provides an opportunity to stretch your muscles, and to relieve the tension throughout the body. But, it also provides an opportunity to relieve other stress and tension by relaxing your mind. Similarly, engaging in relaxation exercises and breathing techniques can help to calm the body and mind, reduce tension and stress, and as a result help to reduce the symptoms of a headache as well as the frequency of them. Some people find more vigorous exercise helps to reduce tension and fight off a headache; however, many more find this type of activity increases the pain associated with a headache. If you think a headache is coming, proceed with caution before engaging in more robust activity.
One thing that people do not realize is the way the gut can affect the rest of your body. By taking probiotics, or eating foods rich in probiotics like kefir and yogurt regularly, you are able to fight off many other ailments in the body. If your gut health is not well, you may find yourself having more frequent headaches, but getting your gut under control with probiotics is one option to help reduce your headaches. In addition, eating foods that are full of probiotics like kefir and yogurt also have a great amount of calcium in them. Often times when you are suffering from headaches, you are depleted of calcium and it needs to be replenished into your system. Eating these foods can help you to not only get the probiotics into your system, but it also helps to provide you with the calcium your body needs to stay healthy.
One reason why people suffer from headaches is because their sleep patterns are disrupted. If you do not get enough sleep for one night, you might not get a headache. A buildup of multiple nights of not enough sleep, and you can end up with a significant deficiency in your sleep and get more frequent headaches. Listen to your body. If you have not been sleeping well enough lately, a headache is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and rest. Find some time to relax and sleep. Take a short nap, or go to bed an hour earlier. If you need to, take a sick day from work so that you can catch up on sleep and rest. Just do not sleep all day, or you will find yourself not sleeping at night, and feeling worse off the next day.
Monitor Your Diet
Take the time to monitor the foods you eat. There are a number of foods that can be known to trigger headaches. Some of these foods include MSG, chocolate, and foods high in nitrates (commonly found in processed meats like hot dogs and lunchmeat). If you notice you often get a headache after eating these foods, you can try eliminating them from your diet to reduce the frequency of headaches. In addition, there are a number of foods which can help to fight off headaches. These foods are high in B vitamins and magnesium. Some of these foods are fish, beans, whole grains, avocado, bananas, and dried fruit. Just be careful when eating dried fruit as many of the dried fruit on the market contain nitrates which may trigger headaches.