Got a splitting headache? You’re not alone.
Sometimes we reach too quickly for the over-the-counter pain relief when our headache could actually be trying to tell us something worth listening to. All headaches are not created the same, and likewise not all of them need the same remedy. There are a number of types of headache, from a variety of causes. Some need pain medicine, but most may not.
And some can respond really well to natural remedies.
Here are some of the most common types of headache, and some awesome natural ways to relieve yourself from them.
According to WebMD, there are 150 different types of headache. And contrary to what you might be thinking, you do not have all of them right now. Some of the most common include:
Tension or Stress headaches
These are the most regular and generally don’t have any other symptoms. They come often from holding your body strangely due to being tense. This can happen because your back, neck or shoulders are tight, or sometimes because you clench or grind your teeth. Often, they can be caused by eye strain, or too much screen use.
They can also be caused by over-exposure to something, like pollution, second-hand smoke, certain foods like gluten, or sometimes toddlers. They can also be caused by changes in hormones, so may happen during pregnancy or menopause.
This one is actually less common that you think. You might talk of having a migraine, when you really just have a bad headache. A migraine is very intense, can last one to two days, and is usually accompanied by vomiting. During the migraine the sufferer will have incredible sensitivity to light and noise.
These ones are even worse. They are terrible in pain level, and feel like a searing heat behind one eye. When people have them they come in clusters, so repeatedly for weeks or months. They can go into a sort of remission for years, and then come back again.
Not as bad as some of the others, the sinus headache hangs around behind your cheekbones and nose. It usually comes as part of the fun group of symptoms that are cold or flu, including fever, blocked or runny nose and blocked ears.
When you have partaken in too much alcohol, other some types of drugs or medication, you will usually feel headache as a result. Again, this symptom won’t come by itself; it’s friends include dry mouth, loss of appetite, and possibly vomiting as well. There may also be a feeling of deep regret.
If your body is used to a certain amount of sugar or caffeine as well, then when you stop, there is often a headache to deal with (as well as intense grumpiness). This will go away after a couple of days, or if you give in to the craving.
Some natural ways to deal with a headache
The majority of adults don’t drink enough water, or drink too much coffee or alcohol, which drain the body of any water that we are giving it. You should try to drink 8-10 glasses of water across your day. If you have a headache, it’s an excellent idea to drink a big glass of water first, before you try any other remedy. It is very likely that you are just dehydrated.
People low in vitamin B may suffer from headaches, so adding a B-complex supplement to your day often makes a difference. Studies have shown this vitamin to help with both migraines and cluster headaches, as it opens up the blood vessels in your head. B group vitamins also help mood and lower stress levels, which is often the trigger for your pain.
Magnesium supplements are one of the easiest and most natural supplements you can take if you suffer regularly from headache. Magnesium doesn’t provide immediate relief like a painkiller, but taking a regular dose can make the incidence of them reduce. A lot of people are low in magnesium without realising it.
Fresh air to be exact. When you are indoors a lot such as in an office, the air you are getting is a bit manufactured and regurgitated. Get outside for ten minutes and then take a few deep breathes; try to really get oxygen into your brain, diaphragm and lungs.
Apples are high in flavonoids and often reduce a headache. You could also try a number of other fruits or vegetables; anything high in water content is good, or you could choose bananas because they are high in magnesium.
You thought a headache was an excuse not to have sex, didn’t you? It turns out that this is actually a really good remedy! Mild exercise helps as it stretches your muscles and gets your blood flowing, plus lovely hormones like endorphins and serotonin get released into your system, which can relieve pain. This is a good home remedy, not so much recommended for when you get a headache at work!
Massage or stretching
If your headache is caused by tension, it’s very likely it will respond better to stretching or massage than painkillers. Treatments like acupuncture and reflexology have also been shown to have a great effect. Trying rubbing your temples, the bridge of your nose, your earlobes or the soles of your feet to get a little relief, or if you just want to look strange in public. Also, a couple of basic yoga stretches can help too, such as downward dog or child’s pose.
For a quick lesson on easy tension release stretches, check out this video:
Druids from thousands of years ago may have known more than you about how to get rid of a headache. While in modern times we seem to automatically reach for medicine, taking some herbal supplements could be the answer. Feverfew and butterbur (I know, it sounds like Harry Potter’s shopping list) have been shown to make a difference for some people, so may be worth a try.
Using either peppermint or lavender essential oils can definitely help. You could purchase an eye-mask filled with lavender which, when kept in the freezer, can offer up some amazing relief. Or you could rub a couple of drops into your temples, or take a bath infused with a little of the oil.
Peppermint does a number of lovely things to your body. It is a natural coolant, so takes your heat and stress levels down a couple of notches. It also helps blood flow and soothes any contracting muscles. Sitting down in a quiet place long enough to have a good cup of tea is in itself a very good headache remedy.
Turn off the screen (or at least make is less blue)
Put down the screen! You probably can’t avoid staring at a screen all day at work, but you can restrict it a bit once you get home. Looking at tiny screens strains your eyes and keeps your brain alert when it should be winding down for the day. Try to leave the screen out of your bedroom and don’t watch it in the dark. Or at the very least, adjust the backlight so that the blue is reduced; this blue light has been shown to stimulate your eyes and brain and stop you from relaxing.
There are lots of things you can try before you grab the pain relief, and your body will thank you in the long term if try a more natural approach. Talk to the staff at Eric’s today about what they have in store that may be able to help you.