If you're like most, you know the feeling all too well - the throbbing, the pressure, the inability to think clearly, and the sudden burst of irritability. Yep - it’s your arch-nemesis, the headache. This painful condition has become all too familiar for most of us, one of the most prevalent ailments. Thus, we accept that they occur frequently and we always have a stash of pain relievers to get them off our minds... literally. However, that instant gratification has a price - those over-the-counter drugs can actually cause rebound headaches, heart problems and digestion issues. Instead of popping another pill, let’s talk about some of the causes, treatments and remedies that are available to you, naturally.
What Causes Headaches:
Headaches occur for a number of reasons, from stress to poor diet to allergies to lack of sleep to body misalignment... the list goes on and on. Even hats, hair accessories and sunglasses can be the culprits if too snug around your noggin. Some foods can trigger headaches and migraines, such as dairy, meat, red wine, caffeine and chocolate - yes, a lot of the good stuff unfortunately. Dehydration is also one of the most common causes of headaches.
Next time your head starts pounding, take a look at how you've been treating yourself - it’s often a sign that something is out of balance in your life. You may be able to stop a headache from happening in the first place simply by relaxing a little bit or changing your diet. If your attempts are ineffective at preventing the pain, try out some of the following remedies and pain management techniques.
Natural Remedies for Headaches:
- Drink lots of water to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated.
- Put an ice pack on the back of your neck, upper back, forehead and temples.
- Take a hot shower or soak your feet in warm water; the latter can bring blood from your head down to your feet.
- Get a massage or some acupressure to release tension and move energy around in the body.
- Exercise. Yoga is especially effective, as its meditative aspect can prevent or reduce stress.
- Sleep, rest or relax in a dark, quiet place.
- Indulge in some aromatherapy. Take a whiff of lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus oil.
- Some supplements and herbs have been found to be effective, such as calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, feverfew, gingko biloba, rosemary and chamomile. You should consult a doctor or naturopath to help determine which to take and in what amounts.
- Eating apples, cinnamon, or lemon is thought to help with head pain. Cut back on processed foods, especially sugar and salt, which will throw your entire body out of whack.
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