While many people reach for a bottle of medicine when they have a headache, drugs are a costly solution that can come with unpleasant side effects. The holistic approach ranges from activities and treatments that can be applied right away to lifestyle changes that can prevent headaches and migraines from occurring in the first place. Headaches don’t have to be a daily pain.
Taking a Natural Approach for Headache Relief
Its easy to just reach for a bottle of painkillers when headache strikes, but they don’t always work or they leave a person with unwanted side effects. Usually, more of the pills will need to be taken every few hours in order to keep the pain under some semblance of control. But, there is a more natural way to approach pain relief that promises to give more lasting results without all the side effects. For example:
A lack of moisture can lead you to a headache. This is especially true if you have been consuming alcohol and other food or drink that dehydrates your body. Drinking water is one way to alleviate headaches. You might also consider a drink with electrolytes to give your body a boost when you rehydrate. Start with a tall glass of water and continue to sip water for the duration of the day until your headache leaves. Ginger tea is a specific drink that can help with headaches. Hot tea hydrates, while the ginger root is naturally good at reducing inflammation. Ginger in other recipes may also prove beneficial.
Headaches, especially migraines, may hurt worse if you’re around bright lights or loud sounds. Removing yourself from situations that are loud or bright helps. Thick curtains can reduce light and sounding coming from outside. Consider earplugs or a face mask to block out light if you’re at work. You might consider soothing music through earphones as opposed to silence. Relaxation techniques can be beneficial here as they slow blood flow.
Some people find a cool compress is the perfect way to stop a headache without taking any drugs. Running a washcloth through cold water works well. You can create a more effective compress by placing a cool and moist washcloth into a plastic bag and freezing it.
Stimulation of the head, neck, shoulders, and sometimes other areas of the body can relieve a headache. Try rubbing your temples gently or receiving a shoulder massage from someone with whom you’re comfortable. Some people rely on firmly massaging the skin between their thumb and forefinger to get rid of a persistent headache.
Practitioners of homeopathic medicines will use oils to treat different types of headaches. For example, peppermint oil has a cooling effect that works well for tension headaches.
Temperature changes can cause clusters of headaches that occur over a period of several days. These headaches are known for their shooting pains. Capsaicin cream, which contains the active ingredient cayenne pepper, can be applied to the inside of the nostril on the same side of your head as the pain.
Another natural ingredient that may be effective at stopping headaches is Feverfew which is derived from sunflowers. This anti-inflammatory agent reduces nerve pressure that attributes to migraines.
While these steps won’t stop a headache that’s already set in, they can help lower the frequency at which your headaches occur. Regular exercise is good for your heart and gentle exercise can reduce migraines. Yoga is one type of exercise that’s gentle on the body. Similarly, acupuncture relieves stress on the body, and regular appointments may help with headaches and other ailments.