If you have suffered from headaches or migraines for long, you can relate to the feeling of impending doom that sets in when you feel one coming on.
Knowing that you have to solider on while it feels like bricks are bashing you about the head and neck is much easier said than done. Some people have medications that work for them and others prefer to avoid pharmaceutical drugs and seek out natural headache and migraine relief. Whether you use pharmaceutical medications for headaches and migraines or not, you may find yourself looking for natural options when the headaches get bad.
Natural Headache and Migraine Relief
- PastTense Essential Oil Tension Blend – Takes the edge of instantly, smells good, but stings if you get it in your eyes. A must-have for the purse, nightstand and glove box. An absolute must-have for natural migraine relief.
- Heat – Use a heating pad or hot compress on the back of your neck for 15 minutes or take a hot shower. This can help you relax if your headache is from tension.
- Lights Down – Bright lights and blue light from screens can make headaches worse. You can’t always go to a dark room, but you might be able to turn down the lights. Consider Blue Light Filter Glasses to cut down on eye strain if you work at a computer.
- Neck Stretches – Sit up straight, breathe in, and use your hand to gently stretch your neck to one side slowly and as far as you can without hurting yourself. Then switch sides. Also having someone massage your neck (or massaging your own neck) and head can help in some cases. Sometimes touching just makes headaches worse, but sometimes it can help.
- Breathing Exercises – Get yourself some oxygen! Go outside for fresh air if you can and take slow, controlled, deep breaths. It may sound simple but it can make a huge difference to headache relief.
Natural Headache and Migraine Prevention
Further to treating headaches naturally without medication, prevention can be key. If you are looking for natural prevention techniques for headaches and migraines, these natural alternatives can help with prevention.
Broad-spectrum micronutrients – Research shows that clinical levels of vitamins and minerals can help prevent a wide range of symptoms including headaches. Find a high quality broad spectrum micronutrient complex so you can provide your body with the right levels of nutrients.
Regular sleep patterns – Get some sleep! Most people need about 7 hours a night. If you have trouble sleeping, again a high quality clinical micronutrient complex could help regulate your sleep patterns. Recently a double blind study showed that broad spectrum micronutrients decrease symptoms of stress and insomnia, which can lead to headaches if unchecked.
Caffeine: Commit or quit – If you drink caffeine regularly, chances are your headaches could be rebound headaches. Your body gets “hooked” on caffeine and when the level drops, headaches tend to come on strong, which is basically a caffeine withdrawal. The only thing that helps a caffeine headache is caffeine, thereby creating a repetitive rebound headache or migraine cycle. The best way to get out of a caffeine headache cycle is to quit caffeine. Again, a solid multi micronutrient supplement can get you that energy boost you’ll miss when you quit caffeine. (PS, Marijuana can have the same rebound cycle, causing more headaches when it wears off which means you may want to “commit or quit” that too).
- Exercise – While exercising with a headache is basically impossible, exercising regularly can help cut down on headaches. Low impact options like the elliptical or rowing machine can be a good alternative to running, which can cause headaches for those prone to headaches and migraines.
- Relaxation – Try to find ways to relax daily to try and avoid headaches, especially those stemming from tension. Yoga, meditation, prayer, stretching, walks, even a nap, can all help keep you relaxed.
- Water, water, water – Stay hydrated. Water is key to warding off headaches naturally. Scientists found drinking around seven glasses a day was enough to ease pain and improve the quality of life in patients. Drink at least 56 ounces of water a day to keep hydrated and have a better chance at reducing headaches and migraines naturally without drugs, pills, pain killers or medications.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture can be beneficial for relieving stress and avoiding headaches. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it is a viable option if you haven’t tried it. Most insurance companies cover acupuncture these days, so you may be able to go for a low co-pay. Even without insurance acupuncture can be affordable.
- Chiropractic Care – Seek out a chiropractor who specializes in treating headaches. Chiropractic Neurologists are chiropractors with special neurology training and board certifications. They will have the DACNB board designation. Chiropractic Neurologists are trained specifically trained to help with headaches, brain injuries, vision issues and pain. Their treatments focus on the underlying causes, which can range from joints, muscles, vision and even balance.