A headache is one of the most common conditions one can suffer from…and we all have been its victims at some time or the other. Rarely would you come across a person who could claim otherwise!
From migraine to tension headaches to a hangover, headache comes in various forms and can affect different parts of the head and neck. Luckily, causes of headaches are rarely serious, and lifestyle modifications help in relieving them.
Headaches are never welcome, causing, at the least, a sense of discomfort. Popping a paracetamol may do the trick and bring relief…but a lot of people do not prefer taking medication.
Well, fear not, here are some ways you can relieve the headache and stay away from pills, at the same time.
Headache is often your body telling you to take it easy. Just 10 minutes in a closed, well ventilated room, dim lights, muted sounds, could do a world of good. If you can grab an hour of sleep, so much better!
Stress is THE most common cause of headaches- people reported that higher the stress levels, more is the frequency and severity of the headache. If you are in a stressful situation, try giving yourself a break…anything that helps you destress…yoga, gardening, cooking are all stress busters. Learn to relax, do some meditation and breathing exercises.
If possible, JUST WALK AWAY!
Feel a headache coming on? Grab a glass of water…headache is the first sign of dehydration. Experts say your fluid intake should be about 3 liters per day, including tea/ coffee, juices, liquids used in cooking.
You might also be in need of a caffeine fix. Having mild pain killer effects, Coffee is often the answer to a mild headache. It is a two edged sword though, if you indulge too much, you might get withdrawal headaches…drink in moderation.
It may be old school, but a gentle massage of the temples, head and neck is still one of the most effective solutions to a headache. Studies have shown that people suffering from migraine or tension headaches reported results within 24 hours of indulging in a 30 minute head massage. Therapeutic!
Try placing essential oils around you while getting the massage- Lavender and mint are known to work wonders. You could also apply some below your nostril or just dab some on cotton and keep it nearby.
Acupressure, practiced since the past 1700 years or so, is a known treatment for headaches. Holding the indentation between the base of your thumb and index finger, just rub with circular movements for about 5 minutes. Repeat on the other hand. You can perform this exercise multiple times in a day, to relieve the headaches. Rubbing ice on this particular spot helps too.
Acupuncture, too, is known to be effective against headaches. An old, traditional treatment, it makes use of long needles to puncture skin and stimulate certain points which helps in preventing headaches.
Applying an ice / hot compress on the nape of your neck or, even better, on your head, often helps in relieving headaches. A cold compress constricts blood vessels and reduces nerve conduction, lessening the headache. You could just rub ice cubes or ice popsicles on your forehead for about 10 minutes at a time.
At times, taking a hot shower could do the trick…especially if you’re suffering from a sinus headache.
SMALL FREQUENT MEALS
Doctors recommend that people suffering from headaches partake small meals, frequently (2 to 3 hour intervals), instead of three full meals. It helps in regulating the blood sugar levels, which reduces the headaches due to sudden fluctuations.
Some studies suggest that having foods rich in magnesium is beneficial- you can snack on pumpkin or sunflower seeds, include olives, tofu in your diet.
BREAK FROM COMPUTERS
In this digital age, we spend hours not only on computers, but our phones, tablets and television. Working on computers for 9 to 10 hours at a time is very common. Too much exposure to these can be a cause of frequent headaches.
Take breaks between your computer sessions, every hour or so…you could take a small walk, stretch your neck muscles, practice some eye exercises. All of these help in alleviating a headache.
AVOID THE SUN
Sun exposure is a strong trigger for a headache. Spending a day at the beach? Carry your sunglasses, umbrella and have lots of liquids…it’ll help avoid the headache!
Try to keep a diary, noting down the details of the headaches, it will help you single out the cause for your headache and make it easier to treat it.