Tips and Tricks for Natural Headache Cures
Regularly occurring headaches, especially migraines, can take a big chunk out of your life. But what is the best way to ease your pain so that it stops getting in the way of work and your personal life? If you are not interested in trying medication, there are a few other things you can try to help avoid headaches and minimize the negative effect of these headaches.
- Peppermint oil: When rubbed into your scalp at the hairline, peppermint can cool and relax your muscles in that area. This is best for tension headaches.
- Feverfew: This is a traditional remedy thought to improve migraine symptoms and reduce their frequency. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and dilates blood vessels for easier circulation. It tends to help with secondary symptoms like nausea and light sensitivity as well. Although feverfew is a natural substance, always check in with your primary health care provider before taking any supplements.
- Ginger: This is thought to have similar anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea effects. Try a nice relaxing ginger tea to see if it helps with your symptoms.
- Capsaicin/cayenne: Especially for cluster headaches, cayenne pepper or pure capsaicin is thought to disrupt the nerve signals causing pain. It can be used topically in the nostril on the same side as the pain, or taken diluted in hot water.
- Aromatherapy: Peppermint oil, as well as lavender or eucalyptus oils, are soothing and can be quite helpful for many types of lower-level pain.
- Calcium: Whether as a supplement or in milk or fortified orange juice, calcium is thought to help relax muscles thereby helping to ease tension headaches.
- Heat or cold: A hot shower can dilate blood vessels and open up circulation as well as easing tense muscles. Cold compresses or ice packs, on the other hand, will lower inflammation. Experiment with heat and cold to discover what is most soothing for you. Your massage therapist can also advise you on a good regimen for your condition.
- Water: Even minor dehydration can affect your body in ways you might not expect. Headache pain is one of them, so getting plenty of water on a daily basis may help treat or avoid these symptoms, as well as improving your health generally.
- Exercise: Moving around as much as you are able to may help by boosting your metabolism a bit and by releasing endorphins. A gentle walk or stretch may provide some welcome relief.
- Monitoring your diet: Keeping track of what you eat and drink in relation to your headaches may help you discover headache triggers. Some types of cheese, wine, and processed meats are relatively common migraine triggers.
- Relaxation: Especially for tension that either causes or accompanies headache symptoms, massages, meditation, and making sure to get rest are often helpful. Many people also find acupuncture or pressure point treatments effective.
There are many natural approaches to try to relieve headache pain. Bear in mind that headaches can have many different sources, and different treatments work better with different types of pain. Getting to know the source of your headaches will be an important first step in determining which of these natural treatments will work best for you. It is important to check in with your primary healthcare provider before embarking on any program of supplements or treatments.