A throbbing headache is a real nuisance and can even put you out of action for a few hours. The obvious answer is to take a painkiller, but there are loads of natural remedies you can try instead. They’re cheap, quick, and effective. At least one of them is bound to work for you.
1. Yoga: We all know that yoga is one of the most relaxing activities out there, and it’s a powerful headache cure. The combination of deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and improved circulation is a winning recipe! Research published in the International Journal of Yoga shows that it can even help treat migraines.
Try this: Sit on the floor or in a chair. Straighten your spine and lengthen your neck. Position your right hand on the left side of your head, just behind your ear. Apply gentle pressure and tilt your head to the right. Hold the position for around thirty seconds then repeat on the other side.
2. Other types of exercise: Almost any type of workout can cure a headache. Even a brisk walk will help. Research shows that when you exercise, your body releases all-natural painkillers called endorphins. Movement also helps stretch the muscles in your neck and back, which eases tension headaches. Add uplifting music for an extra stress-busting effect.
3. Self-massage: Professional massage, especially if you get it regularly, is a good way to treat and prevent headaches. Unfortunately, not many of us can afford to pay for our own 24/7 masseuse! Luckily, you can learn to ease pain yourself.
Try this: Place your thumbs near your ears, on your cheekbones. Apply pressure to your temples using your fingertips. Apply more pressure – but not to the point of pain – and rub in tiny circles along your hairline. Do this for a few minutes.
You can also try some DIY reflexology. Reflexologists believe that our feet contain a map of our bodies. Stimulating pressure points on the foot can help relieve pain. Rub these three pressure points to relieve headaches:
- The outer edges of the top of your feet, halfway between your smallest toe and your ankle;
- The area between your first and second toes;
- The lower half of your big toe.
Press on each point for approximately 60 seconds.
4. Water: Do you drink enough water? It sounds silly, but lots of us actually forget to stay hydrated. The bad news is that even mild dehydration can give you a nasty headache. Get at least nine glasses per day and stay away from dehydrating drinks like coffee and alcohol. Don’t forget that food contains water too. Stock up on cucumbers and watermelon!
5. Magnesium: According to natural health experts, taking 200-600mg magnesium every day can prevent headaches. It lowers levels of chemicals in your brain that transmit pain signals.
6. Aromatherapy: Essential oils relieve tension, improve blood flow, and reduce pain perception. If you have a headache, simply smelling the right essential oil can help you feel better within minutes. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Lavender: Scientific research shows that sniffing lavender oil helps 71% of migraine sufferers feel better. Put a few drops on a tissue and inhale for around 15 minutes.
- Peppermint: You might think peppermint is energizing rather than soothing, but it quickly gets to work on headaches. Dilute it with a carrier oil and rub a few drops on your forehead and temples. (Remember, never apply undiluted oil to your skin.) It will soon stop that uncomfortable throbbing feeling.
- Rosemary: Rub it onto your skin to melt away muscle tension in your head, neck, and shoulders. Rosemary is also good for promoting healthy sleep, so it’s perfect to apply just before turning in at night.
- Eucalyptus: This oil is a fantastic decongestant, so it’s perfect for sinus headaches. It quickly opens up nasal passages and encourages detoxification.
With so many natural treatment options around, you don’t have to live with headaches. There’s plenty of scientific evidence that these remedies are safe for most people. However, if your headaches are severe or you notice any other symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. When it comes to your health, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
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