Have you ever had that weird antagonizing sensation pulsating in your head? It sometimes comes in the form of blurry vision, nausea, sharp pains and it just feels like your temples are beating out of control. Not only are they painful but they are insanely boring because it won’t allow you to do anything. Headaches are a nuisance and to stop it from taking over our head we must first understand where it stems from.There are many things that can trigger a headache; eating too much MSG, over working your brain, dehydration, gas built up from taking to long to eat (hunger), brain freeze, stressing from work and school or your eyes being exposed to too much bright light for long periods of time. Whatever the reason is, I am here to help ease the pain without the use of drugs.
Headaches are more than just a pain in your skull, it can really take a turn for the worse especially when it becomes a migraine. We often reach for painkillers as our first resort and I am guilty of this too. But I found more natural approaches that work just as good, if not better than lousy old painkillers. Aside from the obvious reason of stop doing the thing that’s causing the headache. Here are my top 10 surprising ways for getting rid of a headache or migraine.
1.) Drink Plenty of Water:- This is not really a trick but a well-known necessity. I know you hear this all the time and you brush it off, but you can just be experiencing a headache because your dehydrated. Consuming sugar and alcohol dehydrates you just as much as weather conditions and exercise does. Sufficient hydration is alfa and omega for a killing headache. Hopefully you drink enough water to avoid the headache in the first place but once it’s there, make sure you drink more water at room temperature. Drinking room temperature water will help soothe the pain associated with the headache and reduce it’s duration.
2.) Johnson’s Soothing Vapor Bath:- Fill your tub with warm water, pour three cap full of the Johnson’s Soothing Vapor Bath (read the label) and soak for 15 minutes. Or if your pressed for time just lather up for a good five minutes or so, then wash off and proceed with you’re regular shower routine. Apparently, menthol has been used as a “non-drug” therapy for headaches for centuries. The relief is due to the aromatherapeutic blend of rosemary, eucalyptus, and menthol. According to an article written on Dailymail’s website, breathing in the scent from the vapor bath activates the menthol receptor in the skin, which makes us feel cooler and helps relieve the pain from migraines. For added effect, you can let your neck rest on a padded ice-pack while you’re soaking.
3.) Try a different temperature:- Placing an iced or heated pack on your temples, can help relieve some of the throbbing from a headache in just minutes. You simply need to choose which one works best for your migraines. When you apply heat, your muscles will relax and pain will lower. If you choose to apply a cold compress, you will numb the areas most in pain to all that they are feeling. I find that cold compresses work best for my migraines. You can use a ice pack and rest it on your temples or forehead. If it gets too cold just wrap a rag over the compress so you can keep it on your head longer. According to Dr. Messina on health.com , the artery that supplies blood to the dura (the lining of the brain) sits behind the thin bone at the temple and that dura gets inflamed when you’re having a migraine. Lowering the temperature of the blood passing through that area “seems to relieve some of the throbbing.”
4.) Black Coffee:- also known as the caffeine cure. The first time I ever tried coffee was in Georgia when I had a piercing migraine. My wonderful aunt made me a cup of black coffee and after sipping the bitter drink, I fell asleep and woke up feeling 100% better. Not only was I hooked, but I was cured. Caffeine in coffee reduces inflammation (blood vessels swelling) which can help relieve a headache. This is why caffeine is an ingredient in some pain killers like Excedrin. However, I DO NOT recommend this remedy, if you are a heavy coffee drinker. According to an article on the Webmd website there is a high chance this might not work for you since your body is already accustomed to the coffee high and chances are you will get little to no effect from this remedy. So drink with caution because caffeine could be a trigger.
5.) Aromatherapy (Sooth With Scent):- Certain essential oils especially lavender and peppermint can help ease tension and relieve the pain from a headache. The Everyday Health website states that headaches and migraines are often due to poor blood flow and these oils helps to open and close the vessels that promote flow. It also opens up the sinuses so that more oxygen can get into the bloodstream. So gently massage oil on your temples or inhale oil infused vapors. You can make a homemade vapor, just by boiling a pot of water, adding your oil of choice to it, lying down and just inhaling the steam. This might not be as effective for a migraine, but for headaches it works a charm. For maximum relief slip into a room that’s dark, quiet and cool and listen to some relaxation music on a low volume. The longer you can lie their breathing in the aroma, the better and eventually you drift off into a nice sleep and wake up headache free.
6.) Slip into Darkness:- Since most migraines are caused by sensory stimuli and lights are one of them, brightness tends to trigger an even greater head pain, so don’t be afraid to turn things down a bit. Bright or flickering light from things like the sun, your computer screen, television screen or your phone are painful when you’re suffering from a minimal headache, a hangover and especially a migraine. Try turning down the brightness on your devices or shutting off a few of the lights in the room you’re in until your headache is gone. Wearing sunglasses indoor or outdoor help too since it protects you from both natural and unnatural light. So the next time someone asks why you have sunglasses on in the dark, just say you’re fighting off a migraine.
7.) Green Rubbing Alcohol:- I’ve been using this remedy since I was a little kid. Whenever I had a cold or my asthma would act up, my parents would rub it all over me and make me inhale it. It has truly worked wonders for me then and now it has made it to my list of remedies for headaches. So basically I take rubbing alcohol and rub it all over my chest, back and pour some on a rag and just sniff it for a while. Not to the point, where I get high (joking) but just enough until I feel the migraine start to subside. It might sound a little unorthodox but don’t knock it till you try it. A vicks steam inhaler or a humidifier works just as good too. Basically whenever I feel a headache coming on, I find that anything with a strong eucalyptus smell helps my migraines and I think it could help yours too.
8.) Gatorade:- Yes my friends, this popular sports drink is now a headache reliever. My mom actually told me about this one. One time when I was having a migraine, she gave me the lemon gatorade and it helped take it away. Since your headache is your body’s signal that you need to provide it with more fluids, to treat the lack of fluids you not only need to consume water, but electrolytes to regulate and normalize your ph levels. The live strong website states that Gatorade consists of carbohydrates and electrolytes, which facilitate fluid absorption in your body. It also has sodium, an essential electrolyte which helps keep fluid in your body instead of losing it by urination, making it more effective in treating headaches than water. Just sip a 16oz bottle of Gatorade slowly and your headache should be gone within the hour.
9.) Tea-Tox:- This is basically hot water, lemon & fresh mint leaves and its perfect after a fun weekend. Mint leaves works well to naturally relieve pain by relaxing blood vessels and tight muscles in the neck (both of which can lead to tension headaches) Hot water with lemon soothes and helps restore the acid-alkaline balance in your body. It taste so light and fresh, you might need to make a pitcher to drink for the rest of the day. Drink this in the early stages of your headache for best results.
10.) Meditation, Yoga or Breathing Exercises:- This is perfect if you’re busy running around, always thinking about things and you can’t seem to slow down. Various meditation and breathing techniques can be used as well to focus attention and quiet the mind from distractions such as chronic pain. Yoga is great too, since common causes of headaches are improper posture and rigidity of scalp, shoulder, jaw, neck, temples and forehead muscles. It’s only logical to use techniques that promote muscle and mental relaxation to prevent or treat headaches. Alternate nostril breathing is a breathing exercise I learned from yoga that actually helps to calm your mind. Check out this yoga video I use on youtube, that helps explain alternate nostril breathing as well as some soothing yoga poses to help dissipate your headache.
Hopefully you found these 10 surprising headache remedies helpful and it inspires you to think outside the pill-box. Try and combine these tricks and find out which combination works best for you. Headaches are different for everyone and only you know what your body responds to.
As always; if you do have health concerns, please consult with your primary doctor before changing your treatment plan!