Story by Cheri Woodsmall
It’s Monday, you’re late for your daughter’s dance practice and I-35 is a parking lot. You can feel it coming. It begins with just a twinge behind your ears and slowly travels up back of your neck. It’s the beginning of a headache and it’s going to be a doozy.
Life can get pretty busy and stressful, and we often mask the pain with a painkiller. A headache is a good indicator that your body is missing something – maybe you need to take a breath, hydrate or change the way you eat. You may have a vitamin or nutrient deficiency or a food sensitivity that is causing this built-up tension.
Your body is telling you that something needs to change, so begin to listen to it. You may be wondering, how do you make a headache go away? And, how do you prevent them from returning and wreaking havoc on your busy life?
Try these 7 headache remedies – which include herbs, vitamins, posture correction, diet changes and more – to overcome headaches in a natural and healthy way and get you back to being the awesome multi-tasking legend that you are!
1. Magnificent Magnesium
Known to be one of the most successful headache remedies, this natural little wonder is much safer than taking a painkiller. Quite often, people who suffer from serious headaches, like migraines, often have low levels of magnesium, and several studies suggest that magnesium may reduce the frequency of migraine attacks in people with low levels.
Taking 200–600 mg of magnesium a day can reduce the frequency of headaches. Oral magnesium supplements are widely available, extremely safe and inexpensive. And there is an added perk – magnesium helps to relax you, so if you take it right before bedtime, it eases you into a restful slumber.
2. Get Rid of Mr. Gluten
A diet high in gluten can lead to a headache. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, patients who have undiagnosed celiac disease and migraine headaches often see either complete resolution of migraine headaches, or a significant reduction in the frequency and strength of symptoms after giving up gluten.
You may not have celiac disease, but a gluten sensitivity that gives you a headache. So instead of cutting out gluten completely – instead, try to cut back on your daily intake.
3. Slow Down and Smell the Oils
The calming and numbing effects of essential oils make them perfect tools for finding headache relief.
Peppermint oil generates a long-lasting cooling effect on the skin. Research shows that peppermint oil stimulates a significant increase in skin blood flow of the forehead, and it soothes muscle contractions. Lavender oil is commonly used as a mood stabilizer and sedative. Both of these essential oils are really effective headache remedies, so take advantage of their benefits by placing a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil into your hands and then rubbing the blend on your forehead, temples and back of neck.
4. B-Good to Yourself
B vitamins are involved in the formation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which may be deficient in people who suffer from migraines. Sadly, millions of Americans are coming up short on one or more of the B vitamins and this is causing energy slumps, unhealthy blood cell and adrenal effects, foggy thinking and headache symptoms.
A B-complex vitamin includes a group of eight water-soluble vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. Together, these vitamins improve brain cells, circulation, immune function and cardiovascular health.
5. Load up on that H2O!
This one is really a no brainer. The dehydrating effects of coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol can certainly leave us with a killer headache. Most of us aren’t getting enough water, which in itself can relive headache pain and symptoms. This simple remedy will keep you feeling full, energized and headache-free.
You can also quench your thirst and stay hydrated with fruits and veggies – some even have a water content that’s over 90 percent.
6. You Got to Move It, Move It!
Staying in one position for an extended period of time, like sitting at your desk (or in traffic on I-35!), can lead to body tension and create headache symptoms.
Plus, let’s face it; many of us spend hours a day hunched over, such as peering at your smartphone. This position, with your head sticking out, puts an extra 20-30 pounds of pressure on your neck!
No wonder such a position leads to major tension headaches. An easy way to avoid this chain reaction is to take a break every 30-60 minutes – stretch and move your head and neck around in a circular motion. This will relieve the built up stress and can help in avoiding headaches.
7. Just Chill
Particularly if you are struggling with migraines, resting or sitting in a darkened room can help relieve symptoms and it can be a basic headache treatment at home. Close your eyes and focus on relieving tension in your neck, back and shoulders.