Headaches are a pain – both literally and figuratively. Sometimes they’re so severe that they derail your entire day. Maybe they even prevent you from getting a good night’s rest; I remember waking up morning (I’m talking 3:30 AM) to a pounding headache. I looked all over the house for an over the counter pain reliever to no avail. I remember thinking to myself surely there are other options other than medication, so I made it my mission to find effective headache relief alternatives. Listed below are remedies that have proven most useful to me. I hope they can offer you some relief, too!
Tip #1: Take a Bath
Taking a warm bath is one of the easiest things you can do to ease or prevent a headache. You’ll immediately start to notice your blood vessels dilating and tension melting away from your muscles. This remedy is especially good if you frequently get tension headaches. If you’re taking a bath, try adding 2-3 drops each of peppermint and lavender essential oils to your bath water. The invigorating and relaxing properties of peppermint and lavender will help you unwind and potentially stop a headache in its tracks.
Tip #2: Get a Massage
The most common types of headaches are the result of extremely tense muscles and stress. This is not surprising considering how busy and overwhelming our lives can be. Want some good news? Regular massages can help to ease muscle tension and help you relax – possibly preventing a future headache. So go ahead and treat yourself to a massage – it’s for your health!
Tip #3: Try Headache Relief Therapy
Headache relief therapy is conducted by a therapist who focuses on headache relief with treatments like cold therapy, trigger-point targeting, and aromatherapy. They are geared toward reducing pain and releasing tension in your body. With regular appointments, you may be able to reduce the number of headaches you get per month.
Tip #4: Take Care of Your Mental Health
Seeing a behavioral therapist may be just what your body needs. If your brain isn’t happy, the rest of your body probably isn’t either. Around 18.3% of the US population struggle with some form of mental illness and pounding headaches come with the territory. According to the American Migraine Foundation, 30-60% of all patients who saw a mental health professional reported fewer headaches than before they started. Practitioners use treatments like biofeedback, relaxation, or cognitive-behavioral therapy to help decrease stress and get to the root of your headaches!
Tip #5: Butterbur
Butterbur is a shrub that is typically grown in Europe and may just be the best-kept secret for preventing migraines. Though it’s not very well-known, it’s gotten a lot of love from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society! It’s important to note that the raw butterbur plant contains chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can cause serious damage to your liver so if you’re thinking about buying the supplement, be sure the bottle is labeled “PA-free”.
Bottom line? Give yourself some TLC and make sure to check in with your body every once in a while. These techniques might just help you to stave off headaches for good (one can hope, right?)