In our increasingly stressful and busy life, headaches have become quite common. While in some cases, headaches can result from a medical condition, in most cases, they are caused by stress, overwork, being up till late at night, or dehydration. Headaches are extremely irritating and can reduce your productivity to a large extent.
But there are plenty of simple headache remedies that you can do to relieve pain without having to go to a doctor or taking over-the-counter pills. From normal breathing exercises, hot/cold application to a simple massage can be effective in reducing pain. Even acupuncture and osteopathy have emerged as popular treatments for headache cure.
How to get rid of a headache
Massage therapy: Massages are great to release muscle tension in the body and can prove effective in headache relief. Headaches can often happen due to tension in the upper body muscles from a bad poster or a rigorous workout.
These kinds can be easily treated with a proper massage. You should be mindful of finding out the right kind of massage (Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu) you need and only go to a professional practitioner.
Hot and cold applications: For headaches caused by muscle tension, hot or cold applications can be effective headache cures. For cold application, use an ice pack and place it on your forehead. Make sure that the ice pack is covered with a cloth to avoid harming your skin. Use the ice pack for 10 minutes at a time.
For hot application, you can either buy a heat pack from a medical store or use a normal cloth, fill it up with uncooked rice, heat it in the microwave, and place it on your forehead or at the back of your neck to find relief.
Aromatherapy: This is a kind of therapy where plant extracts are used to heal the body and the mind. These extracts or essential oils can be rubbed into the body to ease the pain.
Studies have shown that certain smells can have a healing effect on the body. Essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus can be effectively used to reduce headaches.
Acupuncture: This is a technique where small, sharp needles are applied to key areas in the body to reduce body pain, including headaches effectively.
The therapy is believed to stimulate pain-relieving components in our body, naturally reducing body pain and headaches. Several cultures across the world have been using this technique for years for various kinds of treatments.
Breathing exercises: Breathing right can solve half the issues we often face daily, including stress-related headaches. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, and take slow breaths in a rhythmic pattern.
Breathe in for five seconds and then breathe out for five. As you continue doing this, your body will start relaxing. You can also try a progressive relaxation technique where you focus on a particular body part and move your focus on others after that.
Keep yourself hydrated: Dehydration is one of the major contributors to normal, day-to-day headaches. The lack of fluids can temporarily impact the way the brain functions and cause pain.
The best way to avoid this kind of headache is to include plenty of fluid intake in your daily diet. The simple technique of drinking 8 glasses of water is enough to keep dehydration at bay. Avoid drinking alcohol or other caffeinated drinks.
Get proper sleep: Lack of enough sleep can be a cause of several health problems, including headaches. Knowing that your body requires certain hours of sleep and actually getting it are two different things.
Maintain a proper bedtime, create a good sleep cycle, avoid taking stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and nicotine before going to bed, and do relaxing activities at night. This will help you sleep better and avoid headaches.
Try Osteopathy: Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive, holistic therapy that corrects blood circulation and altered biomechanics. Osteopathy is one of the most effective headache cures for normal headaches as it gently reduces the stiffness in muscles and joints near your neck and spine.
It also works on the upper back, shoulders, and the tissues in your head. Osteopathy is also effective to treat headaches caused by injury, postural issues, stress, or compensatory changes.
Be it a bad posture, dehydration, stress, or injury, headaches can happen at any time.
And even though several remedies can help you find relief from headaches, one of the best ways to find long-lasting comfort is through osteopathy. It is a technique that not only takes the pain point into consideration but treats the entire body as a whole, giving you a more holistic treatment.
Stephen Watts is a British-trained osteopath who has worked in top clinics in the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, and Hong Kong. He has an M.Ost Osteopathy from the European School of Osteopathy (UK) achieving a First class award. Before becoming an Osteopath, he worked for 7 years as a sports and remedial massage therapist with an emphasis on myofascial release.