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17 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache

Updated on February 22, 2014
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Stress, a lack of sleep, alcohol and dehydration trigger headaches that make us feel miserable. Paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirine can relieve the headaches but have the dangerous side effects that they can harm organs and cause irreversable damage to the body. But there are multiple alternative ways to ease headaches that don't involve taking chemicals produced in masses by the pharmaceutical industry.

1 Fluids

The most common cause of headaches is a lack of fluid in our body. The blood becomes thick, the oxygen supply of the cells diminishes and the headache starts. The recommended daily intake of water amounts to 1.5 to 2 liters. If you drank alcohol the night before you should drink even more to make up for the loss of fluid for which alcohol is responsible.

2 Magnesium

Food that contains a large amount of magnesium helps relieve headaches. The mineral leads to relaxed muscles, calms the nerves and can be found in wholemeal, green vegetables and nuts. It is important that people who often suffer from headaches eat regularly as a drop of the blood sugar level can cause headaches.

3 Endurance Sports

Studies have shown that endurance sports three times per week with a duration of 30 minutes can work wonders when it comes to headaches. The exercise should ideally be done in the fresh air. If the headache has already set in, however, you are better off with yoga, tai chi or pilates. In the case of a migrane, physical exercise should be avoided as it can worsen your state. If you do not know whether you have a migrane or not, let your head hang down and shake it. If the pain becomes worse, you have are suffering from a migrane.

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4 Avoid Specific Foods

Some foods or ingredients should not be taken in by people who tend to suffer from headaches. These include cheese, red wine, chocolate, wheat products, porc, pickling salt and the flavor enhancer glutamate. They contain biogenic amines which trigger headaches.

5 Coffee

For those who only drink coffee occasionally or in small amounts, coffee can have a positive effect when you are suffering from a headache. Coffee affects the tension of the blood vessels and positively influences the blood circulation

6 Fresh Air

It always helps taking a walk in the fresh air. From my experience, a walk in a park, in a forest or in another natural area really helps you relax and is a great way to fight a headache. Hearing the birds chirp is going to be much better for you than the noise of traffic in busy cities.

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7 Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a great way to fight against headaches if practiced by a reputable acupuncturist. You will feel more energetic and will be able to let go of the stress you are carrying around with you.

8 Relaxation Techniques

Often, stress is the main cause for headaches. You should consider to find some techniques that lead to complete relaxation of the mind and body. Autogenic training was developed by a German psychiatrist and can relieve many stress-induced psychosomatic disorders.

9 Laughter

Laughter is a magical way of getting rid of a headache. If your headache is not too strong, choose something that makes you laugh a lot, like your favorite TV show or a funny book or magazine. Laughing reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins which are feel-good hormones

10 Magic Tea

A tea used in Asia to cure headaches is made of lemon, ginger and honey. Slice some fresh ginger and give it into a cup along with a teaspoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon. Fill the cup with boiling water and start drinking the magic potion.

11 Relaxing Bath

A relaxing bath in warm water (38° Celsius or 100.4° F) for 15-20 minutes can also help you get rid of that nasty pain. Some rosemary additive promotes the blood circulation and enhances the effect

12 Peppermint Oil

You can use some peppermint oil and dab it onto the temples or on the back of the neck and rub it in gently with the finger tips. This aroma therapy will give you a cool and fresh feeling and will relax your muscles.

13 Avoid the Sun

You have to make sure to avoid the sun when you are suffering from a headache. It is also recommendable to wear a hat on days of great heat to avoid head accumulation in the body.

14 Ice Packs

You can also use an ice or gel pack and place it on the forehead, the temples or on the back of your neck. After three minutes, you can take a break and then repeat the process several times.

15 Butterbur and Willow Bark

Butterbur and willow bark are plants that relieves a headache and migranes and can be taken in exchange for pills such as aspirine, paracetamol and ibuprofen. On theherbalist you can find several natural products containing these ingredients

16 Solve Dental Problems

Your headache might also be connected to your teeth. If you clench your teeth at night or your teeth are in a wrong position, you should visit your dentist or orthodontist. A mouthgard can prevent teeth grinding at night for instance and braces or a perfectly fitted dental prosthesis can work wonders against headaches.

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17 Chiropractor

If you are dealing with muscle tenseness, a chiropractor can adjust your neck or another part of your body that is experiencing trouble. This will leave you feeling like a new person with no signs of a headache.

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    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      I get migraine headaches a couple of times a month and so far I haven't found anything that will make any difference. Some good suggestions here, so thanks for that. Great Hub, voted up.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips Jennifer. I never thought of some of those ways to remove headaches or what causes them. Voted up!

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 3 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks for the valuable tips.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I have been having a lot of sinus headaches recently. These tips are very helpful. I hadn't thought about magnesium or acupuncture, but both of those ideas intrigue me. Thanks for posting this. Voting up and useful.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      Good ideas, voted up. Lately I have been getting more headaches, will have to try some of these tips.

    • DATALOAD profile image

      DATALOAD 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for the ideas. I try not to take any aspirin, if its not needed. I find meditation helps a lot. It's great that you added fluids. Staying hydrated is a great way to stay healthy and prevent common maladies.

    • Jennifer Madison profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Madison 4 years ago from Lohmar

      Thanks Billybuc, I am glad you like my suggestions. Good thing you don't suffer from headaches! I noticed that I have been getting less headaches since I took more time off from work and spent more time in nature. Works like a charm!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I rarely get headaches and it's a good thing because when I do they stop me in my tracks. I have several friends who get migraines on a regular basis and they appear to be in such misery. Anyway, great suggestions for those who suffer from headaches.