Natural Headache Remedies
Headaches can ruin your day. They make it difficult to concentrate, effect your mood and can leave you feeling exhausted~ especially if they never seem to go away.
There are several dangers to using pharmaceutical headache remedies, but all is not lost! These simple and affordable techniques are natural, quick and can help prevent headaches too.
How Much Water To Drink
It is widely believed that everyone should drink 2 Litres/2 Quarts of water a day. This is in fact wrong and how much you need to drink is based on your weight and activity levels.
The minimum you should drink each day can be worked out as follows:
- Take your weight in pounds (lbs)
- Half that
- Convert lbs to ounces (fl oz US)
- Convert to millilitres (ml) depending on your country: 1 fl oz (US) = 29.57353 ml
For example, someone who weighs 140lbs should be drinking 70 ounces of water a day. A normal glass full is 8oz (237ml), so that's roughly 8-9 glasses a day.
Drink Enough Water
Dehydration can cause several health problems ranging from minor to life threatening and yet it's estimated that 80% of us are chronically dehydrated.
One of the more minor side effects is headaches.Your first action when you have a headache should be to have a glass of water. It's not completely understood why dehydration causes headaches. One theory is that the pain is caused by blood vessels narrowing in a bid to conserve what fluid the body does have, which then reduces oxygen and blood flow.
How do you know if you're dehydrated? One way is by the frequency and colour of your urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. A person who is properly hydrated will have urine that is almost clear.
Avoid soda, caffeine and alcohol as these dehydrate further (see below). Ideally drink good quality water and eat fruits and vegetables with high water content such as cucumber and watermelon.
Warning! It is also possible to drink too much water, although this is quite rare. Drink enough depending on your weight and activity, but don't overdo it!
Acupressure For Headaches
When stimulated, certain points on the body release endorphins which are our natural painkillers and acupressure makes use of these.
There are acupressure points all over the body and there are several that can help relieve headaches~ most are featured on the video below, as well as the temples.
Acupressure mats are particularly useful for overall health and can be used to sleep on, for meditation and even on your car seat!
Other Natural Headache Cures
Essential Oils. Peppermint in particular is extremely useful for headaches. Never use oils neat on your skin though, always dilute with a base oil then rub onto your temples.
Exercise. Many headaches are caused by bad posture and mis-aligned vertebrae. Strong muscles support your bones to keep them in line. Exercise also reduces stress and increases circulation. Make sure you drink extra during and after exercise though.
Of course it's better to prevent than cure and finding out what's causing your headaches in the first place can improve overall health.
Foods that trigger headaches. The biggest known culprits are sugar and sweeteners~particularly Aspartame, which has even been linked to brain tumours. Read labels carefully as there are a lot of hidden sugars, sweeteners and salt in processed food. Fizzy drinks, caffeine, alcohol and a diet heavy in salt all dehydrate you, which as mentioned before is the biggest headache trigger of all.
Allergies. You may have allergies and not even know it! Studies have been done that show Gluten intolerance can cause headaches~ try cutting out gluten products such as wheat and oats to see if your headaches improve. Some people are particularly sensitive to food that contain vasoactive amines, found in cheese, coffee, chocolate, red wine and tea.
Stress. Known as tension headaches, stress can trigger pain because of tightened muscles, poor posture, fatigue or overworking. Learning to relax your body and mind has many health benefits, but are particularly good for preventing headaches.
Detox. If you have improved your diet recently, you may be going through a detox. Detox headaches can be very bad while your body is ridding itself of toxins~ particularly if it is a substance your body is addicted to like sugar or caffiene. They do pass, stick with it as it will be worth it in the end and drink plenty of water to flush the toxins out quicker.
Warning! If your headache persists, despite taking steps to relieve it there may be a more serious cause. If your headache continues, please seek a professional opinion.