Headaches, especially migraines, can be so unbearable that the sufferer will do almost anything to find a cure. Ironically, though many turn to prescription medication to soften or end the headaches, that is not always the best or most effective treatment to consider.
There are several holistic therapies for migraine headaches that are recommended and even free of charge, to consider:
- Apply heat or ice to your forehead. Use a warm compress or an ice pack to help relieve a headache. The warm compress can be a heating pad on low or soaking a washcloth in warm water and then wringing it out. For the cold compress, use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables. Wrap them in a washcloth and put either on your forehead for 15-20 minutes. Both can work but whichever you choose is your preference. Most people use a heating pad as it works better for sinus headaches since it loosens up congestion.
- Take a warm bath or shower. Warmth calms the mind and eases tension in the muscles, which can relieve headaches. Self-care such as a warm bath can reduce stressful feelings and help fade or eliminate headaches. We recommend a bubble bath or shower gel with calming scents like lavender, to compound the effect.
- Take a nap. Naps used to be frowned upon in the work world as being lazy. That isn’t the case now. They are encouraged as many people now set aside time during the workday to nap. So, set a time of day to find a quiet, dark place at the office or in your home. Lie down on a soft surface. Turn off your devices. Close your eyes. Focus on releasing the tension in your body that is in your shoulders, neck, and back. Breathe deeply in and out until you drift off into a comfortable sleep. When you awaken, your headache may have disappeared. Set an alarm for around 25-30 minutes. Longer naps may stunt your nighttime sleep and lead to more headaches
- Massage the tense spots. Self-massage can be quite effective if placed in the right spots. Rub your temples, neck, shoulders, and scalp gently with your fingertips. You may need to apply extra pressure in the tight spots. Do this daily to reduce regular tension headaches.
- Get away from the computer and device for at least twenty minutes. The blue light from your phone, laptop, or tablet has been shown to cause headaches. *** You can reduce the eye strain from looking at the computer or device screen by turning away every twenty minutes and staring at something twenty feet away for twenty seconds (20/20/20). If a headache is coming on and you’re staring at a computer screen, close your eyes for sixty seconds. This may give you some relief. Regular breaks away from the screen, even your smartphone, may reduce the number of headaches. Also, purchase glasses that reduce glare from screens if eye strain headaches are common.
- Drink water regularly throughout the day. Water is good for you no matter what health issues you may have. Drinking it daily may reduce your headache frequency and severity. Though it is said that everyone should drink eight glasses Of water each day, that is not a rule that everyone should follow. The specific amount of water you drink each day is based on your sex, age, height, weight, and activity level. If you exercise a lot, you should drink more water, of course. If you’re rarely thirsty and your urine is a clear or pale yellow, then you are drinking a healthy amount of water. It also is a preventive measure if your headache was caused by dehydration.
Headaches can slow you down at work and in your private life. They can, however, be mitigated if you take the proper steps for self-care. If these therapies fail to cure or dampen the effects of a headache, consult your physician or chiropractor for treatment advice.
If you are experiencing headaches, consult our staff at Apple Wellness Clinics. We can treat your headache using some of the headache treatment options recommended by Dr. Pasternak. Call us at (540) 545-7891 for an appointment.
We serve the Winchester, VA, and Washington, D.C. areas.
*** For more information on how blue light can cause headaches, visit the NIH website.