Headaches are a brutal obstacle to deal with, and many of us encounter them frequently. Painkillers from the store may be our first instinct for immediate relief, but there are plenty of healthy, all-natural methods to take as an alternative. From poor diet, to mineral deficiencies, to lack of daily activity and more, there are many sources to find where your headaches are coming from and these healthy headache relieving methods can help you pinpoint the cause and eliminate them for good.
Even if you avoid coffee, sugary drinks, and alcohol—the truth is, most of us aren’t drinking enough water. Something as simple as just staying hydrated alone can be enough to help temper a headache. A good standard measure of how much water you should drink is to take your body weight (in lbs) and divide it by half to get the number of fluid ounces you should be taking in. Remember that your body is roughly 70% water, so being dehydrated leads to your organs (like your brain) to not be able to function properly. If it’s tough for you to drink so much water, loading up with fruits and veggies can keep you hydrated as well, since some of them are over 90% water like strawberries, cucumbers, and broccoli. When your next headache starts flaring up, just get some water in your system and you may see it go away without needing to take any other action.
Go Gluten Free
Did you know that headaches are a common sign you may have gluten sensitivity? The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness found that those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance saw their migraines either lower drastically
or disappear completely when eliminating gluten from their diet. If you feel you may be in this category, watch the next time you eat gluten and see if it causes a headache afterwards. A good rule of thumb is to just pay attention to how your body reacts to gluten. There are lots of great gluten free options out there, but if you absolutely can’t live without eating gluten, try going gluten free for a set period of time to let your body reset before reintroducing it into your diet again.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have a long list of uses, from being added to cleaning solutions, to skincare, to meditation and natural healing, they can do a lot for us. For headaches, you should find the essential oils with relaxation and calming effects like peppermint and lavender. Peppermint will impose a cooling feeling on the skin and even promote blood flow in the skin near your forehead area. Studies have even shown peppermint oil to aid in headache prevention
. Try applying either peppermint or lavender oils to your temples, between your eyebrows, and just beneath your nose to let the fragrance come in and soothe your brain. Another great essential oil for easing headaches is the Bird of Soul oil
, which combines 17 different oils into one to produce a soothing, calming effect.
Up Your B Vitamins
Many Americans are lacking in B vitamins, leading to low energy, foggy brain and headaches. Take preventative action against headache battles by adding B-complex vitamins to your intake. Several B vitamins actually help form neurotransmitters like serotonin, so try supplementing with B-vitamins like B2 and B3. Vitamin B2 can help lower the length of migraines and how often you get them, and vitamin B3 will relieve vascular headaches by opening your blood vessels and raising blood flow. To prevent headaches and fatigue, try taking a B-complex vitamins or add some B vitamin rich foods
to your diet for good measure.
Stretch Every Hour
Our sedentary work days sitting in one spot for hours can cause our body to grow tense, which causes less energy and oxygen to be delivered to your brain and can cause headaches. Even when we aren’t working, we tend to have hunched posture, look down at our phone constantly. That position can add up to 20-30 pounds of extra weight on your neck and increase headaches. When these two activities take up a huge chunk of our schedule, it’s clear to see why so many of us feel the pain of headaches on a consistent basis.
A healthy method to practice is breaking away from your work or sitting still every hour or so to move around. You can stretch, go on a walk, or do some one minute exercises
to keep your blood flowing and your body loose as to prevent headaches and built up tension.
Rest Your Eyes and Turn Off the Lights
A straightforward method that we can forget sometimes: just rest your eyes. We spend every looking at things or focusing our eyes on one object for long periods of time. This can cause eye strain, which can translate as headaches. It’s a sign from our eyes and brain that they need a break!. So if you feel a headache coming on, just take some time to close your eyes and rest them for a bit. Better yet, get to a dark room or turn the lights off where you’re at (if possible) and give the eyes some time away from all the strain-inducing screens and lights. Closing your eyes and letting them rest at least once per 30 minutes to an hour can go a long way in maintaining strain and headaches.