Headaches are a common ailment in today’s world of stress and pressure to meet work deadlines. It’s often not so serious an issue but is often exacerbated by the fact that we sometimes keep ignoring the causes of a headache. Modern medicinal remedies seems to be an easy fix for this ailment but in most of the cases we can also prevent the root causes of headaches in the first place.
Let’s take a look at some of the causes:
Overwork and lack of sleep: We all know this is a common cause as very too often we find ourselves exerting too much mentally in today’s work environment, where meeting a deadline is considered a deciding factor in job performance and which then later decides how much appraisal we can hope for. So we need to strive our best for a work life balance and at least 8 hours of sleep everyday to refresh our mind and bodies, if we want to perform our best and avoid headaches
Too much coffee: Coffee is a stimulant for the mind and body. It activates certain centers in our brain which then signals our body to stay awake and delays lethargy. When taken in moderation, coffee improves our mental focus and physical well being. But if taken in excess, it’s effects can prove to be detrimental to our mind and bodies.
Too hot and/or spicy foods: Some people are more sensitive to some foods than others. Our bodies react differently to foods. Eating food that is too hot or too spicy can agitate our body and brains, and has proven to be cause of headaches in some people.
So even though stress is unavoidable in today’s lifestyle, we should definitely keep it in check and freshen up our minds. Here we present some of the natural remedies for relieving stress and headaches.
Natural Remedies For Headaches:
- Acupressure: Acupressure is a natural remedy for different pains. If you don’t already know, acupressure is natural healing practice in which pressure is applied on the body parts which are in pain, with the practitioner’s hands and fingers and sometimes needles. According to a 2004 review, acupressure has proven to be a reliable therapy for chronic headaches.
- Massage with essential natural oils: Use of natural oils such as peppermint, rosemary, chamomile, lavender, for massage has proven to provide relief from chronic stress and headaches. What massage also does is improve sleep quality which in turn refreshes the mind and cures headaches. It has also proven to provide relief in anxiety.
- Get more magnesium from your daily diet: People who suffer from chronic or recurring headaches have reported relief when they included magnesium rich foods and fruits in their daily diet. So include oatmeal, cashews, almonds, eggs, peanut butter, peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans, tuna, salmon and other foods in your diet which are rich in magnesium.
- Go sign up for that yoga and meditation course or retreat: Yoga and meditation have several benefits to our bodies and minds and even for our spirit. When both of these practices are combined and practiced daily or even weekly, can help relieve physical and mental stress from the all the hard work that our bodies and minds have to cope with during the work week.
- Drink herbal or plain tea with ginger and basil: Tea, like coffee acts as a stimulant for the mind and body. When taken in moderation it has numerous health benefits. Hot tea should avoided on hot days, but on cold days and winters it is definitely recommended. Ginger and basil has many health benefits, one of which is that they provide relief in headaches.
- Get sound sleep: Lack of sleep, as mentioned above has been linked to cause stress and even headaches in extreme cases. So make sure to drop doing anything that causes stress near bedtime. Also a good mattress, good meal (not too much or too heavy), cool (temperature) and dark bedroom have proven to help induce a naturally deep sleep. Also it’s important to not under sleep and over sleep. Sleep of at least 7-9 hours is considered normal and healthy for us.
- Coconut or Mineral Water: Headaches caused by exposure to sun and heat on hot sunny day, can be cured naturally by drinking cooled (not too chilly or freezing) coconut water or mineral water. Even a cool lemonade provides instant relief from heat and headache.
- Drink cool and freshly made fruit juices: Fresh fruit juices contain numerous health benefits in the form of vitamins and minerals plus they are a good source of fiber and water for our bodies. Drinking freshly made and cooled (not packaged) juices on a hot summer day relieves body heat, stabilizes breathing and even provides relief against headaches.
- Avoid loud sounds and bright lights: It should come as obvious. Our brain is already overworked and is under too much stress, so avoiding more strain by listening to loud music or going out in sunlight definitely makes a whole lot of sense.
- Use cold compress: This again has proven to provide relief in headaches and soothing body temperatures on hot summer months. To make a cold compress, just fill a waterproof bag with cold water or plastic wrap/aluminum foil with some ice and apply the cold compress to back area of neck, head and temples.
- Limit alcohol: We all know how too much of anything is usually not good for us. So drinking too much hoping to somehow get relief from headache can often prove to have the opposite effect and exacerbate the problem. Alcohol acts as a vasodilator, meaning it widens our blood vessels. Vasodilators, like blood pressure medications can cause headaches as a side effect. So limiting or avoiding alcohol is definitely a good idea.
- Include foods rich in Vitamin B12: B12 rich foods have also proven to provide relief in chronic headaches. Foods such as organic fish trout and salmon, yogurt, milk, eggs, chicken breast and other dairy products are naturally rich in B12 and therefore should be part of our daily diet.
- Breathing exercises or pranayama: Considered part of yoga, breathing exercises can help calm our mind and relieve stress. These exercises should be done outdoors or in backyard where there is sufficient breeze, and remember to avoid doing them on hot and sunny days. The best time to do them is morning and evening. Before practicing these exercises proper consultation from trained and registered yoga experts and teachers should be taken.
Headaches like all ailments can be both cured or even prevented by finding it’s root causes and then eliminating them completely. Prevention is definitely better than cure, when it comes to this or any other ailment.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with good physical and breathing exercises or meditation, good balanced diet, proper water intake, making fruits and dry fruits part of our diet and also importantly taking good sleep every night not only keeps our body, mind and spirit healthy and working optimally but can also prevent different ailments.
So try our recommended lifestyle choices everyday to avoid or cure headaches and stay healthy.