Pain relief for today and a better future in 2018
Here at Rewire Me, we all hope you had a Happy New Year! But we know some of you may have celebrated a bit too late or a bit too heartily last night.
Even if that’s not the case, here are nine all natural headache cures to get you started off right in the New Year:
Because a pound of prevention is always worth an ounce of cure, next time try to remember the most important things you can do to avoid a headache from ever starting.
Stay hydrated. Drinking water, especially before and while you are drinking alcohol, is an important way to help stave a morning-after headache. Also, red wine is a known culprit, so be forewarned. Other beverages such as caffeine can also dehydrate you.
Regular exercise, particularly the type that includes stretching – such as yoga – can help you avoid headaches. But it’s not likely that one yoga class on NYE morning will prevent a headache before too much celebrating.
However, deep breathing and gentle stretching may help some if you didn’t do enough to prevent a headache this time around. So, pull out that yoga mat and do some slow, basic movements of the spine and neck while you breathe. Then, take a nice long shavasana.
Focus on your breathing, and try several different techniques until you feel more relaxed.
Stay in the Dark
As you ease your breath, lie down in the dark. This tends to help both tension and migraine headaches.
Dr Jack M Rozental, migraine specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said: “Patients with migraine instinctively seek out a dark, quiet environment in which they can go to sleep for at least a few hours.”
After awhile, try gradually moving to more light again to see if your pain has abated.
If you don’t get the recommended minimum six to eight hours of sleep per night, you could be increasing your likelihood of having a headache. So, if you are overtired from a long night out or simply a little behind, get back on a schedule in the New Year.
Put down the electronic devices and indulge in a bath or book the last half hour before bed. Make sure you stop ingesting any stimulants, such as caffeine or sugar, long before bedtime.
This cure-all can help your headache by reducing inflammation, which may reduce the size of blood vessels in your head, where the pain is. Also, by aiding your digestion, ginger may keep any nausea in check.
Drink your ginger in a tea made from the root after you steep it. You can also choose to mix half ginger juice and lemon juice, and drink up to twice daily. For a more direct and fast-acting approach, apply ginger powder paste and two tablespoons of water onto your forehead for a few minutes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This remedy helps headaches by restoring the acid-alkaline balance in your body.
Dr Supriya Bali, of Max Hospitals, explained: “Mix half cup of apple cider vinegar with half cup of water and boil the mixture in a covered saucepan. Remove from heat, hold a towel over your head and slowly inhale the steam. This will provide instant relief from sinus headaches.”
So, if you wake up with a headache, try this two to three times daily: drink a glass of water with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, honey and a dash of lemon juice.
Peppermint, thyme, rosemary and lavender oils each offer healing benefits for headaches. Rubbing a few drops of these fragrances into your temples can help open your senses and begin to alleviate pain. Various oils can also be diffused or put into baths to soak into the steam around you.
Enjoy the aroma of these essential oils as their healing properties help you let go of your pain.
Ice or Heat
Both cold and hot compresses can relieve tension causing pain in your head. You can move the compress around to whatever part of your head hurts most.
Ice can be applied with an ice pack or a simple baggie, cushioned with a cloth. Use for no more than 10 minutes at a time without a break.
Apply heat through a store-bought pack or a handmade one. Fill a piece of fabric two-thirds full with uncooked rice and sew or tie the end together. After one-minute in the microwave, apply as needed to your forehead or back of your neck.
Keep a food, drink and sleep diary
If you have persistent headaches, the New Year is a great time to start figure out what’s causing them. Some common culprits are caffeine, nitrates – found in pepperoni, sausages, etc. – monosodium glutamate (MSG), and tyramine – found in pizza, aged cheeses, etc. By tracking the source of your headaches, you can avoid those foods and drinks. By writing down when you go to bed and when you rise – including any naps – you can also track your sleep habits more accurately.
As you learn, you should be able to reduce their frequency with careful attention to how you eat, drink, and sleep.
Hopefully, by next New Year’s Day, you can avoid a headache altogether.