No one in the world can say that they have never got a headache. For some, they are minor irritations after a long day at work, for some they are annoying pains which nag on for a while, getting in the way of daily chores, and for some others, they cause excruciating pain, as though the head is being crushed from both sides by iron rods. Yes, they can be that bad.
Long term sufferers of chronic migraine will vouch for the fact that intermittent headaches can be your worst enemy, as they make sure that you can concentrate on nothing other than your head and it’s throbbing aches. Headaches can be of varying types and intensities, depending on their causes. Unfortunately, a majority of sufferers confess that medicines for alleviating the pain are often ineffective, or provide relief only for a short, temporary period of time. But don’t worry if you are one of them. We bring you here a list of very simple home remedies that will cure your headaches and ensure that they stay away at least long enough for you to complete your essential tasks.
Rest is the easiest way to make your headache run away, though it will not work for serious conditions such as migraines. However, stress or tension induced headaches are best forgotten by a quiet little nap in your cosy bedroom. It isn’t that easy to fall asleep with your head throbbing continuously, I know, but a lot of headaches occur due to lack of sleep, and therefore, the simplest ways to make them go is to catch up on your sleep! So lie down and close your eyes. Try thinking about a funny incident with your friends, or your dream vacation spot, or just anything that will relax your frayed nerves. Go on, give it a try. You won’t even realize when sleep takes you over. And in most cases, after you wake up, there are high chances that you won’t even remember that you had a headache!
9. Hot Shower
A number of people would prescribe a hot shower as the cure to stress-related headaches. And it’s true. It totally works! There is of course the tendency to plonk down onto your bed the moment you get home from work. Some people don’t even take off their shoes before hitting the pillow! And some get headaches so awful that they can do nothing other than sit with their hands holding their head, waiting for the throbbing to cease. But hey, if your headaches are so bad that it’s difficult to even sleep, the best thing to do would be to slip out of your grimy work clothes and step into the shower. Turn the temperature up, and in a minute, the warmth will surround you, soothing your senses, washing away the pain. When you walk out after a full, relaxed bath, you will feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and free from the annoying headache! Some people even claim that a cool shower works better for them. But if you aren’t sure, I would say stick to hot water.
This one will be familiar to the fitness freaks and yoga enthusiasts. But for the more laid back bodies, it’s a great way to overcome your untimely headaches, almost instantly. Stiffness in the neck muscles is a common cause for headaches and can be won over by a variety of exercises involving the head, neck and shoulders. It might feel bothersome to get up and work out when your headache is at it’s peak, but keep telling yourself about all the relief you will be rewarded with once you’ve been through the drill. Starting from neck rotations to full body stretches, a number of exercises can be beneficial for aching heads. Consult a book or an instructor for detailed tips. If you can find the time and willingness to do these stretches regularly, they will even work towards preventing headaches, in addition to getting rid of them.
7. Hot Tea
A cup of steaming tea is a delicious antidote to an irksome headache on a working evening. Adding certain ingredients to the tea such as ginger and lavender can increase its effectiveness manifold, but tea in itself can alleviate the painful botheration to a large extent. Chamomile tea, in particular, is known to allay pains and aches, providing quick and lasting relief. So if you’ve got a headache that refuses to go, just walk up to your kitchen shelves, and bring out the tea leaves, cup, spoon, stirrer as well as some water to boil. In just five to ten minutes, gift yourself a wonderful cup of tea and watch it work wonders for your headache! (According to some people, coffee works just as well, but you must be careful with the amount of caffeine, otherwise, it might just aggravate the pain.)
6. Drinking Plenty of Water
This is a remedy even easier than sleeping! Dehydration can lead to headaches of serious intensity and must be avoided at all costs. In spite of that, if you do think that your headache is the result of not drinking enough water, just grab the nearest water bottle in your house and drink it all up. However, avoid very cold water as far as possible. Once you’ve gulped down a few glasses, you will immediately feel a difference – the throbbing in the head will turn muffled and distant, and you will be able to concentrate on other things. Although for best results, you ought to take a nap after drinking all of that water, you may not have the time. Therefore, it will suffice to solve just the second part of the equation – Have headache? Drink water!
5. Food Remedies
Often, lack of food can lead to disturbing headaches, just like lack of water. So if you want to be spared the pain, make sure to keep yourself well-nourished at all times. Moreover, there are certain kinds of food that can act as headache relievers. Baked potato, which is a rich source of potassium, is known to alleviate burning headaches, especially those caused by hangovers due to heavy alcohol consumption. Watermelons are an effective food remedy for dehydration linked headaches. Being a storehouse of magnesium, almonds relax our blood vessels, providing considerable relief from pain. Sesame seeds may be helpful as well. Spices such as cayenne pepper are also propagated by some experts in herbal medicine. Plain, fat-free yoghurt is another a cool solution.
4. A Soothing Massage
You don’t need to shell out thousands of rupees for half a day at the spa to get rid of your headache. A simple massage to the forehead and temples will work just fine, if you have someone to do it for you at home. If not, you can still do it on your own. A scalp massage with hot coconut oil can be infinitely relaxing in itself, but if you think it’s too little, have someone massage your back, neck and shoulders as well. So all you need to win against your headaches are two hands and ten fingers! What are you waiting for?
3. Cold Compress
This is one of the age old formulas to relieve severe head pains, and works particularly well during fevers and the flu. Take a wet cloth or towel and place it within a plastic bag. Put this bag in the freezer until ice cold. Then take it out and place it on your forehead, gently pressing it down at the points where the pain is maximum. The coldness will ease the pain while the plastic bag protects you from the direct icy chill of the freezer. If you are looking for a simpler version, then just prepare a bowl of cold water and take out a small towel. Wet the towel and place it over your forehead and/or neck, shoulders, massaging over it gently, Then wet it again and repeat the process. After a few times, you’ll be filled by a definite sense of relief caused by considerable easing of the pain by the cold compress.
One of the best ways to deal with the incessant pounding in your head is the art, or rather the science, of Aromatherapy. Essential oils of eucalyptus, helichrysum, lavender and peppermint can cause minor headaches to disappear completely and even bring much needed relief to especially painful migraine attacks. Until the 1940s, aromatherapy was one of the most popular methods for the treatment of spasms and aches. However, these natural remedies were edged out by the flood of chemicals and pills which entered the market backed by wide-reaching, smart marketing and a sea of advertisements. However, these herbal remedies have not lost their efficacy. A blend of lavender and ginger essential oils can ably alleviate the tortuous migraines, on account of their anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. For less acute headaches, massaging drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil around the temples provides relief within minutes. You can use a herbal balm, like Amrutanjan, for your nose, forehead and temples. It might sting a bit, but will make your headache vanish before you know it, especially if it is the result of a bad cold.
Some believe that there is greater cure to any kind of pain or illness, whether physical or emotional, than meditation. They say that a sick man, even a doomed man can transform himself into a perfectly healthy being, just by concentrating all his energies on the thought that he is healthy, or that he will regain his health. All this may sound like otherworldly mumbo-jumbo superstition, but how many of us can claim to have mapped the power of the living mind? Thought, concentration, perseverance, determination and energy are words that we often underestimate. When we meditate, we aim to concentrate our entire energy on a single point, and it is then that our belief translates into truth. Moreover, there is a strong scientific basis for meditation as a cure for numerous health conditions. Studies have shown that regular meditation enhances brain activity, thereby creating positive energy and optimistic emotions. And as far as headaches are concerned, the relaxing and calming effects of meditation will ensure that the pain is lost before it can return. Adopt meditation as an earnest part of your daily life,and the words ‘stress’ and ‘headache’ might just disappear from the diaries of your lifestyle.