It’s safe to say that everyone has experienced a headache at some point in their lives. Ranging from uncomfortable pain to downright unbearable, headaches can easily disrupt day-to-day life. To make it worse, there are all kinds of headaches out there, tension headaches being the most common, while migraines and moderate-to-severe type of headaches following.
There are many medications and over-the-counter solutions targeted at relieving headaches symptoms. However, instead of reaching for pills every time you have a headache, it’s somewhat comforting to know there are many natural methods you can count on to get rid of your pesky headache.
#1 – Drink Some Water
Dehydration is actually the culprit of many simple headaches. Sometimes, drinking a glass of water can help relieve some of the headache symptoms. In some studies, drinking water did help relieve headache symptoms in dehydrated people within 30 minutes to 3 hours. However, one study noted that drinking water alone did not reduce how long people had headaches, but it did help them feel subjectively better. To make sure your headaches are not stemming from dehydration, remember to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
#2 – Use Essential Oils
While the evidence to back up the efficacy of essential oils is still lacking, people have used them for decades to help relieve headache symptoms. When applied topically, peppermint, and lavender essential oils can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Peppermint oil, in particular, has been shown to reduce symptoms of tension headaches. Lavender oil, can help reduce migraine symptoms when applied to the upper lip. Even though scientific evidence is needed to back these claims, those that promote the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, do claim that the comforting scent alone can help people immediately feel better.
#3 – Soothe With a Cold Compress
This old-time natural remedy can be beneficial for relieving headache symptoms. Applying a hot or cold compress to your neck or head can help decrease inflammation, slow down nerve conduction, and constrict blood vessels, which has shown to help reduce headache pain. In one small study, using a cold gel pack applied to the head, significantly reduced migraine symptoms. If you’re making a cold compress at home, consider adding a few drops of peppermint or lavender essential oils to boost its effects.
#4 – Drink Coffee or Tea
Most over-the-counter headache remedies contain high levels of caffeine in them. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or tea, can help improve your mood, boost alertness, and constrict blood vessels, which have shown in studies to have a positive effect on headache pain. However, be mindful about your caffeine intake, as caffeine withdrawal can also cause headaches. Also, caffeine can lead to dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent tension headaches.
#5 – Try Yoga
Yoga can help relieve stress, decrease pain, increase flexibility, and according to many yogis and science, improve your overall quality of life. Practicing yoga regularly may help reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches. A medium-sized study looked at the effects of yoga therapy on those with chronic migraines and noted that the frequency and severity were reduced more in those trying yoga therapy, in comparison to those receiving conventional treatment. Another study noted those who practiced yoga for three months reported a significant reduction in headache frequency, associated symptoms, and severity, compared to those not practicing yoga.
#6 – Pressure Point Massage
You probably already do this instinctively whenever you have a headache. But, massaging specific pressure points can help relieve tension in the head and relieve headache symptoms. Many people noticed that massaging the temples, neck, or jaw helped reduce tension headache symptoms. Other areas that can help include the eyebrows and the two spots at the base of the eyebrows since these spots tend to hold tension from the head. Massaging the base of the skull can also help relieve some tension.
# 7 – Working Out
While working out is definitely the last thing on your mind when struggling with a pounding headache – hear us out. Exercise helps release endorphins, which are natural pain killers, which means they can help reduce headache symptoms. Exercise also helps the body promote circulation, which might reduce the chances of you getting a headache in the first place. Of course, you want to avoid any exercise that involves jumping or any movement that can make your headache worse. Overall, you should aim to practice exercise regularly to reduce your chances of getting a headache. A large study showed that a low level of physical activity was directly linked to an increased risk of headaches.
A Note from GR8NESS
In this list, we looked at a range of tips to relieve a headache naturally. Keep in mind, that migraines, frequent headaches, and other severe headaches might require the advice and treatment plan of a doctor, to rule out any severe conditions. If at any point, you believe your headaches can be something more serious, seek medical attention immediately.