There’s nothing like a headache to derail your whole day—or several days if you suffer from ones that last longer. While you have your literal headache, you do things that give you a figurative headache once you’re better. You pick fights that you need to patch up. You make mistakes on work that you have to fix later. Just like there is maternity leave, you wish there was such thing as “headache leave” because you really can’t function when it feels like a little person is inside of your skull, hammering away. If your headaches are quite frequent, then you might not like the idea of taking Advil and similar painkillers every time you feel that pounding begin. This is especially true if you make a point to only put natural and pure things in your body. Taking a pharmaceutical just doesn’t fit into your holistic lifestyle. Luckily, there are drug-free ways to cure a headache.
Acupuncture is a technique from traditional Chinese medicine that has gained popularity around the world. Focused on correcting energy imbalances in the body, it has been found to be as effective as medication in those with migraines
Those with frequent headaches are often low in magnesium. Magnesium is important for strong brain plasticity, and can also help relax the muscles, which can relieve headaches, too.
Rub oil here
Lavender and peppermint essential oil, to be exact. Rub these on your temples. They have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and can often alleviate headaches quickly.
Reduce the booze
You may think, “I barely drink!” but even a little bit of alcohol can cause cluster headaches for some individuals as it causes blood vessels to expand. If you drink regularly, try removing booze from your life and see what happens.
It may seem too simple to be true but, a lot of people get headaches because they’re simply dehydrated. When you aren’t hydrated, the blood vessels in your brain struggle to expand and contract regularly.
Take vitamin B
Being low on vitamin B can rapidly lead to frequent and severe headaches. Vegans in particular are at risk of vitamin B deficiencies—especially B12.
Work out regularly
Studies have found that people who work out regularly have fewer migraines than those who don’t. Exercise both reduces the stress that could be causing headaches and moves oxygen to the brain.
Sleep the right amount
Getting less than six hours of sleep per night can increase the frequency and severity of headaches. That being said, over-sleeping (as we often do on weekends) can also lead to headaches. Try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to keep headaches at bay.
Avoid this chemical
Some of us can’t properly process a chemical called histamine and as a result, suffer from migraines. Histamine is found in fermented food, cured meats, and aged cheese.
Cleanse your products
For many individuals, the very products we bring into our homes to improve our lives can cause headaches. Strong smells, like those from perfumes and chemical cleaning products, can be headache triggers.
Grab frozen peas
It’s an old fashioned trick but it’s been around for a reason: apply a bag of frozen peas to your neck and head during a headache. This constricts blood vessels. A cold compress will work, too.
One of the main active ingredients in many pharmaceutical pain relievers is actually caffeine. Since it causes blood vessels to expand in the brain, it can relieve headaches for some.
Or remove caffeine
Unfortunately, for some individuals caffeine isn’t the cure but the issue—especially if they’ve become addicted to the stuff. Try weaning yourself off caffeine if you drink a lot of it. Your headaches may get worse at first, but they may eventually go away.
Buy nitrite and nitrate-free food
Nitrites and nitrates are found in cured and processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, and salami. But for many individuals, they can be headache triggers. If you make sandwiches to take to work every day with cured meats, this could be your issue.
Stretching regularly can cut back on something called referred pain—pain that exists in a location other than where it began. For many, that can be a body pain that moves to the head. Stretching regularly can prevent this type of headache.