Easing a Headache the Natural Way
Here it comes, the beginning of that dull throbbing pain in your temple. You search your desk for an aspirin and come up empty handed. Now you will have to suffer the rest of the workday with your head in your hands, right? Not so! We have some tips on easing a ]]>tension headache]]> the natural way.
13 Drug-Free Headache Relievers
- ]]> Massage]]>—Gently rubbing your head, neck, and shoulders can help relieve tension.
- ]]> Acupuncture]]>—This is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that may be helpful.
- ]]> Cognitive behavioral therapy]]>—This therapy teaches patients to identify and better respond to their thoughts and beliefs. It also helps them to develop new ways of behaving.
- Deep breathing—Breathing deeply and slowly from the abdomen can be done while sitting or lying down.
- Sensory clutter—Turning off or tuning out extra noises, lights, and activities can decrease sensory stress and other things that might be causing your headache.
- Temperature—Taking a hot or cold shower or applying a hot or cold towel or pack to your neck, head, and shoulders can help to relieve pain and stress.
- Thought exercises—Image you are in a calm, serene, and quiet place.
- ]]> Stretching exercises]]>—Stretching can help to relax tense muscles.
- ]]>Relaxation techniques]]>—]]>Meditation]]> and activities, like ]]>yoga ]]> or ]]>tai chi]]>, can help relax your body, calm your mind, and take your thoughts off the pain
- Exercise—Taking a brisk walk or doing some other vigorous activity may help. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
- Soothing rhythm—Closing your eyes and repeating calm words or phrases, listening to calm music or ocean rhythms, and rocking or moving to a steady rhythm can bring about relaxation.
- Dietary changes—Dehydration, certain foods, or allergies can be the culprits in chronic headaches. Get enough fluids and explore which foods might give you headaches.
- Break time—Looking at a computer or being in the same position for long periods can cause muscle tension. Take a short break every hour and remember to focus your eyes away from the computer screen at least once every 15 minutes.
Note: Talk to your doctor if you continue to have severe headache pain. It could be the symptom of a more serious problem.
National Headache Foundation
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Help for Headaches
National Headache Foundation. Available at: http://www.headaches.org/ .
Tension headache. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15topicID=114. Updated February 2010. Accessed April 15, 2010.
Last reviewed May 2010 by ]]>Brian Randall, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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