Persistent Headaches and How They Can Be Tackled
Headaches are becoming more and more common as the world and our everyday lives get busier and increasingly stressful. Do you often suffer from excruciating headaches when you stay back late at the office or have to put with the noise pollution on your way home? Do you feel the slight beginnings of one right now as you read this blog post? Well, there you go.
While most headaches last for a short period of time indicating that you have had enough for the day and need some rest, you, at times, may suffer from a headache that will stick around for prolonged periods of time. This will not just affect your mental balance, but also severely affect your ability to function normally. When this happens, most of us turn to over-the-counter drugs like Paracetamol or Aspirin. Popping a pill with just the right amount of water to wash it down seems to be the easiest answer to a lingering headache. But this is actually where the problem begins.
The pill does not cure the headache – it just suppresses the pain enough to bring you back to normalcy and allow you to go about your day. However, pills intoxicate your body, over time leading to side effects and maybe even giving rise to new problems. The usual process to treat headaches and migraines in today’s world is indeed a plague that can be avoided because, as with most things, there is a safer, natural way to get rid of them!
Headaches can be caused due to a variety of reasons that include:
- Tension (Stress)
- Cold and Flu
- High Blood Pressure
- Travel sickness
- Hay Fever
- Processed Caffeine
- Magnesium Deficiency
- Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies, etc.
Headaches: The Common Types
We also commonly refer to this as a ‘stress headache.’ A majority of teenagers and adults go through this very commonly. The pain can range from mild to moderate, but it can be chronic.
When you feel stiffness and pressure around the face, especially the cheeks, behind the forehead or near the nasal area, it is normally due to the inflammation of sinuses. The intensity of the pain can range from making you feel slightly uncomfortable to extremely excruciating. Symptoms include a runny nose, swelling, and even fever at times.
This type of a headache can be intense. Most patients of cluster headaches feel a burning sensation behind their eyes. These headaches are referred to as cluster headaches since they come in groups and can stay for as short a time period as a few weeks or prolonged periods such as a few months. They also tend to reoccur, even if you have been free from the pain for a very long time.
A migraine is a severe form of a headache that results in agonising pain. It is usually caused by vasodilation (enlargement) of arteries that supply food and oxygen to the brain, as well as spasms. As the blood vessels swell, they stretch the nearby nerves to release chemicals that cause inflammation and severe pain. Although it is not clear what exactly triggers a migraine, there are often many reasons why one occurs.
Doctors have highlighted the following as potential causes:
- Extreme dehydration
- Allergic reactions
- Motion sickness
- Skipping meals
- Lack of fresh air
- Lack of salt in your diet
- Commercial chocolate
- A difference in sleeping patterns, etc.
The most common symptoms of a migraine include:
- Loss of appetite
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- Tingling, numbness or weakness
- Vomiting and nausea
There are also a few warning signs that come before a migraine, and these include tunnel vision, a temporary blind spot or seeing stars. The aftereffects of a migraine include sleepiness, feeling mentally dull, and neck pain.
Some of the most common problems women suffer from while pregnant include nausea and headaches. Researches have revealed that hormonal fluctuations result in headaches since a woman goes through severe physical and emotional changes during pregnancy.
Headaches in the first two trimesters are often regarded as part of the experience of being pregnant; however, high blood pressure may result in persistent headaches. Blurred vision is also one of the co-symptoms of high blood pressure during the 3rd trimester.
The Most Underrated Solution to Fix Headaches
You may be wondering how such a basic necessity can cure headaches but the truth is that mental discomfort (a headache) is often the result of dehydration. Just drink one litre of pure water as soon as you sense the beginnings of a headache. The brain is first in line to receive any water that enters your body (this is why drinking ice-cold water causes a brain freeze instantly – make sense?) and you will feel relief almost immediately.
Our body is composed of 60% water while the brain consists of about 73%. Approximately two litres of water must be replaced in our body every day to help avoid headaches. You can even increase your intake of liquid with the following foods:
What About Other Remedies?
Water is the cheapest and easiest remedy for your frequent headaches and migraines. If the pain is severe, drink one litre of cold water and rest (lay down) for at least half an hour. Lying down with a cold pack in a dark room is also known to help immensely. In addition to that, relaxation and massage therapy are some of the stress management techniques that numb the pain and often reduce the frequency of headaches. Opting for a plant-based diet and avoiding processed and sugary foods also eases the pain.
Similarly, essential oils are a great remedy for pain and headaches.
- Rubbing peppermint oil behind the ears or inhaling deeply numbs the pain.
- Lavender oil is a sedative and a mood stabiliser that can be inhaled for 15 minutes after every hour to reduce the pressure on the brain.
- Basil oil has pain-relieving properties, thus it can help treat sinus and tension headaches. Inhale the steam from a towel after warming it over boiled water infused with pure basil oil.
- Massage olive oil on the neck, upper back, and shoulders, and shower afterwards to relieve headaches.
Using different types of salt and oils during a bath can also help relax the tension in the muscles and relieve the pressure. Epsom salt is often found in households for this very reason. Herbs like butterbur, ginger, and feverfew also help reduce inflammation and numb the pain, as well as reduce the frequency of headaches. Reflexology is yet another remedy that uses pressure points on different parts of the body to relieve stress and migraines.
Stress management is essential to living a healthy and pain-free life. One way to relieve stress is through EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). EFT is a counselling intervention that is widely used around the world for stress management and for reducing tension headaches. It makes use of techniques such as acupuncture, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy and basically helps an individual clear their mind, get focused, and facilitates in improving their attitude so that they can reduce their stress levels. If you would like to know more about EFT, essential oils, herbs, and other techniques that help with stress management, Click Here and Book a Session with Me NOW! Say goodbye to your headaches forever.