For many people, headaches are becoming more common in day-to-day life. Sometimes they can be the result of specific medical conditions, but often they are simply caused by high levels of stress, anxiety or workload.
While there are many treatments intended to relieve headaches, including prescription medications or over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen, they don’t always eliminate the unpleasant symptoms. Whether you are subjected to cluster headaches, tension-type headaches or migraines, there are also plenty of natural solutions that can diminish the pain without a trip to the doctor or a pharmacy. Here are five ways on how to ease headaches in a natural way.
Placing hot and/or cold compresses is a commonly used, no-risk headache therapy that helps to lower a tension headache.
For a cold compress, put the ice in a plastic bag covered with a thin cloth to avoid damaging your skin. Depending on wherever the greatest source of pain is, place the compress on your forehead or cheeks to provide relief. However, make sure to apply the ice pack for no more than 10 minutes at a time.
For a hot compress, you can buy a heat pack at most pharmacies or make your own with raw rice. Take a small piece of fabric or a pillowcase, fill it about two-thirds full with uncooked rice and tie or sew the open end together. When needed, place the rice in the microwave for one minute and apply to the back of your forehead or neck for pain relief. A warm shower or a bath tube can also do the trick.
One of the most old-fashioned and low-tech headache treatments is still one of the most effective. Sometimes headaches are caused by tension in the upper body due to muscle tension from an intense workout or poor posture. Massage therapy can relieve chronic pain as well as reduce muscle tension that triggers headaches.
Try to massage your forehead, neck, shoulders or rub your temples for a couple of minutes to ease tension headaches that can result from stress. Alternatively, you can get recommendations from a practitioner who can address your specific pain points.
Relaxing to music, deep breathing or using mental imagery can help individuals unwind and possibly help with a headache as well. Furthermore, various relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, stretching and progressive muscle relaxation can focus your mind, boost relaxation, ease tension and, as a result, help with the pain.
Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that requires the use of various natural plant extracts to improve physical and emotional health and general wellbeing. Specific scents can induce positive and healing reactions in the brain, helping to soothe and lower the frequency of headaches.
Peppermint, rosemary, lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus essential oils are some of the best options, which is well-known for their relieving and relaxing properties. You can purchase essential oils in various local health food stores or online and add a few drops into a bath tube or a diffusor to experience their positive effects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active compound that is thought to interfere with the cell-signalling endocannabinoid system responsible for the physiological and cognitive processes of your body such as immune response, pain, memory, inflammation, stress and many others.
Since CBD can positively affect a wide array of receptors of this system, it can help to regulate these functions, which result in reduced inflammation, pain and anxiety, improved mood and concentration and even better quality sleep. To experience its benefits, you can take cannabidiol in various formats such as CBD capsules, tinctures, vapes, edibles like CBD gummies and many others.