Headaches used to be a pretty common issue for me. I would get at least a couple every week it seemed like, and sometimes more. About a year ago Ryan and I were chatting about drinking water and he told me some things he had read about how much water you’re supposed to drink per day and how practically no one drinks as much as they should. He also said if he ever has a headache, he chugs a water and it usually goes away. I thought there had to be something to this! (Not that I should’ve been surprised.) When I was younger I didn’t drink much water at all. I basically only drank it when I was doing sports, and never any other time. Last year I decided I was going to start drinking a lot more water and it really changed a few things in my life! My skin got clearer, I had more energy, and I got way less headaches which was a miracle. Although headaches are not common for me anymore, I do still get them on occasion for various reasons, and I have a list of go-to remedies that I’ll try and usually have quick success with! If all else fails I will take some ibuprofen, but its usually not even necessary anymore which is awesome! Here is my list of 5 ways I get rid of headaches naturally!
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You should’ve seen this one coming. 🙂 Majority of the time when I get a headache it is because I slacked off in the water-drinking department and I’m dehydrated. If I have a headache and I know I didn’t drink enough water that day, this is always the first thing I do. Sometimes this is all that I need to do to get rid of a headache! If I did drink a lot of water, I’ll usually still try to drink more because it does still help most times.
Something I always always keep with me in my bag is my little roller bottle blend of headache essential oils. I bought this blend from Eden’s Garden and it is my favorite. It is a blend of basil, chamomile, frankincense, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sweet marjoram and wintergreen. I very highly recommend it and I use it every single time I get a headache! In my roller bottle, I put about 30 drops of this blend in, and topped it off with some grape seed oil to make it last longer. Even at this diluted concentration it usually works well. If I have a killer terrible headache, I’ll use the oil straight from the bottle so its much stronger. I would recommend testing a small patch of skin with the oil before using it neat though because it could be too strong and irritating for some people. I personally love it and it doesn’t bother my skin at all. Before I purchased this blend, I also had success just using peppermint essential oil by itself, but I do prefer this blend to straight peppermint oil. I put the oil on my temples, and along my hairline on my forehead, and on the back of my neck. It smells very minty and feels very cold on your skin. A combination of the cooling effects and the smell work together to ease away the pain of a headache. If my headache is mild, using this oil usually takes it away by itself. If I have a terrible headache, this usually won’t completely take it away, but I still use it because it is extremely soothing and makes a headache a lot more tolerable to deal with while I try other remedies to finish the job!
I absolutely love rice packs. I’m pretty sure that’s not actually what they’re called but for some reason its always what I’ve called them. 🙂 Its basically an oversized bean bag filled with rice that you microwave and use as a heating pad. They’re awesome for back or stomach cramps and pain, injuries, or headaches. I bought this exact one (not an affiliate link) off Etsy a few years ago and have gotten plenty of use from it. Heating pads would also do the job, but I like the weight of the rice pack; something about the heaviness with the heat is nice. I typically don’t use this for a headache unless its a really bad one. I’ll heat it up for 2-3 minutes and rest it on the back of my neck. If feels SO good and soothing. If I do this at the same time as using essential oils, it is seriously so relaxing and comforting. The combination of the hot and cold feeling does something magical.. It gives me almost instant relief, but the downside is this only works if I’m just chilling at home. If I’m out and about or at work or something, I obviously can’t walk around with a bag of rice on my neck. Haha
This might not help everyone, and it doesn’t always help me, but sometimes it does, so I thought I would include it. I’ve struggled on and off with low blood sugar issues my whole life. I always have to eat every meal in a timely manner, and eat enough or I will get sick.. This happened all the time when I was little if I didn’t eat soon enough. I would start feeling weird and shaky and just have absolutely no energy. Then I would get a killer headache. Then I would feel nauseous. If I got to that point, it was too late. Nothing would help. I would feel so nauseous and sick that the thought of food would make me want to gag. A lot of times I would actually get sick, despite my empty stomach. Because of this weird issue, I try to always make sure I have a plan for my meals, and if I’m relying on someone else for this, I keep snacks with me. It has saved me from many otherwise inevitable headaches before. I can always tell if a headache I have is being caused by this because I’ll feel weak and shaky and obviously hungry. If I have a blood sugar headache and I eat something quickly it will go away right away. Some foods that I’ve noticed over the years that help with this are anything with natural sugars. Especially if I’m already nauseous and nothing else sounds good, I can usually eat some fruit, and the natural sugars help me bounce back. Side note: Since drinking more water, this is another thing that has significantly reduced. I don’t get low blood sugar as often!
This includes everything from switching to glasses if contact lenses are causing the eyes to strain, taking your hair down if its pulled back or removing headbands or hats. It also includes stretching your back, shoulders, neck, and jaw. One time I had a terrible headache all day that I could not get rid of. I had tried everything above, as well as taking actual medicine, multiple times, and could not figure out why my headache wouldn’t go away. Eventually I realized I had a headband on so I took it off, and 10 minutes later my headache was gone. That little bit of pressure can sometimes do this. I’ve also had this happen with ponytails if I have my hair pulled back for several days in a row. By removing strain, you’re removing the cause of the headache. Some people have a really tense neck/shoulders/back from sitting or standing all day, and a lot of people also have a tense jaw (Me). If I’m concentrating on something, or if I’m anxious or stressed about anything, or even if I’m just driving, my jaw tends to tense up without me even realizing it. I regularly stretch my jaw and it has helped a lot. Stretching in general really helps you relax and ease any tension you may not realize you have, and make a headache go away faster.
Bonus- Acupressure Techniques
I added this as a bonus because I’ve never actually tried it yet. I was Skyping with my sister yesterday telling her this idea for a blog post, and she told me about it! There are certain pressure points on our bodies that, if massaged, can release headache tension and relieve the headache. Here’s what she has to say:
“I use pressure points in my hands to get rid of headaches. I mainly get tension headaches, and heard that the best way to relieve headache pain was to massage the L muscle in your palm. (The largest muscle that you see when you make an L shape with your hands.) It takes a few minutes of deep tissue massaging but you immediately start feeling the pressure release. Once I’ve massaged both hands my headache feels much better.”
The next time I get a headache I will definitely try this! Does anyone else find success with these things or have any other go-to natural remedies for a headache before resorting to sleeping or taking medicine? Let me know!