When you have a killer headache, you want it gone as fast as possible. However, many over-the-counter medications (and some prescription drugs) can have adverse effects, especially if they’re used too often. Fortunately, there are some natural alternatives that may help reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches. Here’s some background information on three of the lesser-known options.
Anyone who’s ever practiced yoga knows that you’re meant to take deep breaths while performing the various meditative poses. Why is this good news for headache sufferers? Because breathing deeply can help regulate blood flow to the head, neck, and shoulders, thereby easing the pain. Many of the poses can be performed while sitting at a desk, and each one should be held for at least ten breaths. While it can be helpful to engage in yoga activity at the first sign of headache pain, it’s better still to practice the routine regularly—this may keep the headaches from occurring as frequently in the first place.
Source: Yoga International
While muscle tension is the most common trigger for headache pain, there are a number of other causes as well. Headaches can fall into the category of neuromusculoskeletal complaints that make vibration therapy a treatment option. This technique works by applying light, repeated pressure to the painful area—similar to rubbing or massaging the temples when headaches occur. Experts believe that the technique may actually intercept the pain signals as they’re being transmitted to the central nervous system, in addition to providing a temporary distraction. Vibration therapy may be useful for treating pain from fibromyalgia, as well as chronic headaches.
Source: American Stem Cell Clinic
Acupuncture and Acupressure
If you know acupuncture only as “that thing where a stranger sticks you with needles,” perhaps it’s time to get better acquainted with the science behind this age-old therapy. During acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted at various pressure points along the body to stimulate the nerves and increase endorphin flow. Regular sessions can be particularly helpful for migraine sufferers. For those who just can’t stand the thought of needles, many of the same pressure points can be similarly stimulated through acupressure—no second party required.
Source: Transformational Acupuncture
The next time you feel the first twinges that signify the onset of a headache, try one of the treatments listed above before heading for the medicine cabinet. With any luck, you’ll find that the drugs won’t be necessary after all.
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