Thursday, February 28, 2013

Remedies for Headaches

Lacey, here!

While I have been migraine free for 2 years by changing to a nutritarian lifestyle, I'm still prone to headaches every now and then due to night-time teeth grinding.  I do wear a night guard for it, but it's still something I have to deal with occasionally if it gets bad.

These are remedies I've found to help relieve pain for headaches and even migraines, if necessary. I dealt with migraines 4x a week for about 15 years. I promise, I've got this down to a system.

- Water: water water water water water. Seriously people, WATER.
- Ginger tea (crushed fresh ginger, boil in water): anti-inflammatory, same as aspirin
-Coffee/caffeinated tea (sans sugar/creamer) with one aspirin: the caffeine works to make pain relievers more effective (up to 40% more) and also helps to make it work faster, which also means you can take less of the medicine. This isn't the most natural way, but it's cheaper than buying some of the caffeine loaded medicines at the store.  Plus, you can put ginger in your tea to help!
-Vitamin D: Many people with chronic migraines or headaches have shown low levels of vitamin D.  Getting this vitamin has shown to change the way you react to pain.  Try taking this daily and see if your frequency of headaches changes.
-Heat/Cold: warm or cold cloth to the head. Depends on what feels better for you in the moment.
-Low/no light: More often with migraines, the eyes get sensitive to light. Going into a dark bedroom will help reduce that visual stimuli.
- Massages/Head Squeeze: I grew up with an incredible mother who dealt with the terrible mystery of my weekly, debilitating migraines. I can't tell you enough how much she spoiled me with head massages (my poor husband now with the nagging wife..."Please rub my heeaaaadd"). She'd rub her fingers around my face, up into my hair, down the back of my neck. Not only will the pleasurable sensations try to out-do the bad ones, but if nothing else, it'll help you relax enough to go to sleep. And sleep is sometimes the best option to riding out a particularly bad headache.  Also, if you get tension headaches, have someone place their palm on your forehead and their other palm on the back of your head and squeeze together for 10-20 seconds. This squeezing is sometimes quite relaxing for people. Doesn't hurt to try it.

And last, but most definitely not least:
-Hot Showers: This is my absolute go-to when I have a headache.  I'll drink some tea with some crushed ginger and then hop in the shower, turn the water to very hot, and sit on the bottom of the tub while I allow the pressure of the water run over my head. It's relaxing & the heat helps reduce any internal inflammation I may have.  It's like a hot water massage for your brain!  Usually within the hour I'm feeling much better.

And as a preventative measure, just keep an eye on what your eating. I find that if I have a particularly "bad" day in terms of my eating habits, I'll usually end up with a headache that night or the following morning. Check yo-self, before you wreck yo-self. Sometimes it's just not worth taking the risk.


  1. Great post! and I never minded rubbing your head for one measly second. . . Just hated to see you in so much pain! Haha Check yo-self. . . Wonder if I could use that with my future patients. . . ;) xoxo

  2. These are great! I noticed I get migraines more when I am eating crappy and not drinking enough water. Also if I don't wear my glass consistently (on/off during the day) my eyes get tired and I get a massive headache. Def going to try those teas! And request that head massage from D :)
    - SH