Are you looking for some great techniques to stop headaches fast? We got you covered.
Headaches can sneak up on you and what is more often the case, gradually build throughout your day. We all experience headaches so this is not unusual.
The good news is that there are fantastic and oftentimes free ways to alleviate headaches. Here’s a hint: if you’re breathing, you’re already equipped to deal with your headaches.
So many of the headaches we experience involve tension. Yes, some may arise from an underlying issue such as anxiety, but for the most part, tension brings about the pain.
If you didn’t have stress you would likely never experience headaches. But in the moment when the pressure is on and that headache feels like it may be coming on or which is also likely getting a bit worse, you can intervene.
Take a look at our Top 5 Favorite Techniques to Stop Headaches.
Bring the Heat / Bring the Cold
Cooling and warming any area of the body can bring dramatic relief to your circumstances. Ever drink some cooling peppermint tea to soothe your hot inflamed stomach? Have you ever had to wake up a stiff joint with a little bit of heat? The same principles apply to headaches. But when do you bring heat and when do you bring something cooling?
If tension is involved you may feel a constricted sensation in your head neck and shoulders. Just like when you’re too cold and start to tense up your body and shake. This is the moment to bring in the heat. Tension headaches may come after a long day of meetings, flights, or general stress that has built up over time.
In the case of migraines when you feel a bloom of heat all over your head, it may be time for something cooling. Grab a bag of frozen veggies or some ice and wrap it in a cloth. Apply this cool compress for 10 minutes and then take a break. Migraine starting to feel like a tension headache? Grab a heated compress and alternate until you find relief.
Become a Master of Mood Lighting
There are blaring lights everywhere. And even some that we carry around in our pockets. Lights can have an extreme impact on not only headaches but our nervous systems including our circadian rhythm. It’s unnatural to stare at blue lights throughout the day and then into the night. These unnatural lighting scenarios affect our sleep, mood, and our poor heads. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Take control over your lights now. Go around your house and look at areas where you can include mood lighting. Tip: the bathroom is an important room for this especially as this room is the one most people use in the night. Open the settings your phone and computer and be sure to get that blue light out of there. All of these little tweaks will hopefully prevent headaches. If you are experiencing a headache, try dimming the lights and sitting quietly.
We all take breathing for granted. It’s automatic and we don’t typically think about it. Make a habit of thinking about it. Your breath is incredibly powerful and when used as a tool can alleviate headaches, anxiety, and even change your heartrate which recent studies have connected with increased resiliency in the face of adversity.
By learning a variety of breathing techniques you are learning ways to prevent headaches and alleviate headaches caused by stress and tension. Your breath is free and comes around with you wherever you are making the breath one of the cheapest and most accessible headache-relieving tools you have.
Try Alternative Remedies
We know that NSAIDs are easy and convenient in the moment, but over time NSAIDs can wreak havoc on your digestion and liver. It’s best to use OTC analgesics as sparingly as possible. Once upon a time plants and food were considered remedies, not alternative remedies. So don’t knock a good alternative remedy when it comes to a headache. Here’s a list of our favorites. Find what works for you:
Feverfew- great for migraines
Ginger- great for cold tension headaches and migraines
Valerian- Use when you feel overwhelmed and sedation may be necessary to get relief.
Lavender- Put a drop of essential oil on the collar of your shirt to relax primary tension headaches
Horseradish- if you have a sinus headache try some of this spicy root to release the pressure
Blue Vervain- if the headache is coming from the head, neck, and shoulders you’re going to love the instant relief provided from blue vervain
Pressure and Massage
Sometimes you need to apply pressure to relieve the pressure. Each person is different but as you start to listen to your body and play around with self-massage you’ll likely find at least some temporary relief.
Apply pressure to the sinus area, temples and back of the neck. Try a variety of techniques to find relief. You may like to find a pressure point and hold it or you may find that circular motions warm the area and get circulation where it is needed to dissipate the experience of your headache. Sometimes head rolls create the same type of experience without cramping up your hand. Get creative. These techniques are life savors on airplanes or other situations where you may not have access to dimmed lighting or more control over your situation. For an added benefit couple your massage with your deep breathing techniques and close your eyes.