Dealing with that annoying Headache.
By Bob Hubbard
We all get them. That pain in the neck or temples, or behind the eyes. Sometimes they are a minor annoyance, other times they can bring us to tears. Treating them is a multi-million dollar industry, yet there is no guaranteed cure and sometimes the attempts can do you more harm than good. So, what can you do?
Having suffered from constant headaches since a car accident in 2005, I've tried a great many of the different solutions available to me, with varying results. Some worked, some didn't, and some made me feel worse. I prefer to avoid medication as much as possible, looking for non-invasive and non-toxic solutions. Here are a few of the ones that worked for me.
1- Get a good night sleep.
While this sounds silly and common sense, I've found that getting some quality shut eye greatly reduces the impact of my headaches. Many of the ideas that follow can help you get some quality sleep and reduce your headaches.
2- See a competent Chiropractor.
Many of my headaches originate in my neck due to damage there. If you've ever been in a car accident, taken a good fall, or played sports and had a good mashup, there is a good chance somethings a bit out of wack in the back. A good chiropractor can put you back in proper alignment and decrease the instances of head ache.
3- Change the Station.
I love Heavy Metal, but crunchy guitar riffs, heavy bass, and rip raw vocals aren't good for a head that is banging on it's own. Try soft and soothing tracks, New Age, Orchestral and Acoustic Instrumental, or just the sounds of nature. Soft rain, rolling waves, whistling wind, and rolling thunder all can calm the mind and allow the pain to evaporate.
4- Find your Inner Self.
Meditation is a great way to put yourself in tune with you. A major cause of headaches is stress, and meditation is one of the things most often recommended for stress relief. Many people worry about possible religious overtones in meditation, but you can easily find a way to do so that works for you. For me, I find sitting quietly and breathing calmly to be a good way to mediate, or I take a quiet slow walk through the woods and just enjoy nature. Meditation For Dummies (Book and CD edition) by Stephan Bodian is an excellent starting place, as is Relaxation & Breathing for Meditation (DVD) by Rodney Yee.
5- Hot and Cold.
Try a hot towel, or a cold compress on your neck or temples, or both. They can ease and sooth tense muscles and help you to relax.
6- Tiger Balm.
A small dab od tiger balm gently rubbed into your temples and base of your neck can also help sooth an aching head.
Once the warm up of ancient warriors, yoga is now one of the premier exercises for improving flexibility and body circulation. One of the major causes of headache are tense and tight muscles and ligaments. By limbering up, you can release much of the tension and stress that would cause headaches. A light workout can often also help decrease the effects and duration of a headache in progress.
8- Water Treatment.
Soak in the tub, or grab a long soothing shower. Both can relax you, and release some of the tension contributing to your headaches.
A cup of coffee or tea with your aspirin has been found to boost the effectiveness of it, however, be mindful of how much caffeine you are taking in. Too much is dangerous, and can lead to headaches, anxiety and even death. Moderate your intake, and watch out for the energy drinks which can spike you way past your own safe zones.
10- Get some fresh air.
Stale air is a problem especially for those of us who work in offices or other closed-air places. Get some fresh air, open some windows, get away from anyplace where people smoke or cook. Fresh air brings more oxygen to your body, which can refresh your mind and flush away toxins. Clear air lets your body relax, and being relaxed helps keep headaches at bay.
Now, these are but a few suggestions. There are many more such as massage and aromatherapy, as well as acupuncture that could also help you ease the pain. Getting your eyes checked can also be a help, as eye strain also leads to headaches, usually those really nasty ones right behind the eyes.
Try these, and remember to talk to your doctor about your headaches. Be safe, be well.
Bob Hubbard is an administrator of the popular martial arts sites MartialTalk.com and KenpoTalk.com. He is president of SilverStar WebDesigns inc., a web site design and hosting company specializing in affordable solutions for martial artists. Bob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. More of Bob's articles can be found at rustaz.net.
Copyright ©2008 Bob Hubbard - All Rights Reserved
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