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How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

We have all had those days when we feel weighed down by a persistent headache. These headaches can be so bothersome that they make even the most mundane and simple tasks feel daunting and impossible. Common causes of headaches include stress, tension, restlessness, sinus problems, migraines, lack of sleep and dehydration. Medical treatment may at times be necessary, but on other occasions alternative remedies can prove to be highly beneficial. Natural home remedies can provide you with instant pain relief that will leaving feeling like you can face the rest of your day purposefully. Here are 12 natural remedies that will help you get rid of a headache.

Apart from the ways to get rid of a headache, you may also want to know more about the headache you’re suffering from:

Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

Cluster Headaches: How To Deal With The Worst Headache

Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes And Natural Reliefs

Mom Tips: How To Relive Headaches During Pregnancy

1. Water

drink water

    Often headaches are caused by dehydration. This type of headache can be treated by simply rehydrating your body. You can drink a glass of water when you first experience the symptoms of a headache and continue taking sips throughout the day. You may also like to try drinking a sports drinks. Sports drinks contain electrolytes which can help relieve tension and rehydrate the body. It is important to avoid drinks such as alcohol and coffee as these types of drinks can further dehydrate the body.

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    2. Try Ice or Hot Pack

    heat pack

      If you have a headache that is caused by sinus problems, then a cold compress is a great solution. The ice pack, when placed on your forehead, will numb the area and thus stop the pain. You can make an ice pack by wrapping some ice cubs in a thin towel.  You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables, but never apply ice directly on your skin. Hold the ice back to your head for a few minutes.

      Using a heat back will help relax tense muscles, so if you are suffering from a stress headache then a heat pack is a great solution. You can apply a hot water bag to the back of your neck or you can fill a tub with hot water and put your hands in it for 10-15 minutes. If you suffer from chronic headaches, then you may want to make a habit of dipping your legs in a bucket filled with hot water for 10 minutes before bed. Hot foot bath can improve our circulation and remove the blockage in the nasal passage so it is especially useful for headache caused by sinusitis.[1]

      3.  Niacin (Vitamin B3)

      niacin

        Niacin (Vitamin B3) rich foods are effective in the treatment of headaches and migraines. A study published by the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine in 2003 found that niacin facilitates blood flow to the head by expanding blocked arteries.[2] Pain should subsite a few minutes after taking niacin. Niacin can be found in chicken, tuna, salmon, criminy mushroom, peanuts, barley, bulgur, whole wheat, sunflower seeds, green vegetable, liver and more. Niacin may also be taken as a vitamin supplement. Excessive intake of niacin can result in ulcer and liver problems so it should be taken carefully and only in moderate quantities.[3]

        4. Almonds

        almonds-raw_625x350_51421213477

          Almonds act as a pain reliever as they contain salicin. Salicin is a pain blocker that is found in over the counter pain killers. Almonds are effective as a treatment for the pain experienced when you suffer from a headache and may also be used as a preventive treatment. You can try eating a handful or two of almonds when you feel a headache starting to set in.[4]

           5.  Ginger Root

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          gingerr

            Prostaglandin synthesis is a process that takes place in humans. It involves the creation of lipid (Fat) compounds within cells. These fatty substances are like chemical messengers. They trigger biological process such as inflammation and alerting neurons to pain. Some drugs such as aspirin inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. Gingerroot is a natural substance that also inhibits the synthesis. In other words gingerroot can work to prevent the process that alerts your neurons that pain is present.[5] Thus it stops our body from recognizing and responding when headaches occur. It can also help elevate feelings of nausea.

            You can simply chew on a piece of ginger root or drink some ginger root tea.

            6. Peppermint

            Health-benefits-of-Peppermint-Tea

              Peppermint has calming and soothing properties that can aid in the treatment of a headache. Peppermint can be taken as a tea or you can use peppermint oil. Peppermint oil can be massaged gently into your temples, jaw and the back of your neck. In addition, you may like to inhale peppermint steam. This can be very beneficial and can also help with symptoms that often accompany headaches such as nausea and vomiting.

              7. Add Pressure

              pressurepoint

                When you feel the first inklings of a headache place a bit of pressure on your craniosacral system. You can do this by pressing with your fingers on certain migraine-specific spots. This can help your brain to rest and relax. By increasing pressure in the cranium tension that builds up in your brain is sent elsewhere.[6]

                8. Slip into Darkness

                Take-rest-in-a-quiet-dark-room

                  Light can prove to be very painful when you are suffering from a headache. Migraines (and headaches) are most often caused by sensory stimuli. Light is one such stimuli. Shutting out light can bring instant and dramatic relief. If you turn down the blinds or shut off a few lights in your room, you can help to reduce the pain of your headache. You may also like to wear a pair of sunglasses. These can be worn indoors and outdoors and they protect from both natural and unnatural light.[7]

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                  9. Acupuncture

                  Acupuncture therapy - alternative medicine. Portrait of a beautiful woman in acupuncture therapy

                    In acupuncture thin needles are inserted under the skin. According to Chinese medicine this is meant to realign the flow of energy (or qi) in the body.  An analysis, known as a Cochrane review found that acupuncture is just as effective in preventing acute migraines as drug treatments.[8] This review also says that the evidence suggests that acupuncture can help people with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches.[9]

                    10. Meditation

                    meditation

                      There data on the effect of meditation on headaches and migraines remains limited; however, a small study of people with migraines found that spiritual meditation reduced headache frequency and improved pain tolerance.[10]

                      It was reported: “Compared to the other three groups, [Internally Focused Secular Meditation, Externally Focused Secular Meditation, or Muscle Relaxation] those who practiced spiritual meditation had greater decreases in the frequency of migraine headaches, anxiety, and negative affect, as well as greater increases in pain tolerance, headache-related self-efficacy, daily spiritual experiences, and existential well being”.[11]

                      Thus, you may want to invest energy in learning spiritual meditation as it may prove to be an effective way to prevent and treat the pain associated with headaches and migraines.

                      11. Massage

                      Woman having head massage

                        A study found that when they received six weekly massage sessions, people who suffered from migraines had less frequent migraines and better sleep, during the massage weeks and the following three weeks than the control group.[12] You may like to try rubbing your temples or getting a neck, back, head or shoulder massage to treat your headache or migraine.

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                        12. Stretching

                        head stretch

                          Specific headache-relieving stretches can help to relieve muscle tension that can be a big contributor to the pain. Here are some quick stretches you can try next time you feel a headache looming:
                          1. Neck range of motion (chin forward, upward, and toward each shoulder)

                          2. Shoulder shrugs (shrug up, up and forward, and up and back)

                          3. Neck isometrics (press palm into forehead and hold; press hand on each side of the head)

                          For the best results you should stretch twice a day for 20 minutes each time.[13]

                          Try some or all of these headache remedies and you will be sure to get rid of a headache in no time.

                          Featured photo credit: Tiko Aramyan via shutterstock.com

                          Reference

                          [1] http://www.ucheepines.org/hot-foot-bath/
                          [2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/381378-niacin-and-migraines/
                          [3] http://home-cure.net/home-cure-migraine-headaches-natural-remedies/
                          [4] http://everydayroots.com/headache-remedies
                          [5] http://everydayroots.com/headache-remedies
                          [6] http://home-remedies.wonderhowto.com/how-to/10-ways-get-rid-migraine-fast-without-any-medicine-0163408/
                          [7] http://home-remedies.wonderhowto.com/how-to/10-ways-get-rid-migraine-fast-without-any-medicine-0163408/
                          [8] http://www.cochrane.org/CD001218/SYMPT_acupuncture-preventing-migraine-attacks
                          [9] http://www.cochrane.org/CD007587/SYMPT_acupuncture-tension-type-headache
                          [10] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20538298,00.html
                          [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18551362
                          [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16827629
                          [13] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20538298,00.html

                          More by this author

                          Rebecca Beris

                          Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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                          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                          • (1) Research
                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                          • (3) Creating the outline
                          • (4) Drafting the content
                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                          • (6) Revision
                          • (7) etc.

                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                          2. Change Your Environment

                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                          6. Get a Buddy

                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                          Reality check:

                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                          More About Procrastination

                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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