Suffering from headaches? Find a natural therapist that can help you manage it!

Natural Therapies for Headaches

Conditions
Last Updated Feb 23, 2022

Most of us have suffered from headaches and know how painful and disruptive they can be. But before you reach for a painkiller, consider trying natural medicine. This article explores a range of natural therapies that may help halt headaches and bring you relief.

What Causes a Headache?

There are two types of headaches – primary or secondary. Primary headaches crop up on their own, while secondary headaches arise as a symptom of an illness or ailment.

Common causes of headaches include medication, noise, neck or back pain, stress, eye problems and activities such as computer work. Other triggers include temperature changes and food intolerances.

Natural Treatments for Headaches

There are many natural therapies that can help combat headaches. These include:

  • Acupuncture: by needling acupuncture points on the body, acupuncture has been shown to reduce headache pain and relieve stress that may bring on such pain.
  • Massage: many massage varieties aim to relieve bodily tension, promote detoxification, reduce stress and trigger endorphin release. These benefits may help prevent the onset of headaches and migraines.
  • Reflexology: in a reflexology session, the practitioner works on head and spinal points in the feet to ease tension and help the nervous system run more effectively.
  • Osteopathy: since some headaches are triggered by muscular and bone tension, an osteopath can work to relieve these tensions and blockages. Osteopathy also focuses on helping the body heal itself, so over time it may help prevent the recurrence of migraines and headaches.  
  • Chiropractic: a chiropractor may use a variety of techniques, such as massage, Trigger Point Therapy and stretches to minimise musculoskeletal problems that bring on headaches and migraines.
  • Meditation: by stilling and focusing the mind, meditation works wonders for reducing stress and pain perception. You may find your headaches are few and far between when you take up a regular meditation practice.
  • Aromatherapy: an aromatherapist uses various essential oils to help the body produce endorphins and relieve stress-related headaches.

Healthy Eating for Headache Relief

Research has found that how and what we eat can heighten our risk of developing a headache. Here are a few pointers:

Cut caffeine

Some people suffer withdrawals when they skip their regular caffeine fix. This is because withdrawing from coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) causes blood vessels to dilate. Coffee and cola drinks also dehydrate the body, bringing on headaches. Limiting your intake can reduce caffeine-related headaches and migraines.

Drink up

Keeping hydrated throughout the day regulates your body's systems and ensures it runs effectively. Try to replace caffeinated drinks (see above) with water to reduce your risk of headaches.

Boost the fibre

It's important to eat a variety of fresh, fibre-filled foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains (particularly oats) and legumes. Doing so keeps your sugar levels constant, as any dips could cause headaches.

Maximise magnesium

Several studies have shown that magnesium can help prevent headaches and migraines in some people. When your magnesium levels are low, blood vessels can become dilated, bringing on a headache. Before taking supplements, consult your health professional to see if you need to boost your diet with magnesium.

Eat regularly

According to recent research, skipping meals can bring on hunger-related headaches and migraines. Researchers recommend eating healthy snacks between meals to keep hunger and bay and prevent related pains.

Originally published on Oct 17, 2012

Related Topics

Headaches,  Migraines,  Acupuncture,  Massage,  Reflexology,  Osteopathy,  Chiropractic,  Meditation,  Aromatherapy

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