Do you suffer from chronic headaches? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Migraines affect 9 percent of the U.S. population and cost approximately $1 billion a year in medical expenses. While there are the obvious choices for relieving a headache (i.e. Advil, Tylenol, etc.) here are some natural health remedies you can consider:
Research finds that acupuncture can help prevent acute migraines as well as drug treatments do, but with fewer adverse side effects. Moreover, acupuncture can help people with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches. How does it work? Acupuncture is said to work by regulating the flow of energy in the body called chi. Disruptions in this flow are thought to be responsible for disease and pain.
There are certain stretches you can do when a headache looms. Here are three pain relieving stretches: neck range of motion (chin forward, upward and toward each shoulder), should shrugs and neck isometrics (press palm into forehead and hold; press hand on each side of your head). For chronic migraines, stretch twice a day for 20 minutes. You should also take five minutes to relax.
Feverfew is a popular herbal remedy to help prevent migraine headaches. It can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. Feverfew is a perennial plant belonging to the daisy family that grows in most of Europe, North America and Canada. However, this remedy can only be taken as a preventative for migraines. For it to be fully effective, you must take it every day, as it is unlikely to work immediately.
Yoga and meditation
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, yoga exercises and mediation can boost relaxation and balance the mind, body and spirit. Yoga poses are helpful for opening the chest and stretching and relaxing the upper body and neck. If you are prone to headaches, try incorporating yoga into your daily routine and see if it helps bring some relief to your body and mind.
Dehydration can lead to headaches. Regularly drinking water can reduce the severity of headaches and migraines. If you suffer from chronic migraines, try drinking at least two liters of water a day. Researchers have found that drinking water daily can ease pain and improve the quality of life in patients who regularly suffer from headaches.
Dr. Forrest is the Owner of Forrest Health. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.