Chronic headaches are common for Americans. In fact, one in six Americans experience chronic headaches on a regular basis. Triggered by allergies, stress, muscular tension, lack of sleep or hydration, finding relief from chronic headaches can be tiresome if an immediate solution isn’t found. If you’re suffering – try one of these five natural remedies.
1) Hydrate – Many times chronic headache patients have no idea they are dehydrated. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day – working your way up from your current daily routine. Begin by simply paying attention to how much water you currently drink and then increase that amount by 1 cup every 3 days until you reach 8-10 glasses per day. Also drinking herbal tea has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years to cure pain. Follow their lead by drinking tea infused with ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory) or mint. Try this simple recipe from the Dr. Oz Show: Boil 5 dried plums (prunes), 1 tablespoon of green tea, and 2 tablespoons of mint in 3.5 cups of water for 15 minutes. Drink no more than 3 cups a day.
2) Focus on a Healthy Diet & Nutrition – For many people, sugar, caffeine and alcohol are headache triggers. If you find this is the case, gradually reducing your intake may decrease the frequency of your headaches. Also, ensure that your body has all the proper essential vitamins and minerals it needs. Focus on eating whole foods and take a quality daily multivitamin that includes calcium, magnesium and essential fatty acids. Fish oil can also combat the onset of frequent headaches as it will help counter inflammation that can spark a headache. Try taking 3 grams of fish oil daily to relieve frequent headaches (it’s also good for your heart & rest of your body too!).
3) Aim for Fulfilling Sleep & Adopt Stress Management Techniques – Insomnia or restless sleep can quickly cause a headache the next day. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by turning off the TV and other electronics an hours before bedtime and begin relaxing meditation technique such as White Light Meditation. Dr. Beebe also recommends using this technique even when a headache comes on unexpectedly. White Light Meditation is a visualization method that promotes relaxation and stress-release.
Step 1: Sit or lie down comfortably. Clear your mind, relax your body, and breathe deeply and slowly.
Step 2: Inhale and visualize a white light or clear mountain spring water entering your body at the top of your head and flowing down to your abdomen.
Step 3: Exhale and visualize the white light or water continuing its downward course from your abdomen to the bottom of your feet, where it drains out.
Step 4: Repeat for 10 minutes.
4) Visit an Acupuncturist – Acupuncture relieves pain by restoring blood flow, improving circulation and relieving muscle spasms that can cause chronic headaches.
5) Visit a Chiropractor – Chiropractic adjustments attend to misalignment and muscular tension that can break the cycle of chronic headaches. Dr. Beebe explains, “Receiving chiropractic care will move the body to a more function state. You chiropractor will attempt to eliminate any postural stress or stress on the vertebrae’s joint or occipital nerve itself.” After adjustments, patients find their muscles relax and nerve irritation is reduced – lessening the severity and frequency of headaches.
Beebe Chiropractic & Wellness Center is located in Tigard, OR within the Portland Metro area. Dr. Daniel Beebe cares for patients with sports, work & auto injuries, neck pain & lower back pain, headaches & migraines, chronic pain, scoliosis and more. For more information visit BeebeChiro.com or follow via Facebook or Twitter.