15 Things to Do When You Have the Worst Headache Ever
Relief is on its way
Headaches, our arch nemesis—we meet again. Instead of staying up all night Googling natural cures, try these 15 fast headache remedies. They might not cure you completely, but in the throes of a migraine, any modicum of relief is a godsend.
1. Drink water. It sounds simple, but many headaches are caused by dehydration.
2. Give yourself a scalp massage. Research has shown that massaging the greater occipital nerve (the back of your head at the base of your skull) can relieve headache pain.
3. Press the webbed area between your thumb and pointer finger. Lightly massage the spot for about one minute before switching to the other hand.
4. Stretch. Headaches are often caused by muscle tension. Simple neck stretches like these could help relieve some of the tension.
5. Eat watermelon. Yep, if your headache is caused by dehydration, eating water-rich foods could relieve your pain by rehydrating your whole body.
6. Massage peppermint oil onto your temples, the back of your jaw and your forehead. Peppermint oil has been shown to promote blood flow, which might get things moving in your head.
7. Breathe deeply. When you feel pain, your body gets stressed. Deep breaths will help you relax and could ease some of the tension.
8. Drink a cup of coffee. Headaches are often caused by the expanding of blood vessels. The caffeine in coffee constricts these blood vessels, bringing them back down to normal size.
9. Drink apple cider vinegar. Dilute two tablespoons of ACV into a big glass of water and add a little honey or lemon juice to make it more palatable. Apples and ACV help restore the body’s acid-alkaline balance and could help with headache pain.
10. Hold a pencil between your teeth…but resist the urge to gnaw on it. Lightly holding the pencil between your teeth activates your “smile” muscles, relaxing your jaw. We sometimes clench our teeth when we’re stressed, and straining the muscle that connects the jaw to the temples can cause a tension headache.
11. Drink ginger tea. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that could alleviate some pain.
12. Apply ice to your temples. The artery that supplies blood to the lining of the brain sits behind the thin bone at the temple. When you’re having a migraine, the lining gets inflamed, so lowering the temperature of the blood passing through that area could relieve some of the throbbing.
13. Take a hot shower. And let the water fall on the back of your neck. Heat relaxes tense muscles, which could also alleviate the pain caused by a headache.
14. Eat something spicy. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper onto your food. Cayenne contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which has some control over our pain perception.
15. Meditate. Quieting the mind and focusing your attention away from the pain you’re experiencing could work in distracting yourself from a headache until it goes away. Breathe in, breathe out…