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Body Signals: Self Care for Headaches

Did you wake up with a headache this morning? Are you experiencing that daily headache around 3pm on a workday?

Headaches are a common symptom, or body signal, that your health is not at 100%. There are many reasons as to why you may be experiencing headaches – lack of hydration, high blood pressure, emotional/mental stress, poor diet, neck issues, etc. Fortunately, there are also many things you can do daily to help with the discomfort of headaches.

STAY HYDRATED! – being dehydrated is quite a common reason you may experience headaches. Being dehydrated causes lack of concentration and irritability, which can compound the effects of the headache. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces daily to stay properly hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay away from sugary drinks such as soda or sports drinks.

Supplements, Supplements, Supplements!! – lack of nutrients from a poor diet can lead to headaches. Taking supplements in order to receive the proper nutrients your body needs to function correctly can help. A few supplements to take daily include – Magnesium, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10, Feverfew, and Ginger.

Essential Oils – essential oils have been used for centuries as a natural remedy to relieve headache symptoms.

  • Lavender oil reduces stress and anxiety and can help relive headaches that are triggered by stress.
  • Rosemary oil is traditionally used to help with headaches and improve circulation.
  • Peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils for headaches. The active ingredient is menthol. Research shows that menthol may be effective in helping with migraines when applied to the head.
  • Chamomile oil is another essential oil that reduces the effects of stress and anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with headaches.
  • Eucalyptus oil can help cleat the sinuses and reduce inflammation. Studies have also found eucalyptus oil to be effective in relieving pain and lowering blood pressure.

*Always consult a healthcare professional before using essential oils.

Exercise – adequate amounts of physical activity play an important role in keeping your body healthy. Exercise lowers blood pressure and helps the body manage stress. Incorporating a daily exercise routine will help reduce the severity and number of headaches.

Sleep – sleep deprivation is detrimental to your health in many ways and could lead to headaches. Too much sleep can also trigger headaches. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Limit Alcohol – no amount of alcohol is good for our health. Alcohol triggers tension and cluster headaches as well as migraines in about 1/3 of those who experience headaches. Alcohol is a vasodilator. Vasodilators can cause headaches in some people. Alcohol also acts as a diuretic which causes the body to lose fluid and electrolytes through frequent urination.

Cold Compress – applying cold compresses to the neck and head are decreases inflammation, slows nerve conduction, and constricts blood vessels, all of which help reduce headache pain.

Making steps towards better health and functioning by eating well, staying hydrated and getting physical activity will help with most headaches. If headaches are interfering with your quality of life and you are ready to do something about them, please give our office a call and consult with one of our Doctors. Chiropractic care is aimed at increasing the ability of the body to heal and function optimally which will greatly reduce the severity and number of headaches.

References:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/headache-remedies#8.-Soothe-Pain-with-a-Cold-Compress
https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine/migraine-vitamins
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319478#how-to-use-essential-oils-for-headaches

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