A nagging headache can ruin an otherwise good day. In some cases, headaches can be debilitating and downright painful. Popping pills for relief is certainly an option. But, have you ever wondered what the root causes and, therefore, the root cures of your headaches could be? Just like any other health condition, headaches are simply symptoms…messengers. They are your body’s way of telling you something. Your headache might be trying to tell you one thing today and it could be trying to deliver a completely different message another day.
So, what’s a person to do? Here’s your guide:
Drink More Water
Many people experience headaches as a symptom of chronic dehydration. If, instead of sipping water all day, you tend to sip on caffeinated teas, soda, coffee, and cocktails, this could definitely be the root cause of your annoying headaches. These beverages dehydrate the body.
To help you get into the habit of drinking more water, try to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. If you’re going to drink a dehydrating beverage, challenge yourself to drink a glass of water beforehand and afterwards. Make your water more enticing by infusing it with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Such as, cucumbers and spearmint, limes and lemons, or strawberries and basil. Another great way to make your water more fun to drink, and more health enhancing, is to add in essential oils.
A headache can be one way your body relays the message, “Get more oxygen circulating!” Most people are chronically, and subtly, oxygen-deprived. When we don’t take time to slow down and breathe deeply, our body has a hard time keeping up. Try this anxiety-relieving breathing exercise to slow down your breathing and release tension throughout the body. Or try developing a 15-minute meditation practice every day to make breathing slowly and deeply more of a habit. There are many different types of meditation, but they all center around your breath.
Supplement with Magnesium
Magnesium helps your blood vessels dilate. A magnesium deficiency can cause painful constriction. This could be your root issue not only if you’re experiencing headaches, but also if chronic muscle cramping is a problem for you. Both can be caused by magnesium deficiency. If you experience other symptoms aside from headaches such as leg cramps, sleep issues, and high blood pressure, you may want to talk to your doctor about supplementing with magnesium.
Notice Your Stress Triggers
Headaches are often triggered by emotional dis-ease. Take note of what you were thinking about and partaking in before your headache surfaced. Then, take some time for your favorite stress-relief activities:
- Go outside
- Do yoga
- Go for a walk
- Call a friend
- Play with your dog
- Read something inspiring
Taking care of ourselves is critical for not only our emotional well-being, but our physical well-being as well. It’s important to carve out time every day to unwind and release tension otherwise that tension can often result in unwanted physical symptoms, such as headaches.
Notice Your Food Triggers
“What’s one person’s food is another person’s poison.” -Joshua Rosenthal”
Is it sugar for you? Dairy? Gluten? MSG? Artificial colorings? What causes you to feel less than vital? Start to take note! These foods or ingredients could be triggering your headaches.
Food is powerful. Once ingested, through a series of endless chemical reactions, it creates an environment in your body. This environment could be one of health and healing or one of inflammation and destruction.
(It’s also worth it to become aware of the ingredients and chemicals in your cosmetics, body care products, and cleaning supplies. If you’re looking for a great alternative to conventional cosmetics, check out these all natural beauty brands we love!)
Many headaches are caused by muscle tension. The next time you’re in pain, give the following stretches a try:
Bring the pad of your middle finger to your bottom teeth and the pad of your thumb to your top teeth. Gently push your bottom teeth down and your top teeth up. Hold.
Bring your right arm into a half bind (as pictured). Drop your left ear to your left shoulder. Gently place your left hand on your right ear (no need to pull, just let the weight of your hand do the work). Hold like this for a few breaths. Then, turn your chin to your left shoulder and bring your left hand to the base of your skull. Hold. Switch sides.
Yoga and Pilates can help heal chronic headaches. To prevent headaches from coming back, try making yoga a part of your everyday routine. Decrease stress, get enough sleep, drink enough water, and take care of yourself. A little preventative self-care can go a long way in keeping pesky headaches—and many other health problems—at bay.