Usually, headaches are a symptom of an imbalance that could have been avoided. The majority of headaches plaguing the population actually stem from tense muscles in the neck and scalp, which is often a symptom of stress. As with 80% of other illnesses, the symptoms are caused by stress. Low blood sugar and dehydration are some other major players. When our fluid levels or sugar levels drop too low, the body starts flinging out all sorts of symptoms screaming: mayday mayday! Bare in mind the intricate web of blood vessels and nerves running through the scalp can become highly sensitive under the pressure of dehydration.
These easily curable causes of headaches are very commonplace and pose no major health risk if treated promptly, such as with dehydration. But a headache can be a warning sign of much graver issues. The key to determining what is normal and not normal requires us to be tuned in to our bodies. There are many illnesses which can create headaches, so if you’re concerned with your pain level, if something does not feel right or headaches are occurring frequently, or suddenly, it’s important to seek medical help.
Preventing tension headaches
– Find what helps you manage stress, and implement it into your daily life.
This could be as simple as planning everything out in a writing, letting it leave your mind for a while as you follow a 10 minute yoga routine. This stops the stress from building from the minute you wake up in the morning, and allows your waking mind to compartmentalise things so you can function better.
Deep breathing helps muscles to relax and strengthens our ability to focus. All yummy benefits of yoga! If you’re not the yoga type, try meditation instead. Your mind and body will appreciate the effort. This sets the tone for the day, and you may find you’re suddenly creating your own good luck! (Spoiler: it’s not good luck, you’re just better equipped in mind, body and soul to navigate your path.)
– Use heat therapy
Depending on the climate, circumstance, and your personal preference, using hot or cold applications on sore muscles will help them relax. Sometimes all it takes is a hot water bottle or an ice pack on sore muscles of the upper back, neck or scalp to get that headache to melt away.
It’s always preferable to try this before popping one of those popular tension-headache pills. Sure, they work, but they mess with your chemicals and are harsh on your liver when a natural, simple solution could have done the trick.
– Pay attention to posture
We hold ourselves in peculiar ways when we’re not paying attention. Be mindful of the tension accumulating in certain muscles, breathe deeply every so often, and feel your posture naturally shift. Whenever your standing around, or sitting for long periods of time, try to place yourself in the most ergonomic position possible given your current situation. Oh, and most importantly, don’t let the hustle and bustle of modern life mess with your inner peace.
Preventing dietary headaches
– Sabotaging stimulants
Caffeine, nicotine and sugar can all trigger some real bangers. If you’re ingesting large amounts of these stimulants on a daily basis, chances are you may have yourself an addiction. Headaches can occur when we go “cold turkey.” So if you’re used to having a couple of cigarettes and a coffee every morning, and one day skip the routine, the body starts dealing with the absence of the usual fix – often producing a headache along with some other not-so-desirable symptoms.
The best way to keep things pain-free is to maintain a balanced diet, and if you’re hooked on something you know is not doing you any good, wean yourself off it gradually, cold turkey is headache party time.
– Keep hydration levels high
Sipping water regularly throughout the day is a great way to get clean fluids running constantly through your system. There’s no need to force yourself, or chug huge amounts, the body can only use so much at a time. The key is to keep the fluids coming, rather than become thirsty and then downing half a litre in half a minute. Some fresh fruit juice or herbal tea are great options. Stay away from sodas and alcohol as much as possible, especially if you’re a migraine sufferer.
“The rule of thumb is, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, even before you begin your outdoor activity,” said Dr. Irvin Sulapas, a primary care sports medicine physician and assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
– Stabilise sugar levels
Every single cell in our body depends on glucose to survive. Naturally, our bodies turn the food we eat into absorbable glucose, and we need a fair amount of that just to keep the lights switched on. This doesn’t mean you need to eat foods high in sugar, but it does mean you need to eat foods with high nutritional and calorie content.
Pasta is practically perfect, vegetables get the gold star and let’s not forget fantastic fruit! Those are your daily requirements (not necessarily in that order). Though we don’t technically need pasta to survive, we do need sugar to survive, and healthy carbohydrates are the best way to get those slow-burning long-distance calories in.
Skipping meals, extreme dieting, bingeing or any other habits which causes blood levels to spike in dangerous directions will cause havoc in the body and definitely give you a miserable headache as a souvenir. We’ve all been hungry and head-achey before, then felt 100% better after a good meal, that’s your blood sugar stabilising.
Holistic Pain Management
Here at The School of Natural Health Sciences we offer a course which takes you through the pain process, management of it, the reasons why we experience pain, it’s history, holistic relief and treatment of ailments.
Not only does this course serve as a useful tool from a professional standpoint, but also from a social one. People’s personal lives are filled with all sorts of pain and this is the course that will enlighten you, enable you to help others and arm you with qualifications that are accredited worldwide.