Relieve a Tension Headache

Friday, July 31, 2009

In our stressful world of traffic jams, tight deadlines and high-speed everything, it's no wonder we find ourselves taking an occasional painkiller. For a bad headache, take two 500mg paracetamol tablets or two 200mg ibuprofen tablets. Aspirin is also an effective painkiller but is not suitable for anyone under 18 years, or who has an allergy to aspirin. However, painkillers are only part of the solution. There's much more you can do to escape the thump of a throbbing head.

Place a hot compress on your fore-head or the back of your neck. The heat will help to relax knotted up muscles in this area. Apply compress with vinegar (preferably home-made, apple vinegar) to your head. If you don't have cardiovascular problems and you can stand it, hot shower (~140 F) for 20 minutes can bring you instant relief. Have a strong cup of coffee or energy drink. Caffeine reduces blood-vessel swelling, and thus can help to relieve a headache. This is why caffeine is an ingredient in some extra-strength painkillers like Anadin Extra. If you are already a heavy coffee drinker, don't try this. Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, creating a vicious cycle. Wring out two wet peppermint tea bags and place them on your closed eyelids or forehead for five minutes. If you have a vaporizer... Add 7 drops of lavender oil. Add 3 drops of peppermint oil. Breathe in the relief. Alternatively you could also try sprinkling a few drops of peppermint oil onto a tissue and inhaling deeply several times. Herbal teas can be used to help ease the pain of a tension headache. Choose whichever flavor helps you relax, be it cooling peppermint or calming chamomile.
Spend some time relaxing your mind. Visualize a calm scene, such as a green forest or blue ocean, and take deep breaths. Without doing anything, have the thought of allowing your neck go free. Tension in the neck and shoulders can often be the cause of headaches.

Massage the temples, shoulders, neck or any other area where you feel tension. Tense areas usually feel tight and hard, and are easy to recognize. Essential oils can be incorporated into massage to aid relaxation. Lavender is a well-known relaxant. Apply an ice pack to your neck for 10 minutes.
Tension headaches can be caused by eye strain, so ensure you take at least a ten-minute screen break every hour. Close your eyes and cup them with the palms of each hand, apply light pressure and hold for 2 minutes. Visit your optician to ensure you do not need glasses.Headaches can be caused by dehydration. Try to increase your water intake to between 6 and 8 glasses a day. If you clench your jaw or grit your teeth, make an effort to relax your face. Try yawning to reduce facial tension. Go to the toilet, sometimes this helps.

Tension headaches can be a result of all-over body tension caused by stress or anxiety. If you find there is a great deal of tension in your shoulders and neck, consider contacting an Alexander Technique teacher in your area.If you suffer from frequent or severe headaches you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

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