College of DuPage Nursing Student John Kovalev shared with Healthy Lombard that the quality of our lives is undoubtedly affected by our physical and emotional well-being. A thorn in the side of our well-being can throw our whole state of being off, and this is especially true of something as simple as a headache. In a study published by PBS, it was found that 15% of Americans have migraine disease, which is roughly 47 million people nationwide. However, it was found that help is rarely sought, and the pain is just muscled and dealt with, instead of taking the necessary interventions. Through ineffective management, victims suffer, sometimes needlessly, through life’s ups and downs. Fortunately, if you find yourself to be one of these people, or like everyone else come down with anything from a minor headache to a strong migraine from time to time, there is hope. Hope in the form of simple lifestyle changes, that don’t require medication or doctors’ visits. Although not a catch-all, these simple methods are often overlooked and should be brought into the limelight once again.
One area that we can focus on is diet. Instead of immediately reaching for over the counter painkillers, we can try first by (especially prophylactically) making changes in what we consume. Consider adding more magnesium (found in dark green, leafy vegetables) and riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, which can be found in low-fat dairy and eggs.
Some herbs can also serve as an effective alternative to OTC painkillers. Ginger can help soothe migraine symptoms as it has anti-inflammatory properties, and peppermint oil can be rubbed onto the temples as it also has anti-inflammatory properties and can also relax the tight muscles associated with migraines.
Next, get some sleep! This one is very well known, but very rarely followed. Everybody is different, be sure to find how much sleep you need each night to feel at your very best. Avoid spending too much time in front of any screens (phone, tv, etc.) before bed as it has been shown to suppress melatonin release, the hormone responsible for putting and keeping us asleep.
This one can be fun, have you ever tried yoga? Yoga is a great way to relax both physically and mentally, which can relieve stress that is often associated with tension headaches. Some studies have shown that participating regularly in yoga decreases the frequency and severity of tension headaches and migraines. So, why not give it a shot?
Many of these points are popular, and although not revolutionary, are simple tried and true methods to help you feel better, and ultimately be better. Which of these have you noticed that you have been overlooking? Implement them today and get on your way!
Natural Headache Remedies That Work. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.sharecare.com/health/headaches-migraines/article/5-natural-headache-remedies
Sy, S., & Baldwin, L. (2020, February 26). 15 percent of Americans have migraine disease. Why aren’t there better treatment options? Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/15-percent-of-americans-have-migraine-disease-why-arent-there-better-treatment-options