That familiar feeling – tightness around the top of your head, a stiff neck and sore eyes could mean you’re getting yet another headache.
Headaches are common and usually nothing to worry about – most of them fall in to one of three categories:
- Tension headaches – these are often caused by muscle and posture problems, and you’re more likely to get one if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or even just tired.
- Migraines – these are as painful, sometimes more so, than tension headaches and the pain is often focused on one side of your head. Also comes with strange neurological symptoms in some people like eyesight and hearing disruption.
- Cluster headaches – these typically start after you’ve fallen asleep and the pain gradually intensifies. These can last for several hours.
They can be hard work to get rid of, and taking too many pain killers isn’t recommended as you can build up tolerance and cause what’s called ‘rebound headaches’. If you think you are suffering from a migraine or a cluster headache they need to be diagnosed by a doctor before you start self-treating, but self-treatment can be very be effective.
If you work in an office, check that your workstation is properly set up – you spend a lot of time at work so if it’s causing bad posture this could easily be contributing to your headache problems. You should never have to turn your head, or look up or down, when looking at your computer screen. It should be directly in front of you, just below eye level.
Mobile phone health
Are you on your phone a lot? Stop cradling it between your shoulder and ear as this creates a lot of muscle tension that could eventually lead to a sore head.
Put your phone on speaker, use a headset or set up a Bluetooth device if you have to go hands free.
Nutrition and hydration
If you’re like most of us you might not be paying as much attention to your diet as you could – we’re not all able to photograph each meal for Instagram and list all the vitamins! If you’re not getting all the vitamins and minerals you need, you can go some way to insure against headaches by taking a good quality multivitamin every day. Experts think that vitamin C, B1, B6, B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium are all vital in the war against bad heads.
Make sure you drink enough too. It’s not just a myth – you really should try and aim for eight glasses of water per day – more if you’ve been exercising or if it’s hot.
Headache busting tips
If none of that has stopped you from getting a pounding headache, try this technique for some relief.
- Put your thumbs underneath the tips of your brows, right at the bridge of your nose. Squeeze the bridge of your nose gently, pressing the tips of your thumbs firmly together for ten seconds, then release. Repeat this four times.
- Then move your thumbs so that they are sitting underneath your brow bone and on your upper eyelids. Apply a reasonably firm pressure for ten seconds, then release and repeat three times. Finally, massage the area underneath your brow bone and all around your eyes in a circular motion. Do this for a minute and rest.
- Then, move to your temples and apply firm pressure with your three middle fingers for ten seconds. Repeat three times, and move your fingers along your hairline, gently massaging your scalp and forehead as you go. Keep doing this until you feel some relief.
Add some essential oils
Add a little aromatherapy to the temple massage stage – add peppermint or spearmint for their pain-relieving properties. They are quite stimulating so great for daytime headaches, but if you’re afflicted after hours, swap the mint for lavender oil, which is soothing and has a natural sedative effect.
Indian Head Massage is great for migraines and tension headaches if they are something that you suffer with a lot; why not give it a try if you want a lovely way to bust those headaches.