Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches are the most common type of headache and they affect up to 80% of Americans from time to time. Most sufferers will reach for a bottle of over the counter pain killers to take care of the headache, at least temporarily. The problem with this is that, like any other pain, your body is trying to tell you something. A broken bone will send you such strong pain signals that you cannot ignore them. This is so that you do not cause further injury and so that the injury can heal. Somewhere along the way, however, we were conditioned to ignore the signals our bodies are sending us when we get a headache. Headaches can be caused by allergies, eye strain, bad posture, substance abuse, blood sugar, hormones, stress, fatigue and even nutritional deficiencies. Instead of ignoring what your body is telling you. Listen and try to get it what it needs, after all, the headache may be the “tip of the iceberg” for other health issues. Here are five natural remedies to reduce or eliminate headaches.
There are several foods that are rich in magnesium such as spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, brown rice, lima beans, nuts, dark chocolate and avocados. If you suffer from frequent headaches try adding some of these foods to your diet. If that does not do the trick you may need to supplement. At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we carry a liquid calcium/magnesium which we find to be the most effective form of the supplement, call or email for details.
Many people are chronically dehydrated. A drink or two the night before, a cup of coffee or two to get through the day and a packed work schedule that often makes a person “forget” to drink water is the perfect recipe for dehydration (and a headache for that matter). Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine alone can help reduce headaches. Keep a container of water on your desk or in your car if you drive a lot. Hydrate as soon as you wake up with a large container of water that you keep on the nightstand. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can also help with hydration.
Poor sleep alone can cause headaches. Add to that the caffeine you are using to get through the day and you are again setting the stage for have chronic, recurring headaches. If you are having trouble getting 7-8 hours of good restful sleep you will be more prone to headaches.
Exercise will dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow, move toxins through your body and release endorphins. A CrossFit workout is not necessary. Walking and yoga on a regular basis can be enough to get things moving and reduce or eliminate headaches.
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
Study after study has shown the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture for headaches. Many insurance companies who provide coverage for acupuncture, provide coverage for headaches. This is a sure sign that the problem has been well researched or else insurance would not provide coverage! At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we find that acupuncture, when combined with Chinese herbal medicine is the most effective method of reducing or eliminating headaches.
Taking even over the counter pain relievers can have side effects and they will never fix the problem if the things causing the problem are never addressed. Adopt some of these changes and see how you do. If they do not get you to your goal, reach out for some help, there is no reason to suffer and every reason to finally get to the root of the problem.
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!