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Helping Headaches Heal – Part 2

Jul 16, 14 Helping Headaches Heal – Part 2

Health.com released 21 tips to help those of us who suffer from headaches to find some release. In Part 1 of this series, I identified and discussed the first seven tips:

Tip #1: Rest

Tip #2: Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently

Tip #3: Ice On the Forehead

Tip #4: Take a Hot Shower

Tip #5: Get a Massage

Tip #6: Acupressure

Tip #7: Limit the Libations

Now, let’s look at the next seven to find even more help for when headaches take over.

Tip #8: Water, Water, and More Water

When we are dehydrated, one of the first signs our bodies give us comes in the form of a headache. That is why it is so important to make sure that we keep ourselves hydrated by drinking about 100 ounces of water daily. This usually turns out to be about 11-15 cups of water a day. Do not forget, though, that water comes from fruit and vegetables as well as tea and skim or low-fat milk, so we can get water from other sources than just cups of the liquid. Staying hydrated can help prevent headaches, but when a headache comes on, drink water to help alleviate the pain.

Tip #9: Watch Those Pounds

Maintaining a healthy weight or, more importantly, avoiding being significantly overweight can help to control headaches. According to Health.com, “Losing weight through diet and regular exercise—or keeping your weight healthy if you’re already there—can go a long way in preventing headaches from happening more frequently.”

Tip #10: Maintaining Low Levels of Stress

Stress is a major contributing factor to tension headaches. Studies show that the more stress we have in our lives, the more headaches we are likely to suffer from, and no one wants that. Stress is icky already, but top that with a headache and it feels like the world is ending. Plus, stress can lead to more frequent headaches and more intense headaches. To help avoid this, we should take breaks from stressful situations whether that is through doing yoga, taking a walk, meditating, engaging in a hobby, reading, or whatever it is we find calming. When we are stressed, we must find ways to take our minds off of worrying in order to prevent headaches as well as control our stress levels.

Tip #11: A Little Caffeine Can Help

The key in that phrase is a little. One cup of coffee or tea should do the trick to help detour oncoming headaches. Just a little bit can help but too much can lead to caffeine withdrawals, which might bring on headaches. If we happen to be those who drink multiple cups of coffee and soda a day, then this trick will not work. This only works for those who are low-to-moderate caffeine consumers.

Tip #12: Computer Break, Anyone?

Though it has not yet been well studied, there is some consensus that long times in front of computer screens may contribute to headaches. Partially, this is a result of eyestrain as well as how we sit in front of computers. It may also be a result of the mental concentration we exert while using computers. We should take regular breaks, stretch, and even pay attention to the ergonomics of our computer areas.

Tip #13: No More Sun

The sun can contribute to headaches through inducing heat stroke, dehydration, and through its brightness. So, if we plan to spend long periods of time in the sun at the beach, on the lake, or trolling the zoo, then we need to pack plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and bring umbrellas or wear large, protective hats. The sun provides vitamin D, true, but it also can damage more than just our skin. For those who are prone to headaches, they need to be careful when spending long periods of time in the sun.

Tip #14: Regular Exercise

Exercise is good for helping to avoid and treat headaches. First, it helps us to maintain our weight. As previously stated, being overweight can significantly increase our chances of headaches. Exercise can also increase blood circulation and pulse, which can help to fight off headaches. And regular exercise can help us to stay headache free. As Health.com further explains, “One 2009 Swedish study found that migraine patients experienced fewer and less intense headache episodes after they adopted a regular cycling routine. Other research has suggested that yoga can also help prevent headaches.” I know when I am in the throes of a migraine exercise certainly helps me. It may not eliminate the migraine, but it lessens it for sure.

Thus far we have seen 14 tips that may greatly help those of us who suffer from headaches. Some of these tips help when the headache is full blown while others work to prevent headaches altogether. In the third part of this, we will see the last seven tips that Health.com has to offer.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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About 

Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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