Is your head still throbbing after taking your usual pain medication? Ever wonder what other treatments are available? Then this is the article for you. Headaches and migraines are a common complaint at the DR’s office with approximately 8 million visits every year! With the risk of side effects and the high addiction rate to pain relief pills people everywhere are turning to alternative measures of help.
What are migraines?
We have all had a headache at some point in our lives, a horrible pain that can be throbbing, feel like pressure, tightening, stabbing or achy pain, and some of us have experienced the dreaded migraine which is severe pain, usually on one side of the head, which can be accompanied with light and sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, some people even experience an aura before a migraine sets in. headaches and migraines can occur for many different reasons from stress, tension, tiredness, illness, genetics and more. Most people turn to pain medication for headache and migraine relief, but there are a few alternative treatments available that may actually help you more.
What are alternative therapies?
Alternative therapies are treatments that are outside the western medicine system. These treatments involve a therapist who takes into account your whole body to look for clues as to what is causing your health issues. As it turns out the most common reason for headaches and migraines is stress and tension and alternative therapies are excellent at helping treat these ailments.
What treatments are available?
- Massage- massage is one of the most frequently used forms of alternative medicine, especially when it comes to easing stress and tension. An accredited massage therapist can locate tight areas on your body that can be causing tension and therefore causing your headaches. It is known that if our muscles are tight then we can suffer from pain, pain from tight muscles can radiate and defer into other parts of our bodies and yes, cause headaches. Some people can find relief after one visit, although many people find they need to maintain regular visits to keep muscles supple. And who doesn’t love a good massage?
- Yoga- yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on strength, relaxation, breathing and flexibility. All these aspects of yoga can release stress and muscle tension and really help to give relief to headaches and migraines. Feel good endorphins will be released during a session, causing stress to melt away, and because we loosen up our muscles during a yoga class we fight of tension and release pain. Bonus, yoga can really tone up your body and relieve anxiety.
- Herbal treatments- for herbal treatments of headaches and migraines it is best to see an accredited naturopath. Many people believe that because something is natural it will be safe, this isn’t always the case only a naturopath will be able to give you the proper advice and minimise any risks. There are many herbal remedies that can be used for pain and symptoms of all types of headaches including stress, tension, migraine, sinus and headaches caused by colds and flus. Many people have shown great benefit from using natural treatments when compared to prescription medication. There are even herbal supplements for stress, anxiety and depression which can all contribute to the onset of headaches.
- Meditation- meditation is a practice that has been used for centuries, its aim is to create inner peace, give your mind a rest and relief stress. Meditation can be a useful tool in the management of headaches, especially those created by stress, by giving the mind a break and relaxing in a meditative state, we can relief any stress and tension that may be causing our headache pain. It can also give us a boost of energy to get through our day, because you feel so refreshed and rejuvenated after a quick sess. 5-10 mins daily should help relieve tension and stress headaches.
- Acupuncture- acupuncture is a treatment that involves fine needles being placed in the skin in certain areas to help relieve pain and other ailments. Studies show that many people experience great pain relief after having acupuncture. Evidence shows that this technique releases endorphins which relieve stress and pain. The best part is acupuncture is quite long lasting with some studies showing pain relief for months.
Just because alternative treatments are more natural does not mean you can dive right in, make sure you are going to an accredited therapist, tell them any meds you are on and any medical conditions, some treatments can interact with your medications and existing lifestyle, so it’s always better to be safe then sorry.
No matter the cause of your headache there is an alternative treatment out there for you, you just need to give it a go. Once you see the results you will be kicking yourself for not trying it earlier.