There’s nothing quite as awesome as getting a headache. You know, when you can feel your veins pulsating in your temples, you can’t think straight, your whole face hurts and your only refuge is under the covers in your blacked-out, sound-proof bedroom in downtown Toronto, where nonstop construction and floor to ceiling windows reign…ya, good luck with that. I’m always so surprised when I ask patients about their health history and they don’t mention headaches. I started asking specifically about them in appointments because to a large extent, headaches have become normalized. And subsequently, so has the pill-popping. Pain relievers could start using the Frank’s Hot Sauce slogan: “I put that sh!t on everything!”
But if you’re reading this, it’s NOT too late (that may or may not be the only Drake reference in this article). Here are 5 easy tips to get rid of those pesky headaches:
- Drink water. Dehydration is big cause of headaches, especially chronic headaches so it’s important to drink good quality, filtered water. No, not from the Brita filter. And preferably not from plastic bottled water, either. Reverse osmosis or natural glass-bottled spring water is ideal. Aim for 2L/day but you’ll need to increase your consumption if you’re exercising. Oh, you’re not exercising? See tip #2.
- Exercise. Getting your heartrate pumping does a few amazing things for the body: it dilates and contracts your blood vessels, allowing for greater, more efficient circulation of blood through the body, including the head. Headaches occur for various reasons but lack of proper oxygenation and constricted blood vessels can be two big culprits. It also helps to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. A while we’re on the topic…
- Manage your stress: Another big trigger for headaches is stress. Shocking, I know. So while you can’t necessarily quit that job or erase that ex, you can incorporate self-care into your routine. Headaches are often caused by neck & shoulder tension (i.e.: tension headaches) so it’s important to get up from your desk and stretch those muscles shortened by being hunched over your computer all day. Massage is also a glorious way to relieve stress & muscle tension. You just gotta schedule it in!
- Eat regularly: I know, I know – these tips keep getting more and more ground-breaking. But you’d be surprised how many people don’t eat breakfast and then wonder why they have a splitting headache by 11am. Your blood sugar levels have plummeted, friend! Fluctuating glucoses dips & spikes can easily bring on a headache so it’s important to keep those levels as even-keeled as possible. Eating protein throughout the day will keep both your energy high and your blood sugar levels balanced. Aim for 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight.
- Kill the pain, naturally. Use pain-relieving products that are effective but clinically safe to use, long-term. What products am I referring to, you may ask? Genuine Health has given headache sufferers a gift – and it’s called fast pain relief+. This product combines the natural anti-inflammatory properties of natural egg shell membrane in the most absorbable, patented form called Biovaflex® with traditional herbs known to decrease pain. One of those herbs, White Willow Bark (or salix alba), contains a compound called salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid. Pair that with the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is extremely effective. The other herb contained in Fast Pain Relief+ is Devil’s Claw, a well-known anti-inflammatory compound. And the best part of this amazing trio? It will work in just 2 hours. (Well, the actual best part is that it won’t cause digestive upset and/or gastric issues down the road but ½ dozen really).
So if you’ve thought that headaches are a permanent fixture in your daily, weekend bender or monthly menstrual routine, think again. Follow the above tips for minimum 30 days to start seeing your own results.
You could also try eating Passionfruit (boom!)
Dr. Kat Kremblewski is a Naturopathic Doctor and owner of FloraWellness, a boutique health clinic in the heart of Yorkville. Formally known as Yorkville Integrative Health, FloraWellness is a calm and healing environment in which every aspect of your health is addressed. With a keen interest in digestive, immune and hormone health, Dr. Kremblewski provides thorough and detailed treatment plans, working closely with her patients to help them achieve their goals. Using therapies such as herbal medicine, vitamins, acupuncture, and therapeutic counseling, Dr. Kremblewski ensures you see quick yet lasting results.