You know that pulsing, throbbing pain you sometimes get behind the eyes? Or at the back of your head? Sometimes accompanied by sweating, nausea or even physical weakness? There’s little worse than having to deal with a headache on top of your already busy day. You’ve got enough to do! Who actually has the time or patience to deal with a headache?

Headaches and migraines can be tricky because there are so many different types of headaches and so many different causes. The World Health Organization recognizes that nearly everyone experiences headaches occasionally. Though headaches can sometimes require immediate medical attention (if your vision becomes impaired, you become confused, vomit or slur speech make sure you see your doctor!), there are a few key ways those nagging headaches that break up your day to day can be beat! Headache disorders (identified by recurrent headaches) are estimated to affect about 50% of the population- that’s BONKERS! For the next time you’re struggling to focus thanks to aching pressure or unrelenting pain, look here for a new solution.

Functional Training

It’s no surprise here that endorphins play a BIG part since they are the body’s natural pain-killer! As we exercise the body releases endorphins interact with opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain. Though the last thing you might feel like doing when you have a headache is getting to the gym, some light cardio or core exercises will help you focus on controlling your breathing, reducing stress while releasing those ever-helpful endorphins. 

Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout is also key to avoiding headaches. Being thirsty is a sign of dehydration which can actually trigger a headache that often is wrongfully associated with another cause.

Holistic Nutrition

Believe it or not (but seriously, believe it) there are foods that can be the underlying cause of a headache. Foods that are high in the chemical histamine are thought to cause migraines in those sensitive to it. Those foods would include aged cheese, beer, wine, smoked fish, and cured meats. 

Other foods commonly reported as headache triggers are chocolate, yeast extract, and food preservatives. Although one food may not be the singular cause of a headache or migraine if you believe food might be the secret issue, try keeping a food log to see if there are any patterns between the food you eat and when you experience headaches. Patterns between the foods you don’t eat and when you experience headaches should also be tracked- that is to say, missing meals can certainly trigger headaches as well!

Nature

We all know that spending time in nature reduces stress… but we cannot say it enough! Exposure to nature has been proven to lower levels of cortisol, a hormone used as a natural marker of stress, and even looking at pictures of nature have led to immediate feelings of relaxation and calmness. 

Essential oils are also a natural remedy to try when fighting a headache. Applying peppermint essential oil to the temples has shown to decrease pain from tension headaches. Lavender essential oil, on the other hand, helps reduce headache symptoms when inhaled or applied to the upper lip.

Self-Care

Similarly to why exercise helps ward off a headache, practising yoga can also help reduce a headache at that moment. A few simple poses can help to stretch your body, unwind your mind, improve your posture, and slow your breathing- all contributing to a more relaxed state while releasing endorphins.

Two of the most common headache causes are stress and lack of sleep. Ensuring you get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep a night will drastically decrease the likelihood of headaches and migraines. 

Need a little more guidance? Start with us and our EPIC Life Assessment. This will give you a good idea of where you are now so you can start to make the changes that will benefit your wellbeing for the long term!