Do you suffer from headaches? Inside this post, learn doctor-backed tips to reduce headaches with Dr. Meg Mill. Just because you’ve had them doesn’t mean they have to stay. Get five tips to reduce them inside.
I’m a headache person, or at least I used to be. When I got too tired, fell out of my normal routine, or got close to the menstruation point in my cycle, I could almost guarantee a nagging headache would surface. Sometimes they were more of a nuisance than a day-altering issue. But other times, it left me stuck in bed with a full-on migraine.
If you’re a headache person, I know the struggle. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Over the years of healing my body, adding energy, and changing my perspective on stress, I’ve cleared 98% of my headaches, leaving me to go months and months without symptoms. I believe you can get here too. Of course, everyone is different, but changes are possible for all of us.
I invited an expert in headaches, Dr. Meg Mill, to come on the show and explain why we get them, how to relieve them, and even prevent headaches from popping up. Listen to this podcast to learn more about headaches.
Doctor-Backed Tips To Reduce Headaches
Inside the podcast, Dr. Mill gave some great tips to reduce headaches or heal from them altogether. Some of these you can use during a flare. Others are tips you can apply to prevent them. Here are five doctor-backed tips to reduce headaches.
01: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Water makes up the majority of our bodies. In fact, 50-70% of our body composition is water, proving why water is a critical component of our health. Without enough of it, your body will get noisy, firing symptoms reminding you to drink. If you go long enough without listening, you could form a headache.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to overcome and prevent headaches and migraines.
But fluid consumption is not the same thing as hydration. You can drink a lot of fluids without ever hydrating the body at a cellular level.
Preventing headaches and healthifying the body requires proper hydration. More than straight H20, your body needs a mixture of electrolytes and minerals to create a water balance inside the cells. If you’re drinking a lot but still thirsty, add fresh fruit juice and a pinch of sea salt to your water. This will help your body use the water you consume.
02: Rub on essential oils or get out your ice roller
When used correctly, essential oils can provide numerous medicinal benefits. One of those is its calming effect on the body, reducing headaches. Aromatherapy, or the power of smell, acts inside your brain to relax muscles and ease pain.
A few common essential oils for headache relief include peppermint, lavender, and rosemary. I suggest you use a carrier oil like coconut oil to rub on the base of your neck, or you can add it to a warm bath or diffuse it into the air.
If you don’t have essential oils or feel sensitive to them, you may also benefit from using an ice roller on your neck and head. Ice reduces inflammation and pain. When you feel a headache coming on, pull out this ice roller from the freezer and rub it on your neck, shoulders, head, and even your face to ease the inflammation that creates or could create a headache.
03: Actively Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques
Stored trauma is a common denominator of chronic pain. That includes headaches known as muscle contraction headaches. Stress and mental and emotional conflict that trigger pain can cause the neck, face, scalp, and jaw muscles to contract. Over time, the clenching builds tension creating a headache.
Even if you aren’t currently living in the trauma, something that triggers the stored trauma in your subconscious can push you into a state of stress leading to the over-contraction of these muscles. Working on stress-reductions practices reduces the clenching, reducing the build-up of tension causing headaches.
The key is learning how to perceive stress in a way that doesn’t force you to avoid it but how to move through it. Pay more attention to how you can support your body in stress. Understanding what actions you can take that help you reduce the overwhelming pressure you may feel. There are a million ways to reduce stress, including taking a hot bath, reading a fiction book just for fun, going on a coffee date with a friend, hitting the trail for a walk, soaking in some morning sunlight, or even taking a nap. When you’re stressed, learn how to do something with it rather than let it build up.
04: Sleep it Off
Healthy sleep is not about getting more hours but increasing the quality of those hours. A lack of sleep specifically decreased REM sleep, has been associated with an increased risk of headaches, specifically migraines. Of course, emotional stress decreases the potential of deep REM sleep, but so does physical stress. And you may not always be able to control your emotional stress (although there is a lot you can do to help), but you can actively reduce the physical stress that may lead to a reduction in deep sleep.
Sleep is important, maybe even the most important of these tips.
A few practices to foster a healthy circadian rhythm include; morning sunlight, avoiding screens late at night or wearing blue-light-blocking glasses, taking time to unwind, practicing circadian fasting, moving your body daily, doing something you love, cuddling with someone or engaging in physical touch and intimacy, talk therapy, journaling and mediation, or even having a bedtime snack if you feel like you can’t stay asleep. You may have to try a few things, but when you understand what works, do more of it.
05: Identify potential allergens or sensitivities
If you suffer from regular headaches, it may be time to dig in further. You may be suffering from an underlying food sensitivity that increases inflammation. Several migraine sufferers have healed their headaches by avoiding common food triggers. As I mentioned in the podcast, my brother-in-law, who had weekly migraines keeping him home from work, found he was sensitive to egg yolks. Since eliminating eggs, he has reduced 90% of his headaches with no other changes.
It seems silly, but the mechanism behind food sensitivities is a leading characteristic in creating headaches. Common food triggers include; eggs, high-histamine-containing foods like shellfish and eggplant, fermented foods (including alcohol), stimulants in coffees, teas, and chocolate, citrus foods, nitrates found in deli or cured meats, sulfites most commonly found in food preservatives, packaged items, wine, and dried fruit, MSG, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners like stevia.
Working with a practitioner like Dr. Mill is a great way to uncover the root cause if you have symptoms like headaches.
Just because you suffer doesn’t mean it has to continue. Try one of these expert-backed ways to overcome your persistent and common headaches. If nothing works, you may need to dive into your hormones or check out one of Dr. Mill’s courses to uncover the root cause.
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