If you’re like millions of Americans, you too will someday suffer the wrath of a headache. Some get them more than others, and in many instances headaches can recur. At the Yinova Center, headaches are a common complaint and there’s plenty of research that shows that acupuncture is a great treatment for both chronic and acute headaches. Most people suffer the occasional headache, medicate with ibuprofen or acetaminophen and are good as new shortly thereafter. For others however, headaches are a more common, regular or chronic condition.
Our patients who can come into the center experience relief with acupuncture, but if you are stuck at home with a headache and wishing the pain away, there are some other methods and home remedies that can get your head back where it should be: not in pain.
Points on the base of the skull known as the “Gates to Consciousness” or “Gates of the Mind” are an instinctive place to massage your head when feeling headache pain. Massaging and applying pressure to these points releases endorphins which aid in alleviating the pain of your headache.
There’s also an acupuncture point for headaches on the hand. To find it look for the fleshy part on the back of your hand in the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Using your other thumb, squeeze the muscle by pressing down. Many people find this brings instant relief.
On a related note, massage, like acupuncture, can treat chronic headaches. A study released released in 2006 found that a controlled group of migraine sufferers felt better after receiving massage. Since one of the main components of both acupuncture and massage is to relieve stiffness, both practices are beneficial to not just headaches but other conditions such as neck pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis.
You heard right. Stretching can actually relieve the pain, too. Just as it is great for tight muscles before or after a workout, the act of stretching can also increase the flow of oxygen and release stagnant blood. Try stretching your neck side to side, up and down, and stretching your arms overhead. You may feel worlds better. And if this is a practice pre-working out and you are exercising through the pain, you can also use aerobic exercise to rid yourself of a headache.
Meditation can clear your mind of clutter, but it can also clear your head of pain and discomfort. Though there may not be scientific evidence to suggest it can cure a throb in the noggin, we are believers that focusing on moving the pain out can make a difference. That also goes for deep breathing and relaxation.
Ensuring you are drinking enough water and fluids will help your inflamed head, trust us! Be sure to keep it pure, though. Too many sugars can aggravate the discomfort and may make it worse.