I get frequent, pounding headaches. What can I
do to prevent them or relieve them when I have one?
Something in your life is creating
an adverse environment that causes a headache. For instance, most people are
familiar with the occasional headache that comes from a cold, staying up too
late, or drinking too much. Other common culprits include sinus problems,
muscle tension, eyestrain, stress, jaw clenching, a virus, allergies, poor
eating habits, and a muscle injury in the neck and back. Some women may
experience headaches due to a hormonal imbalance.
The Food Factor
What we eat on a regular basis affects the energy flow in our body. Proper
eating habits can help maintain a good flow of energy and blood to the head,
preventing headaches. Eat frequent smaller meals and choose wholesome foods,
with no preservatives, additives, or artificial compounds.
For headache relief, eat more: whole grains, fiber-rich foods, green leafy
vegetables, parsley, chrysanthemum flowers, mint, green tea, onions, ginger,
pearl barley, carrots, prunes, buckwheat, peach kernels, and almonds.
Stay away from: alcohol, chocolate, MSG, nitrates, sulfites, sugar, salt,
caffeine, and oily, greasy, or fried foods. Consider that caffeine, because
it affects your blood vessels, can provide instant relief from a migraine
headache. But be cautioned that regular use will make you dependent; meaning
when you don't have it, the withdrawal will give you a painful headache! Do
not eat late at night, while on the run, or under stress. Spicy, stimulating
foods and heavy starchy foods should also be avoided.
Remedies for Relief
Here are some remedies and suggestions to help you tame the pain:
• Make fresh carrot juice. Drink a glass of carrot juice every 4 hours until
your headache subsides.
• Prepare a compress. Put 5 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 cup of warm
water. Soak a towel in the water and then wring it dry. Place it on your
forehead and/or upper neck as a compress during a headache.
• Try making this herbal tea: Boil 2 tablespoons each of chrysanthemum
flowers, cassia seeds, and mint in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes. Drink 3
cups a day until the headache subsides. These herbs will help clear the
sinuses and reduce head pressure. Other herbs that may prevent or
temporarily relieve headaches include feverfew, peppermint, wintergreen,
chamomile, and passionflower.
• Regularly stretch your neck and back muscles and pay attention to proper
posture and ergonomic positioning during work and play to avoid tension
• Nip your headache in the bud before it starts with a gentle walk. Taking a
walk in fresh air will help stimulate blood flow and increase the flow of
oxygen to the head. So when you feel a headache coming on, step outdoors and
go for a 10-minute walk, breathing deeply and vigorously.
• Headaches can typically be prevented by relaxation and stress-releasing
techniques like meditation and tai chi. Practice these daily to maintain a
healthy lifestyle, free from headaches. And please note that vigorous
exercise during a headache episode is not recommended because it can worsen
Take note: When you experience severe, debilitating headaches that don't
respond to over the counter medication, or wake up in the middle of the
night with excruciating head pain, visit your physician or the emergency
Doctor question was answered by:
Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D.
from his website: