Fully relieving a headache may require a holistic approach. One medicine or a few minutes of meditation may not do the trick. But, a combo of methods can kick your pain to the curb…

It’s Over Your Head

A headache doesn’t just hurt your head—it can affect your eyes, mood, and sleep patterns, among other aspects of your entire being.

Stress can cause brain pain. Light and sound sensitivity, food allergies, and lack of sleep and hydration are big culprits, too. When you’re experiencing a headache, you may not be able to: focus, relate to others, stay calm, do your job properly, exercise, or, at worst, get out of bed.

For the above reasons, learning how to prevent getting a headache is just as important as treating one when it’s already set in.

Drugs Plus Therapy

Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful. Just make sure that if you’re taking ibuprofen that you take it with food and water. The same holds true for aspirin. Both are absorbed through the stomach, which can cause damage if you’re tummy’s empty or you take them too often.

Homeopaths rely on lavender or peppermint oil placed on temples or at the base of the head—or inhaled. Some take herbs like feverfew or black cohosh.

Whether you choose a natural or man-made medicinal approach, to get complete relief (and practice prevention), you’ll want to add “therapy.”

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a form of therapy using a device that measures the body’s response to stress. Once it gathers the information, it feeds it right back to you.

Electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback uses electrodes. The sensors are placed on facial, cranial, and neck muscles. They measure the levels of muscle tension, and by sound, the electrodes feed details back to you.

Thermal biofeedback measures the temperature of your hands. If your skin-temperature information reports dampness or cold, it means you are anxious or stressed out.

The idea of biofeedback is to teach your body about its physical responses to certain stimuli. Eventually, you will learn without relying on the information from a device.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The theory behind utilizing this type of therapy is to discover what triggers your headaches. In working with a licensed psychotherapist or psychologist, you can explore the various possibilities of why your body responds the way it does. Are you:

-worried about work?

-in a difficult marriage?

-feeling guilty?

-hypoglycemic?

-sleep deprived?

Those and a variety of other concerns and conditions can trigger even a migraine. The idea is to pinpoint the factors and then work them out. Coping skills in and of themselves can spare your mental and physical health.

Combo Deal

Combining medicine with therapy may be just what the head doctor ordered. In our most comfortable, natural state, our head should feel light and pain-free. Stay calm and carry a small container of Advil.