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Headaches are one of the most common reasons people come to see me, and as a fellow headache sufferer I thought I’d share all the things I do when I feel one starting.

*There are many types of headaches so these techniques may not work for you if it’s a different sort of headache to the ones I suffer from; I mostly get tension headaches and migraines. You can check out all the different types here*

My go-to list:

1. Food and Water

I ask myself if I have drunk enough water or eaten recently? If the answer is no, I remedy these things first.

2. Movement

I go for a short walk outside, even if it’s miserable and cold. I won’t if it’s 40 degrees, that’s not going to help at all.

I follow a yoga video on YouTube for neck and shoulders. I love Yoga with Adriene so check out her channel if you haven’t already.

3. Release Tension

I self-massage my upper traps on the top of my shoulders leading up my neck and to the base of my skull (or beg one off my husband who I’ve taught well!)

I use a spiky massage ball under the base of my skull to massage my suboccipitals; as well as lean against the wall with it between my shoulder blades and spine and do some small squats to target my rhomboids and lower traps.

I lie on my acupressure mat (aka bed of nails – I promise it’s nice than it sounds!) with a rolled up blanket near the top so when I lie on it the angle of it puts extra pressure on my neck muscles. For added comfort I put an eye mask or hand towel over my eyes and some very gentle music on.

4. Alternate between hot and cold

Applying heat or cold can interrupt the pain signals to your brain and therefore reduce your experience of pain. This is particularly useful with a migraine.

I stand under a warm shower and then turn all the hot water off and the cold right up. After a minute or two I turn the hot water back on and repeat a few times. Or I alternate a heat pack and cold pack on the base of my skull and forehead. Just make sure the cold pack is wrapped in a towel so it’s not too cold.

5. Sleep

Sometimes all I need is a really good nap.

Often a few of these things are enough to ease the headache completely or at least take some of the intensity out of it. Other times, they seem to do nothing and I’ll have to wait it out.

Regular massage can be very beneficial at easing tension and helping to manage stress, which in turn can help to lessen the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines. If you have any questions or want to know more, please do get in touch. Treating headaches and their causes is one of my favourite things to do.

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