So for much of today, I've had a headache and I've really been trying to avoid taking any kind of pain relieving medication for it. It's mostly gone now (praise the Lord!) but I got to thinking about some natural ways to get rid of headaches and thought I would share.
I will say that for a time, I got into the bad habit of automatically reaching for the bottle of acetaminophen or ibuprofen just because I didn't want to deal with the pain, but I feel that kind of approach opens up the risk of potential side affects. These side affects include liver damage (for acetaminophen) and various stomach and digestive issues (related to NSAIDs like ibuprofen). I'm usually really conservative when it comes to medication, so I just wanted to break the habit I had gotten into of relying on pain relievers.
Headaches can be caused by many things and it's important to take care of yourself in order to avoid them. Get enough rest (easier said than done with little ones around, I know!), make sure you're getting balanced nutrition by avoiding junk food, too much sugar or caffeine. Sometimes throughout the day as we're chasing after little ones, we neglect ourselves, and that's no good! Also, if you're a mom, it's a good idea to evaluate what's going on in your world. A lot of headaches are caused by stress. Are there some things you can eliminate from your day to day life? It's important to avoid that whole "supermom" scene, as we women have a tendency to spread ourselves too thin by saying "yes" to everything.
The number one natural way of getting rid of headaches that I know of is to drink some water! It sounds simple, but I think I heard once that about 90% of headaches are due to dehydration. So next time you feel one coming on, pour yourself a glass of water, drink it and wait about ten minutes and you should feel relief. Another non-drug method I've used is to take a hot shower. I just let the hot water run over my neck and shoulders, and it relieves tension (if you have a bath tub, it might be relaxing to just sit and soak for several minutes). If you happen to have a sinus headache, letting the hot water run on your face really helps too. Neti pots are really good for sinus headaches too. When I was pregnant with my son, I would sprinkle lavender oil on my pillow at night and it really helped me relax.
Those are just a few ways that you can avoid taking pain relievers if you have a headache. There are many other ways as well, but those should bring you some relief!