Emergency Tips and Tricks for Headaches with Dr. Tanya Kelloway

There are some basic things that cause headaches, we are going to go over those things first because if it’s one of these simple things then we can try simple cures first. Makes sense right!

1. Drink Water 

So the first thing you have to ask yourself when you have a headache is how much water have I drank today. If you haven’t consumed enough water this can be one of the reasons that you have a headache.

The average adult should be drinking at least one to two litres of water a day. If you haven’t consumed that much, then consider going and getting yourself a glass of water and drinking it up! See if that helps your headache.

drinking water to alleviate headaches

2. Addicted to coffee?

Another thing that can really affect headaches is caffeine. If you are a coffee or tea drinker and you haven’t had coffee or tea today this is one of the common things that can cause headaches. Now if you are trying to stop drinking coffee or tea, then it is really common to get headaches as a result of cutting out the caffeine.

These headaches shouldn’t last more than one to two days. Basic things you can do to help with these headaches include consuming more water and eating more fruit and vegetables. This will help get the caffeine out of your body quicker and help alleviate the headache.

Is coffee causing you headaches?

3. Forgot to eat

Another really simple thing that can cause headaches, is not eating. Were you so busy today that you forgot to eat? Has your blood sugar crashed? If you haven’t eaten today please go get yourself a snack or a meal and see if it helps your headache.

is your food causing you headaches?

4. Immobility

Along these same lines ask yourself: Have you I left my desk today? Did I remember to get up and move?

Did you know the calf muscles are called the second heart? And it requires movement, actual steps, to get the blood pumping from all the way down at our feet back up to our head. Now if you’ve been sitting in one spot all day, and your circulation has not been moving. Then this could be a really simple thing to relieve a headache. So get up, go for a walk, and see if your headache leaves.

Too much sitting, causing you headaches?

5. Get a cold pack

Other simple things you can do at home are to get yourself a bucket, or sit in your bathtub with some warm to hot water inside. Then at the same time get a cold cloth or a cold pack and put it on the back of your neck or on your forehead or both. Now how this helps, is that the cold compress helps to shunt blood out of your head while the heat draws it out of your feet.

Again this helps your blood circulate properly by getting that blood that is stuck in your head out and making it circulate to the rest of your body. This is a really simple tip that helps headaches.

6. Chinooks

If you are living in this beautiful city of Calgary we get a lot of Chinooks and with these Chinooks a lot of people get a Chinook headache. Now this is something that is actually trickier to treat at home.

You can try these tips and tricks but it’s just something that is a little harder to treat yourself. So I would invite you to come in for a treatment at this point. I do see a great deal of headaches particularly in the winter season when we have Chinooks.

7. Hormones

Another thing that is a little bit harder to treat on your own is hormone imbalance. So ladies if you have headaches around the time of your period this could indicate a hormone imbalance. I would invite you to come in for some acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine to help regulate your hormones and get rid of all those nasty headaches.

Bonus! Acupressure points

Large Intestine 4

I am going to teach you two simple acupressure points that will also help you to treat a headache. One is called Large Intestine 4 (LI4). You can find it right between your index finger and your thumb where they meet. When you squeeze your index finger and thumb together it is the chubbiest part.

You are going to find the point by pushing around in this area. Now I know when I am on the right spot because it is more tender and sensitive, if you push below or above it you shouldn’t feel much but when you are on LI4 it feels different. So you find that point and massage it.

This should help to bring the pain in your head down. What I mean by down is that we have a pain scale that we use which ranges from 1-10 with 1 being pretty much nothing and 10 being the worst pain ever. If the pain in your head is say an eight out of ten then we want to make sure the headache is being relieved.

It’s really important that you monitor how the headache is doing and make sure that the pain level is coming down.

So does pressing the Large Intestine 4 acupressure point bring the pain point down from an eight to a two? Great, if it did that is fabulous!

Lung 5

Another point you want to use is called Lung 5. Lung 5 is just by the elbow. Now how you’re going to find it is by pushing around and feeling for tenderness. If you have a headache then this point can be quite tender. When you find this point push on it and gently massage it. Lung 5 and Large Intestine 4 are both being held and massaged.

I hope these tips and tricks were helpful. Now if you find you are continuing to have a headache or that you continually get headaches I would invite you to come in for acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine because they are very, very useful to get rid of headaches.

I hope this was helpful!