woman holding her temples

By Dr John Barnett

The best way to treat headaches is, of course, to prevent them from starting in the first place. However, if you are suffering from headaches here are three ways to treat them at home.

1.) Drink Plenty of Water:

My first secret is to drink plenty of filtered or spring water every day.  Dehydration is a major cause of headaches so keeping hydrated can be a great defense against them.  I recommend keeping some high quality H20 with you throughout your day!  Also important is to not skip meals (unless you are doing a specific cleanse).  Make time to eat and drink in a convenient, relaxed way throughout your day to keep headaches away.

2.) Hot Water Foot Soak:

If you are getting a headache and you are at home, one great solution is to soak your feet in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes.  If done within the first 15 minutes of the headache starting this will usually stop the headache in its tracks. This works because the hot water triggers vasodilatation (increased blood flow) in the foot “Tai Yang” and “Xiao Yang” acupuncture regions in the feet, and most headaches are a lack of proper blood flow in these regions of the head.

3.) Acu-Pressure:

If you aren’t at home, don’t worry, you can do some simple self acu-pressure for headaches.  Two of my favorite points for headache relief acu-pressure are located near the head of the fifth metacarpal bone (the pinky).  If it is a temple headache then use your fingernail to apply pressure to the crease found in the palm of your hand at the head of the metacarpal. (near the pinky).  Just feel around for the most sensitive place and apply pressure there.  Be sure to try both hands, and usually one side will be more tender and effective than the other.  If the headache is occipital (around the neck area in the back of the head) then the area to massage is the side of the hand at the far end of the crease I just described. This one works even better if you move your head a neck as you massage the area.

If you are suffering from headaches on a regular basis (one or more headaches each month) you should see a healthcare professional to see what might be causing them.  Headaches can be warning signs of serious conditions and should not be ignored or handled with regular use of over the counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol.