Alternative Treatments for Headache Relief

By Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD and Dr. Michael Roizen, MD

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Alternative Treatments for Headache Relief

You don't always have to head for a medicine bottle when your head is pounding. Try these alternative remedies to prevent or stop a headache:

Is your headache a migraine, tension, or cluster headache?

Try the nicer needle. Acupuncture is as effective as pain drugs for treating migraines and reducing their frequency and severity. How? It may increase levels of beta-endorphin, a natural painkilling substance in your body.

Just use pressure. If you're needle-phobic, acupressure may be a good way for you to dim headache pain. Simply rub the two points on either side of your vertebrae at the nape of your neck (right below the ridges at the base of your skull). Also try massaging the webbed area on the top of your left hand, between your thumb and forefinger.

Get between the sheets. But not for shut-eye. Women with migraines who abandoned the "not now, I’ve got a headache" phrase got better pain relief from sex than from their usual migraine remedy. And it worked repeatedly. We’ll bet it will work for men, too. Orgasm is associated with the release of a vasodilating gas called nitric oxide.

Take some ginger. It inhibits inflammation in blood vessels, so take it when your headache first comes on.

Tame the shoulds. Change irrational beliefs -- those are ideas typically prefaced with words such as should, ought, must, or have to -- that lead to stress and head pain. Replace them with ideas that use words such as wish, want, like, and desire.



Throbbing, pulsating and pain in the head are all symptoms of a headache. Varieties of headaches such as migraines, tension headaches, sinus headaches and menstrual headaches can halt your daily activities. But, you can learn... More