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Headache Helpers

Try one of these strategies to alleviate your next migraine, or at least reduce its severity.

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Migraines are a mysterious ailment, whose cause is debatable. The medical community has identified many different types and treatments, none of which works for everyone. One way to ward off migraines is to avoid common triggers. And don’t court trouble by skipping meals or drastically changing your sleeping pattern. Atmospheric changes, which are impossible to regulate, can also provoke migraines. Try one of these strategies to alleviate your next migraine, or at least reduce its severity.

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Pressure Tactics

Pressure Tactics

There are two pressure points known to relieve headache pain. One is on your forehead. For one, press a thumb between your eyes while pressing down on your hairline with your first two fingers. The other is at the base of the web of flesh where the bones of your thumb and forefinger meet. Press hard with your opposite thumb.

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Mighty Mint

Mighty Mint

Whiffs of peppermint can alleviate tension headaches. Some research, however, suggests that aromatherapy may only be useful if you like that particular smell. If you despise the odour of peppermint, try sniffing a green apple, another scent that has also had some success.

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Go Green

Go Green

Heap your plate with spinach. Or have a chunk of tofu or a spoonful of molasses. These foods are rich in magnesium, which relaxes arterial walls. The body’s absorption of magnesium is improved in the presence of calcium, so wash down the snack with a glass of milk

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Espresso Break

Espresso Break

A jolt of caffeine as you feel a migraine coming on might sidetrack the attack. Try having some strong coffee, cola or a caffeine-laden energy drink

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Breathe Deeply

Breathe Deeply

Learning how to relax can help combat tension, a common migraine trigger. Breathe slowly and deeply, with your eyes closed, concentrating on nothing but your breath. This simple exercise can be an important tool in your migraine arsenal

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Take a Hike

Take a Hike

Get out and go for a brisk walk. Mild exercise improves circulation, which counters the constriction of blood vessels that is a common precursor to migraine

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Ice, Ice, Baby

Ice, Ice, Baby

Grab a bag of frozen peas and apply it to the base of your neck while lying in a quiet, darkened room.  Ice is an effective anti-inflammatory and it numbs pain-so try it on your throbbing temples, too

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Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Close your eyes and imagine your pain as an object-a burning sun, perhaps-then picture it shrinking into the distance, or douse it with water, until it disappears. This technique, called visualization, takes practice but has been proven effective.