A busy lifestyle and incorrect coping strategies have made stress a major part of our everyday life. While the body is equipped to handle small bouts of distress, frequent exposure is detrimental to health. These harmful effects often show up in the form of physical ailments. One such example of it is a tension headache.
Tension headaches are considered to be the most common type of headaches. They are characterized by a dull pain in the head, pressure around the forehead and tenderness across the scalp, neck and shoulders.
Tension headaches can be extremely debilitating and problematic. Here are eight ways to get relief from them:
Stress management classes
These allow you to work on the root of the problem, that is, stress. Stress management classes help identify stressors- whether physical, mental or emotional and deal with them effectively. They include a range of techniques to produce results such as meditation, mindfulness, time management, yoga, personal development and Emotional Intelligence.
When we are stressed, our body goes through physical changes to manage it, such as a rise in blood pressure, heartbeat and breathing. Biofeedback aims to equip you with more control over these involuntary functions. During a session, electrodes, and sometimes finger sensors, are attached to the skin. These objects send signals to a monitor which displays the rate of the particular bodily function. Once you are aware of the current stressed state of your body, you consciously make efforts to bring it back to normal levels.
While chiropractors are commonly sought for lower back pain, they can also provide much-needed assistance from tension headaches in multiple ways. They use adjustment therapy and spinal manipulation that alleviates stress on your system. They offer nutritional advice, ergonomics and relaxation techniques. Several studies have also established this positive correlation between chiropractic sessions and a reduction in tension headaches. Maple Valley’s chiropractic care thus can be a trusted source of relief.
Acupuncture is type of Chinese medicine where a practitioner inserts fine needles in certain areas of your body. This stimulates the production of the body’s endorphins which, in turn, eases the head pain. Acupuncture has garnered scientific support as many studies show reduced episodes after regular acupuncture sessions.
The fact that exercising has various physical benefits is common knowledge. However, what may be surprising to many is the role it plays in reducing tension headaches. Exercising unwinds tightened muscles which a significant reason for the ailment. Furthermore, exercise also reduces its likelihood by improving sleep quality and mood.
Hot and cool pads
This is another effective method to heal a tension headache. You can try either a cold or a hot compress. Those with a preference with a hot compress can try a warm towel, hot water bottle or compress. Others can opt for an ice pack.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is an amalgamation of two schools of thought- cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. The former seeks to change faulty thoughts and the latter aims to replace unhealthy behaviours with healthier ones. Common techniques used in this form of treatment are problem-solving, assertiveness training and exposure.
Guided imagery has been a widely proven treatment of stress and tension headaches. It relaxes the body and mind quickly and effectively. An interesting aspect of this technique is that it solely lies on the imagination of an individual. Guided imagery can be provided by a therapist and can even be done at home without any help. A therapist’s guided imagery session usually involves a recording or the practitioner’s voice as a means for guidance for the patient envisions a relaxing scene which is described in depth.