Friday, July 15, 2005

How Water can Cure Your Headaches

How Water can cure your Headaches

First off, this blog is not a substitute for trained medical care. If you are having health problems, you should consult with your physician or other health care provider before any changes to your diet or lifestyle. And you are a very lucky person if you can find a nutritionally trained health-care provider who can understand some of what we are talking about in this book. Treasure such a person, and consider their advice.

Headaches can be tricky. If you are having chronic, severe headache, you should probably have it evaluated for possibly bigger problems. But in the meantime, we are all lucky enough to have water as a helper for the body. Since water cannot harm you when taken properly, there is no danger in using it as we recommend in this blog.

We’ve all had headaches. You know the feeling: the throbbing pain that just won’t go away. A simple, routine headache is caused -- in 99% of cases -- by simple dehydration. And dehydration, of course, means not enough water in the system.

Sometimes you will be able to realize what is the cause of your headache. It may be something you ate, or something you didn’t eat. Many find themselves suffering from headache after eating something very salty (let’s say, some very salty popcorn), or something that is highly processed (such as certain types of processed meats). Some will find themselves suffering from a dull headache when they are simply constipated.

It’s very easy to pop down a painkiller, and I have nothing against them in their place. The problem is that the painkiller just masks the problem -- it doesn’t make it go away.

If you take a painkiller (such as aspirin or acetaminophen -- Tylenol being the most famous brand of that), your body’s pain receptors will be numbed, and you probably won’t feel the headache -- at least for a while. But the underlying problem of dehydration will still be there.
Pain is one of the great blessings of life. By saying that, I’m not meaning to make light of those who suffer chronic pain, but pain is the way our bodies have of letting us know there’s a problem, and we need to take care of the problem -- not just cover it up!

To give an example, if you broke your arm, you would definitely feel pain. However, there are drugs that could -- at least theoretically -- numb the pain so that you wouldn’t feel anything at all. But what’s more important: getting rid of the pain, or getting your arm taken care of?

If you start to get a headache, immediately drink 2 glasses (approximately 8 ounces is what I’m thinking about here) of tap water. Don’t drink very cold or iced water, because sometimes the cold can temporarily make the headache worse. Instead, down the water straight from the tap. Now -- if possible -- lie down. A warm -- not hot -- washcloth or other cloth applied to your forehead can often help, too. Try to get away from noises or lights. Give yourself 15 minutes, and the pain should begin to ease. If it doesn’t, drink another 2 glasses, and lie down again.

And if you can’t lie down -- let’s say you’re at work or driving -- just keep drinking the water. It doesn’t have to be drunk quickly, but continue sipping the water. The headache will start to ease as the body once again maintains the equilibrium in your head.

(to be continued)


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