Headache Hacks, Part 1

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As I sit typing this, I have just the slightest twinge of a leftover headache from yesterday evening. Being a fairly active person, headaches aren’t just painful – they completely kill my productivity. Since I am fortunate to not have them too often, when I get one, I generally take it as my body’s signal to rest, get off my phone/computer/iPad, and slooooooow down a bit! Even so, I still want the pain to go away. If you suffer from headaches, you probably feel the same way. So, here are several headache hacks to relieve your pain.

Peppermint oil

All right, I know that your mom is SUPER into essential oils now, and while they smell lovely, between you and me…I don’t think they work. Except for *trumpet fanfare* peppermint oil! Peppermint oil contains menthol, which can help your muscles relax and thereby reduce your pain. Don’t apply the undiluted oil directly to your forehead – OUCH. Either dilute it with something else, like coconut oil, or buy one of these handy, inexpensive peppermint oil sticks. (And no, I haven’t been paid for this link.) I have two – one in my nightstand and one in my purse.

Peppermint can be used in other ways, too. If you’re feeling nauseated, take that same peppermint oil stick I recommended and dab a bit of it at your nostrils for fast relief. Peppermint tea is also helpful if your tummy gets upset from a headache.

Water yourself like a plant

One of the most common triggers for a headache is dehydration. I’m pretty sure that was what initially caused the one I’m dealing with now. That’s because when I realized I was likely dehydrated and I drank a bunch of water, it nearly took my headache completely away. Get some water into you. Try some herbal tea, if you really feel you need the flavor.

Coffee, but with a caveat

There are times when absolutely nothing cures my headache like a hot, fresh cup of coffee. I don’t drink coffee every single day. I generally stick to green tea, so I doubt that my headaches are caffeine withdrawal. Which reminds me, if you ARE the kind of person that has a high caffeine intake, you may want to consider reducing that. Too much caffeine can actually trigger headaches.

Here’s another strange way that coffee could help you. Have you ever noticed that stores often keep fresh coffee beans near perfume counters? That’s because smelling coffee can neutralize other scents you’re taking in. For stores, that means you can more clearly smell different perfumes. But if you’re the kind of person who gets headaches because Aunt Matilda INSISTS on wearing enough perfume to take the spots off a dalmatian, consider keeping some coffee beans with you when you’re going out into crowded areas. Stop laughing! I’m serious – if it’s a problem for you, just try it out. It might help you ward off a migraine before it starts.


This is one I hadn’t tried until I started researching this article. You can ease headache pain with a very easy accupressure technique. Find the fleshy, “web” part of your hand where your thumb and index finger meet. This is called the “hoku point” in accupuncture and accupressure terms. Gently, but firmly squeeze that area for one to five minutes with the thumb and forefinger of your opposite hand. You can use a gentle circular motion if you like. Repeat it on the other hand. I have been trying this as I’ve been writing this piece, and it has actually helped!

I’ve still got several suggestions on how to get rid of headaches, so stay tuned for another list of headache hacks next week!

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