We have all had that headache; you know the one – it feels as if you have your own private drumline rocking in your brain. You can’t move for fear that it will increase the volume and cause you to swoon. So you take very slow and careful movements and you close your eyes because all of a sudden, you are sensitive to light.

Cluster headaches are defined as brief, repetitive pain experienced on one side of the head. The pain is felt mainly behind the eye. It may even cause watery eyes and a runny nose. Tension headaches are constant pain felt on both sides of the head. Migraine headaches are pulsating pain for more than 4 hours on one side of the head, and may cause nausea, and inability to tolerate light or sound.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the occurrence of a migraine:

Drink lots of water: Water is great for cooling you and refreshing your body, is an excellent way to soothe your suffering. On average, we don’t drink enough water every day and this is sometimes the cause of our headache in the first place; especially as we live in a hot environment. Sugary drinks, coffee and alcohol can dehydrate you and should be consumed sparsely.

When your head begins to hurt, drink a bottle of water and continue to take sips throughout the day and it’ll surprise you that the pain will begin to lessen.

Place a cool towel on your forehead: Many of us do this already when we have a headache. You can use a small towel that you wet with water or a cold compress. This helps to cool the head, as headaches tend to make the individual feel hot and uncomfortable. If your headache is caused by stress or sore muscles, a hot shower or warm towel may be more effective than a cold one.

Aromatherapy: Thanks to the world’s current interest in natural foods, creams and so on, many of us can find lavender oil or peppermint oil or olive oil or coconut oil in our cupboards; whether it is yours, your wife’s, your sister’s…I’m certain they won’t begrudge you a little oil to soothe the pain. Take a few drops of the lavender or peppermint oil and mix it with a bit of olive or coconut oil. Massage the mixture into your neck and upper back. You can also inhale the lavender or peppermint to relax you.

Massage your scalp gently: Massaging your scalp can also relieve pain and stress. You can do this by placing your fingers on your temples and your thumbs on either side of your eyes. Apply a little pressure and move your fingers in a circular motion. Increase the effectiveness by closing your eyes.

Stay in a dark room: If you are at home, separate yourself from all the noise for 30 minutes to an hour. Turn off the lights or draw the curtains, then lie down. Take a couple of deep breaths and relax. If you can, adjust the temperature of the room till you are comfortable. Shutting out the light and reducing other elements that affect your senses negatively will help you heal faster.


Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self published work. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam.


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