It occurred to me after reading people’s comments about their headache remedies that I should have specified no meds, no drugs. When I have a headache, there isn’t anything I can take for it, not really.

Ibuprofen gives me heart palpitations. This happens to a very small percentage of the population. However, there are studies showing that perfectly healthy people have suddenly had heart attacks after taking ibuprofen for the first time.

I discovered that it was actually my migraine medications that were giving me all the migraines. This is also, unfortunately, a common reaction. You start getting rebound migraines from the meds. (How to tell if you’re having a rebound migraine: I KNOW the site seems a bit spammy, and they haven’t gotten any better over the years. But there’s GREAT information there.)

I also can’t take aspirin. For many people, aspirin is similar to the migraine meds. Aspirin can cause more rebound migraines. I’ve never tried it once I stopped taking it, so I don’t know for certain if aspirin would cause migraines for me or not. I’ve been without it for years, and don’t see the need to start taking it.

I can take Tylenol. However, it doesn’t help with headaches. It helps with body aches, so I’ll take it occasionally for menstruation cramps.

So there isn’t anything I can take anything when I have a really bad headache. What do I do instead?

Fast. This is my go-to cure. Starve that headache. This means plain tea with nothing in it first thing in the morning, and no food until noon. Possibly later, have had to fast until 4 PM some days. But this will kill a headache for me. I have not tried fasting with the current headache. However, if it’s still hanging around tomorrow, I will.

Water with salt. As a woman, I need more salt than the recommended daily allowance specified by the government (which you know has only been tested on white men, right? The RDA isn’t necessarily fine tuned for women or people of color. Just saying.) In addition, as someone who suffers from migraines, I need more salt than the average person. So I put a shake of salt into my water bottle every time I fill it. I also travel with salt packets – particularly important for going to Vegas. When I’m headachy, I drink more water and I have more salt.

Mindful walking. Very gentle exercise is good for me when I have a headache like this. Not too much, though. Maybe once around the yard. Meditation is also good for me. So I kind of combine the two. I will walk very slowly and focus on my breathing while I am walking, deep, long breaths. Occasionally, if I have a clear path, I will close my eyes and walk for a few steps, again breathing deeply. Doing that forces me to move very slowly and be aware of my body.

Meditate. I will also sit down, close my eyes, and breathe deeply, meditating for five-ten minutes as well.

None of these are quick cures. It isn’t take a pill and feel better. I do all of these things combined and generally in 3-6 hours, the headache disappears as if it had never been there.

I did not do these things yesterday. I didn’t realize that the headache was that bad. I still have a headache this morning. However, I’m traveling today. I will do some of them – drink water with salt, walk mindfully, and meditate (though possibly not until I get to the airport.)

If I still have a headache tomorrow, I’m fasting. Possibly for the entire day. And I will push these hard. A combination of these things has always worked in the past for me for getting rid of a bad headache. Of course, I have the fear that they will suddenly stop working, and I will need to find something else. Will let you know.

Am starting the mystery workshop tomorrow, so blogging will probably be very intermittent between now and when I get back.

Hope your day is lovely!