Treating Tension Headaches

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(Ambient Noise) To treat a tension headache, start by eliminating irritants such as smoking, alcohol, loud noises and bright lights. Find a cool, dark room to rest. Lay down on a comfortable surface that will support your entire body and allow you to relax. Place a cool compress on your forehead and close your eyes. Begin to breathe in deeply through your mouth—filling your abdomen fully-- then let the breath slowly escape through your nostrils. Use relaxation techniques. Visualize your breath flowing through the tense areas of your body, through the pain in your temples, imagining the headache washing away as you breathe out. Headaches can be caused or made worse by tight, tense muscles. If you find muscle pain to be contributing to your headache, try to get someone to massage the tense areas. If that’s not possible, try a warm, pulsating shower and then do it yourself. Apply gentle pressure in slow circles on the pressure points of pain. You can also use your fingertips to massage the painful areas of your head. Try gentle steady pressure for 7-15 seconds, then release. Repeat as needed. A number of over the counter pain medications are aimed at headache treatment. Be sure to read directions and check with your pharmacist to make sure they do not interfere with other medicines you may be taking.For WebMD, I’m Sandee LaMotte