Oh, My Aching Head

Headaches for the most part, are one of life’s minor annoyances, unless of course, you suffer from the impossibly tortuous migraine. But for the ordinary headache, there is a world full of weird and wacky cures, and causes.

Because most headaches involve a restriction of blood vessels in the head or scalp, a good cup of coffee or two, can work wonders. The caffeine will help to expand the vessels, and will also speed the absorption of any pills you may have taken.

Unfortunately, the only cure for “brain freeze”, is to let your system warm up again, which should happen in a few minutes. That’s the kind of headache you get from eating ice cream. When extremely cold foods and drink touch the palate in the roof of your mouth, it stimulates nerves that then turn on blood vessels in your head and they swell, causing pounding in the middle of your forehead.

Cluster headaches can be as excruciating as migraines, if only for their persistent presence. The pounding, throbbing pain that tends to stay on one side of the head, can come and go several times over the course of a day, and repeat that cycle every day for weeks or months. Oddly enough, researchers estimate that 93% of cluster headache victims are men.

People of Ancient China believed that swinging your arms could cure a headache.

People of Ancient China believed that swinging your arms could cure a headache.

In the “old days”, headaches were often cured by making a poultice of house leeks, that fleshy member of the sedum family that often grew between the slates of cottage roofs. No doubt, that worked better than the lavender that was dabbed on a lady’s temples in Victorian times.

You have to hand it to the Chinese for simplicity, though. They used to simply swing their arms back and forth, or around and around. Odd as that may seem, the improved blood flow may very well have cured headaches caused by sluggish circulation.

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