Drink more water
At the first sign of a headache, slowly drink a couple of large glasses of water. Headaches are frequently caused by dehydration. Average daily fluid needs vary depending on age, activity level and environment but you should never go for long periods without drinking water. Foods and drinks with high water content, such as fruit, veg and tea, also help to combat dehydration.
Going too long without food affects your blood sugar levels, which can lead to a headache. Choose healthy protein- or wholegrain-based snacks, rather than reaching for something sugary.
Get a massage
Whether it's a friend rubbing your shoulders or a professional working your entire body, soft tissue manipulation relieves muscle tension and releases feel-good hormones. Research the many different massage disciplines to find one you would like to try.
Stretch it out
Simple stretches loosen neck and shoulder muscles, helping to prevent tension headaches. Try this shoulder stretch: place your right arm across your body then, with your left hand, gently push up on your right elbow until your fingers reach back beyond your shoulder blades. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat with opposite arm. For your neck, try this, slowly: place your chin on your chest and hold for 15 seconds. Straighten up, then tilt your head back to look at the ceiling and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat.
Find your pressure points
Stimulation of pressure points on your body can relieve headaches. Locate the fleshy spot between your thumb and forefinger. With your opposing thumb and forefinger, apply strong pressure and massage for several minutes.
Apply a hot or cold pack
Heat applied to the neck, back or shoulders via a heat pack or hot shower relaxes tight muscles that can cause headaches. Cold compresses may be more effective for migraine or sinus headaches as they help constrict blood vessels and calm inflammation. Or, immerse your feet in a bucket of hot, then cold, water.
The scent of lavender, peppermint or chamomile essential oils can ease headaches. Try vapourising oils in a burner or add 6-8 drops of oil to your bathwater. You can also blend oils to use in massage. Always dilute pure oils in a carrier oil, such as avocado, sweet almond or jojoba, before placing directly onto your skin.
Re-evaluate your lifestyle
A poor diet, not enough sleep and exercise, and stress, can all make you unwell. You can change all this! Eat more fresh foods and make time for exercise, relaxation and rejuvenation. Your head will thank you!