How to Get That Second Wind
Common Headache Triggers
Headache sufferers spend more than $4 billion a year on over-the-counter pain relievers. But prevention costs you nothing. Here are five leading headache culprits to watch out for:
Stress: Frayed nerves are a frequent cause of "tension" headaches and may also trigger migraines. Ideas: take 30 minutes a day just to daydream, meditate or otherwise relax.
Diet: Certain foods contain substances that can trigger headache pain. Examples are caffeine, red wine, processed meats, chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits, lentils, snow peas and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Eyestrain: Concentrating on one object for a long time (such as a computer screen) can cause temporary head pain.
Suggestions: Take occasional "eye breaks" by looking out a window consider an eye exam to see if a vision problem may be a factor.
Sitting: Staying seated for long
periods, especially if you're constantly on the phone or hunched over, can
tighten muscles and lead to tension headaches.
Sleep: Too little or, surprisingly,
even too much sleep can bring on headaches.
Quick Hands-On Stress Relief
Got a minute? Get a massage - a self-massage, that is. These moves will relieve tension around your head, neck, shoulders and hand:
The scalp soother. Place thumbs behind your ears and spread fingers on top of your head. Move your scalp back and forth slightly by making circles with your fingertips for 15-20 seconds.
The eye easer. Close your eyes and place your ring fingers directly under your eyebrows, near the bridge of your nose. Slowly increase pressure for five seconds, then gently release. Repeat 2-3 times.
The shoulder saver. Place your left hand on the right side of your neck by your shoulder. Press fingers firmly into the muscle while tucking your chin in toward your chest. Exhale and hold for 10 seconds, release, then repeat on the left side.
The palm pleaser. Lace your fingers together, leaving thumbs free. Slowly knead your left thumb into the palm of your hand for 20-30 seconds. Then repeat on your left hand.
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