Before reaching for paracetamol or ibuprofen on instinct the next time you have a sore head, you might wish to try out a natural remedy that some swear by. According to those who have tried it, soaking your feet in a hot bath while simultaneously applying an ice pack (or a packet of frozen peas) at the back of your neck apparently works wonders!
While this method is not backed by any particular controlled study or research, anecdotal evidence suggests that the technique works. The explanation given for why this hack works relates to the nerve pathways and blood vessels in the brain.
Experts believe that migraines are caused when the brain stops constricting the nerve pathways that open the arteries to the brain. As a result, too much blood flows into the brain, resulting in a headache — or, if it’s really bad, a migraine. When you ice your neck and stick your feet in hot water, you’re encouraging that extra blood to flow back down away from your brain, which can, in turn, lessen the pain.
To be clear, this hack will not tackle the root causes of the headache or migraine. In other words, it is not a cure. It is merely a symptom management technique that does not include popping painkillers. It may also not be equally effective for everyone. For those who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, however, this hack can be a helpful tool in the toolkit on pain management.
At the end of the day, if you are regularly fighting a migraine or headaches, giving this hack a try can’t hurt. At most, it just won’t work and you can then take some painkillers. It’s simple. It’s free and it’s natural.
*This article is not a replacement for professional medical advice.