When a loved one suffers frequent headache pain, these gifts will bring a lot more headache relief than a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolate
Headaches, and migraines in particular, can cause debilitating pain, so any ideas to help reduce discomfort will be especially appreciated by the person who suffers from headaches.
“There are some things that can help to provide headache relief,” says Seymour Diamond, MD, executive chairman, National Headache Foundation, director and founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic, and director of the Inpatient Headache Unit at Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago.
For family and friends who want to help make life easier and less stressful — and stress is often a headache trigger — check out this guide to thoughtful gifts.
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The Headache Relief Gift Guide: 10 Perfect Presents
Biofeedback therapy. Dr. Diamond’s first choice for a gift to give a headachesufferer is a biofeedback therapy session. Biofeedback is an effective therapy when used in conjunction with medication, says Diamond. Essentially, biofeedback is a relaxation technique that uses a special, non-invasive medical device to teach a person how to monitor and then control their physical response to headache pain. Electrodes are placed on the body and connected to a machine that measures muscle tension and pain reaction. With practice, migraine sufferers can learn to control their physical response to discomfort, thereby reducing the effects of headache pain. Since not all healthcare plans cover this type of alternative therapy, biofeedback therapy could be an ideal present.
The gift of fitness. Like biofeedback therapy, regular exercise, particularly aerobics, can reduce stress and help provide headache relief. Depending on your budget, you could choose to give a consultation with a personal trainer, membership to a gym, sports gear for a particular activity your loved one has always wanted to try, or even a solid pair of walking shoes.
Self-help relaxation tools. DVDs, audiotapes, or books that teach about progressive muscle relaxation and meditation let the patient learn at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home.
Yoga sessions. Consider a gift certificate to a yoga class. Yoga offers a unique blend of exercise, stretching, and relaxation.
Gardening essentials. Gardening can be very therapeutic. For a novice or seasoned green thumb with chronic headaches, give the gift of gloves, a hat, or special gardening gear to make playing in the dirt even more enjoyable and stress-reducing. A knee rest is another great aid, especially for the person prone to body aches.
Bath salts, oils, and aromatherapy candles. A warm bath can be relaxing, but be careful to avoid anything with a particularly strong perfume because strong scents can act as a headache trigger in some people.
A professional massage. Treat your loved one to a therapeutic massage. There’s no better way to relax, unwind, and get some headache relief.
Ergonomic accessories. For home or the office, a most-appreciated gift is an ergonomically designed chair to ensure whole-body comfort and minimize neck and back aches. For a smaller budget, think about a non-glare computer screen since bright flashing lights can trigger migraines in some people; another idea is a cervical or U-pillow that goes around the neck during air travel.
A day planner or electronic organizer. A chaotic life can induce plenty of stress, so help prevent headaches with the gift of organization. Consider an electronic scheduling device, a leather-covered day planner, or if your loved one is computer savvy, scheduling software.
Headache-savvy caregiving. One of the best ways to help the person with headache in your life is to educate yourself on the topic so that you can help minimize triggers that bring on his or her headaches. And, make sure you stay up on cutting-edge treatments so you can help evaluate new alternatives as they become available.
Try the above, or add your own ideas, to gift headache-pain-free living to your loved one.