Getting Rid of a Headache Without Medicine

If you’re reading this, odds are you have a headache and no medicine to stop it, so I won’t bore you with details. Let’s jump into it:

Disclaimer & Warnings

  • I am not a doctor.
  • Pregnant women: Consult your physician.
  • The heat of the water will cause your muscles to relax. When you’re already feeling weak, this will make you feel weaker. If you’re at risk, ask a partner to look over you.
  • The heat of the water + headache pain + breathing exercises can cause nausea when done improperly (breathing too fast/forced, water too hot) or when the headache hurts too much. When in doubt, bring a bucket and/or a partner.
  • If you suffer from an anxiety disorder: The combined effects of headache + hot water + breathing exercise + potential nausea can be overwhelming. If you ever feel uncomfortable, take a step back and go slower if you want to try again. The goal is relaxation.


  1. Relax. Breathe deeply. Our goal is to relax you – remember this, never try to force it.
  2. Prepare a hot (but still comfortable) bath.
  3. While in the bath, take a deep breath (diaphragm, not shoulders/chest) and hold in your breath.
  4. Submerge entirely while holding your breath for as long as you can (comfortably: don’t pressure yourself, stay relaxed, but do your best).
  5. Come up when needed, take another deep breath and submerge again.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until the headache is gone. This usually takes me ~10 to 20 times, but is different for every headache.
  7. REST! Go back to bed and sleep until you wake up without alarm clock. Do NOT start working, even if you feel better. You’ll thank me later.


The immediate pain of the headache will be gone, but the increased sensitivity (light, sound, pressure) will remain. Extra rest and a glass of water will speed up recovery.


Stupidly simple and seemingly stupid, but it works for me, and this article will make sure I don’t forget.

Did it work for you or not? I want to know.