Migraines aren’t your regular old “I’m hungover” or “I forgot to drink water all day” headache. Nope, these are a special kind of headache.

Not only does your head hurt, you may also get symptoms like sensitivity to scents, noise, and light. You may feel pulsing and throbbing, weakness, nausea, and sometimes even vomiting.

And, a migraine is like the marathon of headaches, sticking around for up to 3 days.

If you’re among the 12 percent of Americans who get these god-awful headaches, you know it’s not hyperbole to say migraine pain can be severe and life-altering.

Headache disorders, including migraines, are the third highest global cause of disability, and they can wreak havoc on your quality of life.

Always, always talk to your doctor if you suspect you’re experiencing migraine headaches.

“Headaches can be a serious complaint,” says Dr. James Tinsley, a family physician based in Newport News, Virginia. “They must be diagnosed by a physician.”

Once your doctor has confirmed your migraines, you can start to formulate a plan. In addition to whatever medications and lifestyle changes they recommend, you can also use natural remedies.

Here’s a look at a few to keep in mind the next time you feel a migraine coming on.

No two migraines are exactly the same, and no two people will experience the exact same headache.

However, we do know that certain things are more likely to be migraine triggers. These include stress, light, caffeine, alcohol, lack of sleep, and even certain foods.

Tinsley, who also gets these terrible headaches, recommends keeping a food and migraine journal to find any common denominators. He recommends starting by eliminating the most common triggers, then using trial and error to determine your “perfect storm” for a migraine.

“Sometimes it’s a combination of these things that trigger the migraines,” he says. For example, your migraine triggers can be a mix of things you can and can’t control: a stressful week, a drop in pressure due to a storm, a drink (containing alcohol) with dinner and chocolate cake for dessert.

Is there anything that drinking more water can’t help? Even mild dehydration can cause health issues, including headaches. Research has shown that those who experience migraines may be more sensitive to the effects of dehydration.

In an article published in 2011, a small study examined the effect on headache warriors’ perceived quality of life after adding 1.5 liters of water intake per day to usual daily fluid intake.

Almost half of the participants who added water to their daily fluid intake reported an improvement in their quality of life.

In addition to balancing stress (a common migraine trigger), physically keeping your cool may also help.

“Migraines are a vasodilatory problem,” explains Tinsley. “Cold causes vasoconstriction,” meaning it helps narrow your blood vessels. His tried-and-true suggestions? “Cold pack on the face and neck. A cool shower just below body temp. Stepping outside without a jacket. Damp towel to the face at work.”

Take extra care when temps start to rise — one 2009 study found that you’re at a higher risk to experience a migraine with an increase in ambient temperature.

Migraines are fickle — some things that can help are also triggers in large amounts. This includes caffeine, which can constrict blood vessels in the brain.

A small amount (at least 100 milligrams, or the amount in a little more than your average cup of coffee) has been shown to help migraines, especially in conjunction with over-the-counter pain relief medications.

But daily caffeine may also be a trigger, says Tinsley, so take note of how your afternoon latte and headaches may be connected.

Your friend in the MLM was actually right about this one: Lavender essential oil is a natural remedy for migraines.

Inhaling the calming, herbaceous floral scent during a migraine for at least 15 minutes was found to bring relief faster than a placebo, according to a 2012 clinical trial involving 47 people diagnosed with migraine headaches. (It’s not a massive study, but it’s a start).

You can either inhale the oil straight up (stash a bottle in your desk, car, or work bag) or dilute by adding 3 to 6 drops to an ounce of carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba) and rub it straight on your temples.

Of course, it’s always better to catch a migraine before it has a chance to wreck your day. If you’ve learned to recognize your own migraine warning signs, you may be able to prevent your headache from fully developing.

The cooling menthol in peppermint oil can help, according to a 2010 clinical study.

When participants applied an alcohol-based menthol solution to their forehead and temples, they experienced less pain, nausea and vomiting, as well as reduced light and sound sensitivity, compared with a placebo.

Acupressure is a complementary medicine practice with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and it’s been used for over 2,000 years to treat pain, including headaches.

TCM involves applying deep, firm pressure to specific areas of the body, to relieve tension and other symptoms, including nausea.

A 2014 systemic review implicated this alternative practice may be credible and effective in treating pain for conditions including chronic headaches.

Learning a few pressure points for headaches might come in handy for times when a migraine catches you off-guard, like on an airplane.

Feverfew is a flower that grows across Europe and looks like a daisy (they’re in the same plant family). It has been used for centuries to treat fevers (thus the name), headaches, and more.

According to the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society, feverfew is “probably effective” in preventing migraines. The dietary supplement doesn’t have any reported side effects, but it should not be taken during pregnancy.

Here’s a remedy you likely have in your kitchen. You may already know about ginger’s ability to settle upset stomachs. But did you know this spice may help with migraines beyond the nausea?

In a 2014 study, ginger powder reduced the severity and length of migraines as well as a migraine-relieving prescription drug, but with fewer side effects.

Stress is a majorly common migraine trigger, but it’s one that can be hard to control. Thankfully, the breathing and meditation techniques learned in yoga have been shown to help migraines.

While yoga alone won’t prevent or cure these headaches, researchers found the practice can help reduce their intensity, frequency, and duration.

Next time a migraine hits, use your yogic breathing to help shift your focus away from the pain and relive tension in the area.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a number of key roles in your body — including muscle and nerve function. Low levels are linked to migraines, but taking a magnesium supplement may ease symptoms or reduce migraine frequency.

You can also add more magnesium to your daily diet with foods like:

  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains
  • leafy green vegetables
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • dairy (but this can also be trigger for some people)

If you needed a reason to schedule a massage, here you go: Massage relieves stress and may help improve sleep quality, two known migraine triggers.

A 2006 study supported using massage therapy to treat migraines — and participants reported lower levels of anxiety, heart rate, and cortisol (stress hormone) level.

Can’t afford or find time for a professional massage? Enlist a partner or friend for a mini massage to help relieve tension. Or, you can even work wonders by massaging tense muscles with a tennis or lacrosse ball placed between your back and a wall.

When your migraine comes with sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, sometimes the best approach is to shut out the world.

Put on a sleep mask, grab your ear plugs, close the blinds and get in bed — perhaps with one or more of the other natural remedies.

Removing yourself from triggers may help you get some rest, so you can start to feel better.

These remedies are all safe for adults, but what about little ones? Here’s a list of some you can try with children and teens (but, as with grown-ups, their headaches should be diagnosed by a doctor first):

  • migraine trigger journal and avoiding triggers
  • proper hydration
  • cold therapy, such as ice packs on the neck or a cool compress
  • lavender essential oil (always diluted)
  • acupressure
  • yoga and breathing techniques
  • magnesium (consult a doctor about appropriate dosing and forms)
  • massage therapy
  • resting in a dark, quiet room

Certain migraine remedies are not appropriate during pregnancy, including feverfew and peppermint oil. As long as you talk to your doctor, these are generally considered safe during pregnancy:

  • migraine trigger journal and avoiding triggers
  • staying hydrated
  • cold therapy, such as ice packs on the neck or a cool compress
  • lavender essential oil (make sure it’s Lavandula angustifolia, always dilute, and use after the first trimester)
  • yoga and breathing techniques
  • magnesium (consult a doctor about appropriate dosing and forms)
  • massage therapy
  • resting in a dark, quiet room

While migraines are common, they can also be serious, so err on the side of caution, recommends Tinsley, and talk to your doctor if:

  • You’ve never seen a doctor for your headaches.
  • You don’t have a diagnosis for your headaches (aka they’re unexplained).
  • You have nausea, vomiting, visual changes, tingling, numbness, or weakness with your headaches.
  • You’re over age 50.
  • Your headaches change in frequency or intensity.
  • You have a family history of cerebral aneurisms.