Natural ways to handle Migraines

Did you know 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, and of them, 28 million suffer from migraines? I have suffered from migraines since I was 15. They debilitate you, to where you want to just sit in a dark room and cry.

I have been trying hundreds of natural ways to help prevent and get rid of my migraines once they have arrived. I have wrote a list that works for me including self massage, herbs, diet/exercise,  I hope that something here will work for you! Some things have worked better than others, and I would love to share them with you!

Keep in mind everyone is different, triggers are different, and bodies are all unique to healing facilitators. I am no doctor, but this is information I found in 2 main books and has worked great for me. “Clinical Massage Therapy” Fiona Rattray,  Linda Ludwig. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” Phyllis A. Balch, “Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain” Donna Finando and Steven Finando”, and “Healing Head to Toe” Spring Forest Qigong by Chunyi Lin

 

SELF MASSAGE

During an attack

  • keep the self massage to 30-45 minutes long
  • Apply cold pack or ice to the head and neck
  • dry brush the face or if you know lymphatic drainage use that on the face. Brush from middle of face out to ears, and from the jaw down to collar bone using a very light touch.
  • Use gentle kneading, circulation motions on your shoulders, back of neck, side of neck, SCM, and work up to the occipital ridge on the back of your head, and ears.
  • Qigong states to massage in a circular motion the two spots on your eyebrows closest to your nose to help stop migraines and your eyebrows, under the eyes.
  • Trigger point work: the red dots are trigger points and the filled in red areas are referral pain spots. Trigger point work has best results when you go to a licensed massage therapist who can do trigger point work on you, helping release and relieve these muscles and points. If you can not see a therapist you can use self massage to ease trigger points.
    • Rub the dots located on the pages that have a referral pattern where your migraine is located, rub with medium to firm pressure for 30-40 seconds, wait  for 30-60 seconds and rub again. Do this 2-4 times. Some people recommend doing this isolated self massage often and some say it may aggravate the trigger point and to keep it simple.

 

        In between attacks

  • stretching and self massage on neck and shoulder muscles
  • drink plenty of water
  • eat a balanced healthy meal
  • try not to skip meals
  • try to sleep on a thin pillow at night

 

HERBS

  • calcium and magnesium- minerals that help regulate muscle tone and to transmit nerve impulses throughout the body and to the brain.
  • Coenzyme Q10- Increases blood flow to the brain and improves circulation (found in capsules, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and organ meats).
  • Primrose oil- an anti-inflammatory agent to keep the blood vessels from constricting.
  • Vitamin B2 & B3- necessary for cell respiration and growth. Niacin (B3) increases blood flow to the brain.
  • Coryceps- a Chinese herb reduces anxiety and promotes sound sleep for those suffering migraines.
  • Feverfew- Helps alleviate the pain (not for nursing, pregnancy, those on blood thinning medications).
  • Ginkgo Biloba extract enhances cerebral circulation (don’t take if you have a bleeding disorder.
  • I am currently fine-tuning a migraine relief extract that will be sold on etsy and aspenshealingarts.com, first I want to finish my case studies to make sure I am getting the best results.

 

DIET/EXERCISE

  • Try a diet low in simple carbohydrates and high in protein.
  • Eat almonds, watercress, parsley, fennel, cherries( great anti), garlic, and fresh pineapple.
  • avoid salt and acid foods.
  • Try to have daily moderate exercise based on your body and health conditions.

 

COMMON TRIGGERS: allergies, constipation, stress, liver malfunction, too much or too little sleep, emotional changes, hormonal changes, sun glare, flashing lights, lack of exercise, changes in barometric pressure, poor nutrition, dental issues, low blood sugar, low estrogen levels in women, TMJ, sleeping on a thick pillow, poor posture, and tight neck, trap muscles. 

MIGRAINE STUDIES: Traditional research described migraines as vascular headaches involving excessive dilation or contraction of the brains blood vessels. Current research has given other clues with the use of Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography indicating that the inflammation involved with migraines is most noticeable in the meninges. There are 3 membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord separated by cerebrospinal fluid; the dura, the arachnoid, and the pia. Its not the actual inflammation of the meninges that cause the pain during migraines its the stimulation to the trigeminal nerve, which goes from the brain to the head to the face. This stimulation triggers the release of calcitonin gene-related peptides which induce inflammation and send message to pain receptors in the meninges. – “Prescription for nutritional healing” Phyllis A. Balch

 

 

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