If you’re anything like me, you are constantly fearful of the side effects of the conventional drugs you take. This makes you want to delve into the abundance of complementary treatments that are available. Maybe you use abortive medication, and are looking for something other than painkillers. Or perhaps you just want a more natural way of treating your migraines.
There is definitely something in going more in harmony with the way your body works. After all, one of the fundamental elements of being a migraineur is your sensitiveness to foods, chemicals and changes in the body. It makes sense to treat it more kindly.
Ocean Jasper – the calming stone
The trouble is that a large group of you will be chronic migraine sufferers, and even an occasional migraine is not to be sniffed at. It is a hateful debilitating condition that knocks you for six. So I do believe that it is right that you should approach many of these remedies with a certain amount of skepticism. But remember, the very word ‘complementary’ means that they should work alongside your usual treatments rather than replace them completely. And providing they don’t clash with what you already take, you should be fine doing both.
One of the things I tried was Acupuncture (Acupressure works in a similar way)
This treatment has been endorsed by the British Medical Association as an affective treatment for migraine. I hear a mixed response to the effectiveness of this. I have to say I didn’t find it successful.
Years ago, before I became chronic, I tried Homeopathy.
It is the principal of treating like with like. I was given various tablets over months. I found it pricey and can’t say I got any noticeable success. Let me know your story.
Aromatherapy – is the massage or inhalation of essential oils such as peppermint or lavender. While I think this can’t hurt, when you’re in the throes of a horrendous attack, I can’t see this making much impact. Again, let me know your opinions.
- Cranial Osteopathy
There are more, but you get the point. It is the manipulation or massage of the body – particularly the head, neck and back, to relieve and remove knots and stress in those areas. This definitely has its place. Sometimes I can develop a migraine after competing in a rodeo and having achy muscles that tense up the day after. One of these methods is perfect for heading off a migraine at its onset. For me, the benefit is in prevention and the early stages of migraine.
Vitamins & Minerals we covered in my blog post last week, but these include
- Magnesium (Making sure you have equal amounts of calcium)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K2
Herbal Remedies – I love the idea of growing healing herbs in my garden.
Some of these date back centuries. Feverfew – take 4-6 fresh leaves daily or 50 mg in dried form. I know this helps some people, but I didn’t find this affective.
Butterbur Petasin – 50 mg twice daily DO NOT eat from the fresh plant as it’s poisonous. I have no experience of this so I would welcome any feedback as to whether this has been used successfully.
While this isn’t a treatment as such, I think this is an essential step for all migraineurs to take. Gluten is a really common intolerance for migraineurs. In in my case, it was sugars.
Tinted Lenses/ Colorimetry
The Colorimetry eye test is carried out at select opticians and I swear by it. Everyone has a colour unique to them that most soothes the eyes. Mine is a turquoise colour. I found that it lessens the amount of migraines I get from working at a computer all day. It also stops words jumping about on the page. If you have a low-grade migraine – as is often the case, glasses with tints can give your eyes a welcomed rest.
Looking through rose coloured glasses could actually be good for you.
Many migraines can be triggered by problems with the teeth and jaw. Grinding and clenching is a particular culprit for migraineurs. Sometimes, having some kind of dental splint made can be extremely affective.
I looked into this a couple of years ago, but decided as I clenched my teeth in my sleep, I would still be able to clench onto a mouth guard. I found avoiding sleeping on my front where possible lessened my jaw related migraines hugely. I managed this by using higher pillows, making turning over less comfortable.
Other helpful remedies
Most of us reach for the cooling applications of gels, creams and icepacks. There are specially made pads for the head and neck, and cooling masks, caps and gel patches. I’ve even seen a new type of beanie hat with built in pouches for your cooling gel packs. All are great variations of the good old frozen peas. I’ll let you decide whether they are worth spending the money on.
Massage and essential oils.
Lavender oil can be bought from most health stores. It can be rubbed onto the temples or inhaled to aid relaxation.
Other helpful hints are, peppermint tea to help with your nausea, and caffeine at the onset of migraine. Yes you heard right. Not too much but a cup of coffee at regular intervals and especially when you feel a migraine coming on, can very often help. It works by restricting blood vessels (which is why it is always in painkillers) The trouble is, people drink too much and they get a head ache, or they don’t drink enough when they could do with one. Try it and see.
On the whole, all the above has a place to help with your migraines, and I’d really like to hear some of your stories where you have some real substantial results, but I do think if your migraine is severe, any help is superficial – Especially; if your migraines are hormonally triggered, which the bulk of mine are. Then I found they pretty much have to run their course, and there isn’t a lot you can do in the way of natural remedies.
In the end, the best thing you can do is live simply. Eat well and sleep regularly and keep to routine. They are the three magic things that will help you the most.
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