Just chop my head off, please! I said that phrase more times than I care to remember. Why you ask? I've suffered from Migraine Headaches for most of my life. Mine started when I was 12 years old and continue to this day. For years they would last a few hours and leave me feeling like I had been run over by a semi truck for a day after. In my 30's they turned into 3 day hormonal Migraines. Some months worse than others. If you haven't experienced one, you are blessed. That's something to be grateful for! If you're one of the nearly 30 million people who do suffer from this excruciating pain, there is hope!
Originally, I took over the counter pain killers and would go to bed. Noise, light and temperatures that are too hot or cold all make the pain worse, or so it seems. Then, I started to see western Doctors who wrote me prescription after prescription for heavy-duty pain killers which didn't work, they only double the hang over. None of them ever wanted to get to the bottom of my health issue. They only treat the symptoms. Then the Anti-Depressant craze came and I was offered prozac and numerous others; "Are you crazy?" I stopped seeing Doctors for my migraines.
Migraines can be scary. They caused depression and anxiety in me for many years. I felt like I was alone, because not many of my peers got them and there wasn't very much information available, other than the dreaded possibility of a brain tumor. They affect all areas of your life, to point that you always factor in a migraine when making plans. I finally pulled up my bootstraps and started my quest for freedom, or at least relief. I like to get to the root cause of everything, but when it comes to migraines, that's a difficult task. Here's what I've discovered along the way.
Find your food triggers. Triggers can be from food sensitivities to full-blown allergens. Cheese (dairy) is a huge trigger for most people. I'm not sure why, but I suspect the mold content, not to mention hormones. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a chemical found in most processed foods and will almost always trigger a migraine. Chemical additives and preservatives can trigger migraines, as well as onions. Alcohol, especially beer and wine. The yeast in beer and sulfates in wine. Cleansing your liver can help in that area. Sugar, eggs, and gluten are also triggers. One of the biggest triggers is caffeine! Yes, that sounds unreal since caffeine can provide relief but it works both ways. If you get migraines, I would eliminate all caffeine first. Don't go cold turkey, take 2-4 weeks and wean yourself off to avoid withdrawal headaches.
Stay hydrated. Drink half of your body weight in ounces per day of water. More if you exercise or drink caffeine.
Exercise regularly. Regular exercise promotes healthy circulation and helps to alleviate depression and anxiety. You'll sleep better at night too.
Get enough sleep. We need 6-9 hours every night.
Learn to cope with stress in a healthy manner. We can't eliminate all stressors in our lives but we can learn to manage them. Stress can trigger a migraine.
Eat healthy and frequently. Small meals throughout the day are very beneficial for migraine sufferers. Don't skip breakfast! Eliminate processed and fast food. For some, fried foods are a trigger.
Stop using synthetic perfumes and fragrances on your person and in your home.
For women: Find a qualified holistic practitioner and work to get your hormones in balance and have your thyroid checked.
If you do get a migraine, an ice pack at the base of your skull helps. You can also put it on the pain site. Wrap the pack in a towel. There are some fresh juice recipes that help but I haven't tried them, since my pain is too severe to make juice. I would love to hear results if you've tried them. Massage and Chiropractic care can be helpful as well.
For the past several months, I've been using Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and I'm experiencing huge success! Of all the natural alternatives and drugs I've tried, the oils work! They have to be therapeutic grade, I use Young Living. I've tried peppermint from the health food store and I was actually allergic to it. You can imagine how hesitant I was when I tried a therapeutic grade Peppermint. It relieved pain instantly and the more I used it, the better results I got. I also use one called M-Grain. Since I started using them, I've had one full-blown 3 day migraine and a few manageable headaches. That's a miracle in my book!
I hope this article helps you or a loved one to find relief. Migraines are one of the most terrible ailments to live with and most people don't know they can eliminate them or at least lower the frequency and minimize pain. As always, I love to hear testimonies. Head on over to Facebook and let me know which one of these tips have helped you on your journey.