Headaches have always been a part of my life but it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I began to suffer from migraine headaches. At first, I was not entirely sure what was triggering my migraines as I was just more concerned with finding some natural migraine headache relief.
I find my migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to 4-5 days and I will be honest, those are the ones that often knock me to the ground. Sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, severe pain especially behind my left eye – all of these symptoms make it difficult to carry on through my day. Are there times that I reach for medications to relieve the pain? Of course but generally, I like to be able to alleviate it more naturally.
So, let me share with you some of the methods I have found that give me natural migraine headache relief.
There are certain pressure points on your body that can help to alleviate pain. Try rubbing the spot between your index finger and your thumb when you feel a headache coming on. It can help in easing the pain.
I, personally, found a trained acupuncturist to be especially helpful. She specialized in helping those who suffered from migraines. She said that the best way was to try to catch the migraine in its beginning stages. If I could feel a migraine coming on, I would receive treatment from her and within a couple of hours, the pain had completely disappeared! After about a year of receiving treatment from her, I no longer require any medication at all to deal with my migraines. In fact, I rarely suffered from them anymore.
#2. Essential Oils
There are certain essential oils that can help alleviate the symptoms of migraines. Peppermint oil has proven the most effective for me. I place a drop or two on my temples and as my skin heats up the oils, my nasal passages clear up and some of the tension is lessened.
As a preventative measure, I will sometimes place peppermint or lavender oil (or even a combination of the two) on a lava stone bracelet I own. The heat from my wrist allows the scent to permeate the air, often keeping the pain at bay.
Yoga does not have to be difficult or just for those people who are flexible. It is a great way to not only stretch your ligaments, but also to help clear your mind. Because you are focusing on your breathing, your body is receiving much-needed oxygen to help with the pain. Also, it is an opportunity to stretch your muscles and ligaments as migraine headaches are often accompanied by muscle tension.
One pose that is easy to do and that I find especially relaxing is to lay on your back on the floor, with your legs raised against a wall. (Think of your body making a 90-degree angle.) It will help to lower your blood pressure, relaxing you. Remain in such a position for 10-15 minutes. (I once fell asleep in such a position for an hour …oops!)
Studies have shown that while an individual is in the midst of a migraine headache, the magnesium levels in the brain appear to be lower. Although taking magnesium while you are in the throes of your migraine may not do a lot, taking a 400 mg magnesium supplement on a daily basis may be a preventative measure. Although there are foods high in magnesium, it may take a concerted effort to get the amount of magnesium you actually need through your diet alone.
Not only may it prevent my headaches, I find it also helps me to sleep better. Consequently, I suffer less from the effects of sleep deprivation and can handle my day to day activities better.
#5. Ice Packs
We are all aware that when you have an injury that you should apply an ice pack to reduce the inflammation. Place an ice pack around your head or at the base of your neck for natural migraine headache relief. This can reduce the amount of blood flowing through your carotid artery which results in reduced inflammation of the brain and less pain.
A word of caution – be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel so that it does not have direct contact with your skin as you can freeze and consequently damage it. Also do not leave it on your neck for more than 10-15 minutes.
#6. Alter Your Diet
As I mentioned previously, the triggers of my migraines were not instantly obvious to me. However, once I began taking note (literally, I wrote it down) of what I was eating and when my migraines would occur, I realized that certain foods would bring them on. For example, one of the worst culprits for me was aspartame, which unbeknownst to me was causing other health issues as well.
Ginger is not only a great addition to your cooking, it also is known to provide natural migraine headache relief as it one of the spices that reduces inflammation in the body. Additionally, ginger is also fabulous for boosting your immune system.
Whether you visit a registered massage therapist (RMT), have your partner do it for you, or are forced to massage your own head, massage is extremely beneficial to increase blood flow and decrease muscle tension. Do not wait until you are in the middle of a full-blown migraine attack to reap the benefits of massage as it can actually prevent migraines from occurring.
#9. Water. More Water.
Many of us do not drink enough water and this can lead to headaches and even migraines. Remember to keep hydrated and if you begin to feel a migraine approaching, drink a couple of glasses of water immediately as it may keep it at bay.
Drinking more water will also help to rid your body of excess salt. The excess salt can make you even more dehydrated, which can raise your blood pressure, and even damage your internal organs.
If you are a sufferer of migraine headaches, you know that finding natural migraine head relief can often be difficult and cumbersome. However, medications can often leave us feeling groggy and may even be harmful if used for the long term. Hopefully, you may find some relief in the methods I have provided for you here.
Thanks for reading!