How do you find migraine relief alternative therapies that work for you and your migraines? Good question. There are so many options to choose from, but what actually works to reduce migraines?
I don’t know about you, but I seem to go in cycles.
On my good days (migraine free) I feel like I’ve got the migraine headaches under control and that the alternative therapies that I use actually help.
On the bad days, I feel like nothing works and all my searching and experimenting (and fortune spent) is for nothing.
Ok, just so you know, I am looking at twenty years of experimenting with twenty days per month of chronic debilitating migraines. Yes each month! And there were no holidays. Hmmmm.....does that give me a Ph.D in Migraine?
I tell you this, so you know, that I too have tried many many different therapies to help deal with these chronic migraines.
And to be honest not many worked.
Well you get the picture – Yoga and Zen meditation. If I had to pick my most reliable treatments, they would be: medication which does not fall under natural; ice packs; acupuncture; meditation and biofeedback.
I have not yet tried Botox, I am sure it will be on my list. (Over one year waiting list for a Botox Doctor here!) Here are the migraine headache remedies I use.
And the electric devices are new, so I'm not there yet either. There are a number of articles on meditation as a migraine relief alternative, so please click on the links above for more details.
Learning to meditate and getting counselling have both been crucial to helping me deal with the unseen impacts of this unpredictable and extremely painful migraine condition.
It helps calm down the nervous system when the alarm signals go off for the impending attack and I can do it anywhere anytime I need to.
The other thing I feel is essential is to read my post on How to Treat a Migraine with ice and heat to treat to help abort the attack. Then it would be a toss up between biofeedback and acupuncture.
Back to the original question - there are so many alternative therapies, how do we know which ones work for us specifically as an effective migraine relief alternative?
Everyone is so different. What works for one, may not or may work for another.
And so it is for us to solve our own puzzle. What did not work for me, may work for you.
I have read that on many occasion essential oils can reduce the pain of migraine, but through trial and error have discovered that essential oils do almost nothing for my actual migraine pain.
They do however,
reduce the pain in my neck and lower back quite effectively.
While peppermint oil is claimed to be an analgesic – I find it more effective in reducing nausea. I like to mix peppermint with lavender essential oil to calm me down.
These scents do not trigger a migraine for me, this is something you may need to experiment with.
So using essential oils really depends on whether or not you can tolerate these smells around an attack. Try mixing:
• 5 drops of each essential oil with a little almond or olive oil (at least 2 teaspoons of oil) and rub on your temples,
• or put 1 or 2 drops of each into a little bowl of hot water, place a face cloth in it, and rest it on your forehead or over your eyes.
I also rub my lower back and neck, sometimes my stomach if I am nauseous. Be careful here and read the instructions as some highly concentrated oils are not good on the skin, so test a small area on your face first if you plan to put it on your forehead.
If you react, you can always just put this combination on a tissue or even put it under your pillow. Again, it all depends on your reaction to the smells. You may not be able to use essential oils as a migraine relief alternative.
We don’t need more suffering – we need less!
It seems that traditional mainstream medicine is starting to acknowledge and support alternative therapies.
Many doctors now recommend certain migraine relief alternative therapies in conjunction with prophylactics, pain killers and abortives.
These are: acupuncture, chiropractic work, exercise, meditation and only recently massage. I found this website called Massage Education.com with a cold stone massage video for migraines. If you'd like to learn more about massage I thought this website was full of information and easy to follow instructional videos.
I find a good massage after a migraine can help calm down the muscles in my neck and back. I did take the opportunity one year to have regular weekly massages to see if it reduced the frequency of my migraines.
I am happy to say that it did seem to reduce them by about one third, but I could not afford to keep going weekly. The cost of maintaining regular therapy must be taken into consideration along with the results.
Natural therapists recommend whatever they have been taught, the tools of their trade so to speak.
For instance, when I have visited a practitioner of Chinese medicine they recommended acupuncture, herbs and qigong.
When I go to a naturopath they recommend colonics and supplements. Cleaning the bowel is essential to good health and well-being. And a homeopath, will use homeopathy!
I regularly go to a doctor who also has a nutritionist degree and she recommends supplements and dietary changes. Food is considered medicine, which I strongly agree with. Especially with having food as a migraine trigger, I know that what I put in my body counts. It has a reaction and is important to my energy levels.
I always think of that saying, if you didn't put gas in your car it would not run. Fuel in - fuel out! So the quality of food and what I choose to eat make a difference to me. I guess avoiding triggers all these years has also taught me something.
I definitely use food and nutrition as a migraine relief alternative.
Individually, we get to find out what works for us! Each one of us is unique, as Susan Clark says in her book What Really Works - “no two migraines are the same” (pg. 190).
I have found that it can be a long long journey to finding a solution or even something that relieves the pain of migraine enough to function in daily life.
The latest research is saying to consider using a combination of traditional medications and alternative therapies. Keeping a migraine journal will help you keep track of the results.
This combination works for me. Give it a try.
FAST Migraine Relief
Migraine Relief Alternative Therapies