There are several natural migraine relief alternatives that claim to be effective, but are not scientifically proven. Nevertheless, they might work for you to stop your attacks if you start early. I've not been this lucky.
And then there are natural migraine relief methods that are often frowned upon but have good evidence behind them. My personal experience is that they help in some ways but aren't strong enough to abort an attack.
The book Migraine for Dummies says that:
Getting rid of a full-fledged migraine with nothing but herbal remedies ranks right up there with cleaning up an oil spill with tissues.
~ Teri Robert
I love that!
Yet, I think that natural alternatives to the many medications are worth looking into.
Even if abortive or preventive medication works for you, the prospect of taking medication daily can be daunting.
And things get worse when side effects occur, or the medication is not as effective as it is supposed to be. There is a constant threat of overdose if they are not effective.
Natural therapies can provide you with choices around natural migraine relief. It provides the hope for safer, side effect free prevention. And if you’re lucky, it may give you the freedom from persistent migraine pain.
Are you after instant pain relief?
As a migraine sufferer I have tried most natural migraine relief therapies that have come across my path.
In desperation I have even tried ones that are not especially effective for migraines.
In my experience, methods to help reduce muscle tension and stress are very helpful (and keep me sane), but never abort an attack.
So let's look at options that have some good evidence behind them:
For me, the ginger, meditation and acupuncture work best. When I had weekly acupuncture the intensity of pain with each migraine decreased substantially.
I am just experimenting with deep breathing now that
engages my diaphragm and totally relaxes my back, neck and spine. Using
the right muscles to breath reduces tension build up in those areas.
Allergy testing could be important for you as a migraineur to help eliminate triggers. 30-50% of people can improve migraine occurrence by avoiding allergic reactions and 85% can experience a reduction. I think 30 to 85 percent is certainly worth the effort if you fall into that group!
As for allergy tests, you can get a standard food panel done in one go. It will test for specific IgG antibodies in the blood for a number of food groups. It will only be one single finger prick for you and a little blood.
My test was from US BioTek Laboratories in Seattle, Washington USA. It was easy. The results surprised me showing that I was allergic to pineapple, garlic, and eggs. Things I eat often.
After the test I avoided using these foods for over a year. The migraines have become shorter and less severe but not less frequent. I think any step forward is good.
Any attack you can prevent is a victory in itself.
More information about allergies can be found on this page - What comes first... Migraine or Allergy?
What's the first thing you think of when I say natural migraine relief? Is it to take herbal treatments? They come in a wide variety, from peppermint tea to more exotic chinese herbs, and supplements for migraines like feverfew and butterbur.
You can read more about those options here:
There are other herbal supplements to consider - rosemary, ginger and ginkgo biloba.
Disclaimer: some herbal migraine remedies have caused negative interactions with prescription medications. Therefore, you must consult with your physician before you begin taking any new form of self prescribed migraine treatment.
There are more therapies which may be beneficial for migraineurs. It is nearly impossible to try all of them. But read about them, and find out which appeals to you the most. These were some of the ones that appealed to me:
My advice is to experiment and find out what works for you. And remember that you may require a stronger pain management treatment strategy if your migraine episodes are severe and chronic.
Finally, I want to stress how your lifestyle may have an impact on your migraines. So, changing your lifestyle for the better is always a good idea.
Reduce stress - take time out each and every day to do something relaxing.
I know this sounds cliché but watch what you eat. Avoid common food triggers. Eat organic where possible and eat regularly to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Reduce coffee, never drink Guarana and other energy drinks laced with sugar.
Read more and educate yourself on your migraine type. There is a lot of information available if you prefer natural migraine relief. Read e-books, books, this website and the internet. Read whatever you can until you get clear on some of your options.
I can recommend these to give you all the tips and secrets you will need:
Until next time, stay strong,
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Reference: Stafford, D. and Shoquist, J. MD. (2003) Migraines for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc: New York. p.95.