Natural Remedies To Cure Migraines
If you are someone who has ever experienced a migraine, you know that the pain of a migraine can be much more excruciating than that of a headache. In fact, the pain coming from a migraine can be so debilitating that it often forces one to become bedridden. Moreover, this is because migraine symptoms extend to the head and neck areas. Migraine symptoms include a sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, and visual auras.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines affect 12 percent of the population, making it the third most common illness in the world. Although a definitive cure has yet to be discovered, there are a few natural remedies worth knowing about that have shown promising results not only anecdotally, but in research labs as well.
Doctors claim that migraines are not caused by one factor but are instead caused by various. Below are some factors that can trigger migraines:
- Food: food items such as chocolate, red wine, aged cheese, and nitrates found in processed meats (such as hot dogs or salami) can help trigger migraines. Some people have labeled gluten and dairy as possible triggers. Being dehydrated or caffeinated can also lead to migraines.
- Stress: it is reported that four out of five individuals who suffer migraines reported stress as a trigger.
- Sleep: Not maintaining healthy sleep habits can be yet another migraine trigger.
- Air Pressure: Migraine patients have reported that changes in air pressure can trigger headaches for them, particularly when there is a change in altitude or weather.
The next time you experience a migraine, do yourself a favor and track down the factors listed above leading up to the migraine so you can better understand which factors might be behind your migraines. For example, note what foods were eaten leading up to the migraine, what your stress levels were, and the quality of sleep you got the night before. The following are some natural remedies worth trying the next time you experience a migraine.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Acupuncture has long been recognized as a method to help cure headaches. This alternative option has been backed by studies, including a recent 2017 study that demonstrated its positive effects in preventing future migraines. In the study, subjects who underwent acupuncture treatments five times in a four-week span were revealed to have fewer migraines (a decrease from 5 to 3 migraines a month). Dry needling is another remedy, though it does not yet have the research to show for it. Whereas acupuncture utilizes multiple needles simultaneously, dry needling uses only one needle at a time.
Biofeedback & Magnesium
Monitoring your biofeedback, such as your brain waves, temperature, and breathing can help keep migraines at bay. Utilizing biofeedback will allow you to be more aware of how your body is feeling at any given moment to then provide an appropriate response. An example of this would be stress levels, which, as previously mentioned, is one of the factors that can trigger a migraine.
Moreover, studies prove the effectiveness of biofeedback as seventy percent of those utilizing biofeedback mechanisms reported a fifty percent decrease in their migraine frequency. The great thing about biofeedback is that these devices can be used at home with convenience. You can start by purchasing some devices that help take your pulse and measure your heart rate. Outside of migraines, using biofeedback instruments can also help reduce anxiety.
One simple way to minimize the chances of a migraine is to make sure you are stocked up with enough magnesium consumption. Magnesium can be taken as a supplement—anywhere between 300 to 400 milligrams should do the trick. Just note that it usually takes up to three months of taking magnesium supplements to show results.
Acupressure & Massage
Acupressure works almost in a similar fashion to acupuncture—just without the needles. Acupressure is a massage therapy that stimulates the body’s pressure points. A study published in 2018 showcased acupressure to be just as effective in treating menstrual-cycle-related migraines as acupuncture. A smaller study revealed the potential acupressure has in treating migraine-related nausea as well.
Another way to prevent migraines is by incorporating massage therapy. Research has shown that those who received massage therapy reported less pain following treatment. Keep in mind that these sessions also included relaxation techniques, so it’s impossible to fully isolate the effects of massage. That being said, results demonstrate that individuals who received massage therapy found themselves to have less headache pain than when they received acupuncture.
Yoga can help with migraine relief similar to the ways massage therapy can. Yoga helps to reduce stress and increase circulation, which helps support a healthy nervous system. It is therefore a practice that can help provide migraine relief and improve your overall well-being as well. Moreover, this has been shown to be true across various studies.
Although essential oils won’t provide full relief to true migraines, they are a useful remedy that helps ease migraines. One study showed that there was a substantial reduction in pain after subjects inhaled lavender for fifteen minutes. They performed this by dotting two to three drops of essential oil on their upper lip once they felt the migraine develop. Other patients have stated similar results with peppermint oil being applied to the temples as well. All is done to help alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes with migraines.