It is promising to be a beautiful, warm, sunny day with just the right temperature to open the windows, let in the fresh air, hear the chirping of the birds and buzzing of insects going about their daily business. On a normal day you would get out of bed excited about this perfect day and make plans to get the most out of it. However today you wake up with a slight headache and you have a nasty feeling it is your migraine rearing its ugly head again. Sure enough, after sometime your head is throbbing with pain, your stomach is churning with nausea, the sunlight that you love so much is piercing painfully in your eyes. All you want to do is close the curtains and crawl into bed.
Most of us have experienced migraines at one time or the other in our life. For some it is a recurring pain. The triggers could be food, stress, genetics, pollution, hormones, house hold chemicals etc. The exact cause of migraine is not known. According to the World Health Organization “Migraine most often begins at puberty and most affects those aged between 35 and 45 years. It is more common in women, usually by a factor of about 2:1, because of hormonal influence.” Migraine should not be confused with headaches. Headaches are more or less localized to the head and neck region. However, migraine is accompanied by severe pain usually on one side of the head followed by other symptoms such as nausea, blurred vision, sensitivity to light etc.
Migraine can be treated with pain medications like acetaminophen, naproxin, ibuprofin, prescription medicines, procedures to decompress the trigeminal and cervical spinal nerves in the neck that are linked to migraines etc. But most of the treatments just take care of the symptoms temporarily and do not provide long term cure or relief. If you are prone to migraines then it is important to carefully inspect your lifestyle and make changes. Changing the diet, getting sound sleep, exercising regularly, practicing yoga and meditation, better management of stressful situations can bring long term relief and even eliminate the migraine altogether.
Food is a big factor in migraines. For many people migraine is triggered by food eaten over the last 24 hours which did not agree with their bodies. Cutting out food that have high sodium, preservatives, fructose and other additives will definitely reduce the frequency. Eliminating inflammatory foods like chocolate, wine, cheese, processed meat, MSGs, yeast, nuts, pickles, peanut butter will reduce the flare-ups.
Below are a few tips to take care of your migraines naturally. Some of these should be part of your daily routine. A few of them you can do as soon as you see the signs of migraine. It will not only prevent the symptoms from intensifying but also reduce the quantity of harmful medicines you need to take
- Have raw ginger daily. Ginger root is known to block prostiglandins, compounds that stimulate muscle contractions and cause a headache. Grate plenty of ginger, add equivalent amount of honey and ground pepper and keep it in the refrigerator. Take one tablespoon of this mixture daily.
- Soothing scents can help reduce pain and ease tension. Putting 8 – 20 drops of lavender or rosemary oil in hot water and inhaling the scented steam will help calm the nerves and treat the hormonal imbalances in women.
- Put about four drops of sesame oil in your nostrils once a day till the migraine attack lasts and inhale deeply. Sesame oil relieves pressure in the head and relaxes your body.
- Make a paste with crushed nutmeg and water and message the forehead with the paste. It will keep you calm, relaxed and even help you sleep soundly.
- Peppermint is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Massaging your temples with this oil will soothe the pain.
- Place your index fingers in both your ears. Place the other fingers on the cartilage. Gently breathe in and out. As you breathe, gently press the cartilage and make a humming sound like a bee. Try to make a high-pitched sound and repeat this pattern 3-4 times.
Besides changing to a wholesome diet and doing the above, add yoga and meditation to your daily routine. There is no substitute to a good yoga and meditation practice. According to yogic science, we have a vast reserve of energy. When we are not using the energy as we should, it accumulates and can cause headaches. Daily practice will help with internal detoxification, brings deep relaxation to the body, calms the mind and alleviates stress.
No matter how debilitating migraines are, we should always be in charge of our health and lifestyle. When we are suffering from migraine, there is no option but to take medication to get the needed relief. However, taking proactive steps to prevent the migraines from returning should be the goal. Follow along with this video; cultivate the practice of practicing yoga daily and be prepared to say goodbye to your migraines.
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