I don’t remember the very first time it happened. I’m sure it was alarming. I know it happened when I was in university. I know I had to drop out of my summer courses because I was overwhelmed with pain. Migraines entered my life some 20+ years ago. Every time one creeps into my head I question, how can I possibly still be dealing with this pain – after 20 years?
A long, long time ago I wrote an email to Oprah (remember when she had a show). I asked Oprah to host a show all about migraines. Migraines effect more women than men (women suffer from migraines 3 times more often than men) and her audience was predominantly women. I knew that if I was suffering, other women were suffering. This was the world before computers and social media. You had to chat with other people, read books and magazine articles, dig for information on your own and take your doctor’s word. I dreamt of Oprah running a migraine show and finding the miracle cure. Well, that didn’t happen.
So, here I am a mother of two girls, 40 years old and I spent last week in bed – unable to take care of myself, or my kids. It boggles my mind.
The challenge with finding a pain treatment really is that for as many people who suffer from migraines, there are possible treatments. Sometimes these techniques offer relief. Sometimes the medication offers relief. Sometimes the stars align and the pain subsides on its own. Other times, nothing seems to help. As a woman who is trying to live a life exposing myself to as few chemicals as possible, I am always looking for natural solutions. Don’t get me wrong, if a miracle migraine drug came out tomorrow, I would be all over it! Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, so instead I have gathered up all the home remedies for migraine pain that I could get my hands on.
If, like me, you suffer from migraines maybe there is a pain relief solution in here for you. When I’m in pain, I reach and grasp for anything that might help. Here’s hoping one of these ideas helps you get through your next migraine a little faster or with a little less pain. (Please note that I am not a medical professional, therefore I am offering my “regular” person opinion, based on research I have gathered. If you aren’t certain about trying any of these options, check with your health care provider first)
6 Home Remedies for Migraine Pain
Shut Out the World – A typical migraine attack can make the sufferer more sensitive to light, sound and scents. While often easier said than done, block out any light and turn off any sources of noise. Put a cold cloth on your eyes and rest. As a mom, this one is pretty challenging – but it tends to give any pain medication you might be taking a chance to kick in. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help – ask a friend, or family member to watch the kids for a few hours so you can give yourself a chance to rest.
Peppermint Oil – I have heard and read about this suggestion a number of times, I have yet to try it myself. There is evidence that peppermint oil can bring people pain relief. Migraine.com suggests applying the peppermint oil to the temple and forehead during a migraine. Another option is to use a room diffuser with peppermint oil. Many people recommended this option. To be honest, I’m afraid of this option because I am very sensitive to scents – even on a good day – but I’ll try anything once. As with any essential oil, users must be aware of possible side effects. Be sure to research if peppermint oil is best for you.
Acupressure – I discovered this series of 5 different acupressure exercises on WikiHow.com. At the first sign of a migraine, or a regular headache, I cycle through these exercises. I find this sequence can actually release pressure and bring relief. It only takes about 10 minutes to work through all of the steps. If a migraine hits while you are at the office, take a few minutes to give acupressure a try.
Soak Hands and Feet in Hot Water – Okay, this one cannot be done at the office. Use the hot temperature of the water to draw blood away from your head, to your extremities. I have tried this technique. The best way to do this is to fill your kitchen/bathroom sink with hot water (not boiling water, do not burn yourself) and climb up on the counter. Dip your hands and feet into the hot water. Apply an ice pack to the back of your neck. While this didn’t offer me much relief, I have heard from many people who this did help. It might sound strange, to climb on your counter…but it might just work for you.
Keep Hydrated – When a migraine starts to set in, grab a glass of water. Becoming dehydrated will only exacerbate your symptoms and dehydration can actually bring on a migraine.
Magnesium – Could magnesium hold the key to migraine prevention and pain relief? Perhaps. Research indicates that preventing individuals with certain types of migraines (those triggered by menstural cycle and those with an accompanying aura) can be effective. One reader (Bren from BrenDid.com) suggested taking a soak in an epsom salt bath as a simple and relaxing way to get a boost of magnesium. Something to talk with your doctor about.
Are you a migraine sufferer? How do you ease your pain, at home? If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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