Photo credit: Jazzy Rose
Migraines. Don’t you just HATE them?! Mine are so excruciatingly painful and although I only get them every few years, they freak me out when they happen.
You’re just going about your daily business and then BOOM it hits you! An intense throbbing pain that worsens with every movement. And it doesn’t end there…oh no! There’s also the nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light (and I even had loss of vision in one eye flashing lights to accompany my last one). Good times!
I’ve suffered from migraines since my teens (PMT times are the worst and pregnant friends often complain of them so hormones are to blame too)- and I have tried numerous forms of pain relief, and while paracetamol helps me when they are bad, like my GP has recommended, not relying on pain relief and seeking out natural solutions with exercise, can really help.
So I thought I would share my top six natural ways to ease migraines.
They say that prevention is better than the cure and research shows migraine sufferers who practice 30 minutes of yoga 5 days a week will experience significantly fewer migraine episodes. As yoga is much gentler than other forms of exercise it is less likely to trigger a migraine too, plus it also relieves stress and improves general well-being.
I literally practised deep breaths during my last migraine attack and it helped keep me calm.
2. Avoid dairy, chocolate, bacon, avocado, peanut butter and wheat foods
You’re not going to like this one, but unfortunately life is cruel and all of the aforementioned foods, including chocolate (sob!), are linked to migraines. I have cut down on dairy (am currently dairy free with #veganuary) and chocolate, really noticing a difference. A diet of fresh fruit and vegetables and non-glutinous grains (millet, buckwheat, rice, amaranth) is recommended to reduce migraines.
3. Lavender Oil
Lavender has been used for medical purposes for centuries and I find that adding a few drops of lavender oil to a bath can really work wonders.
4. Cayenne Pepper
This tip isn’t for the faint hearted, but it really is a miracle-worker. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 225ml of hot water and sip until your migraine subsides. The pepper balances your blood pressure which relieves the pressure in your head. It usually only takes a few sips before you notice a dramatic difference.
It’s time to listen to Frankie and relax! Meditation relieves the physical and mental symptoms of stress and I have always found it to be really effective form of migraine relief. In the longer term, meditation is known to improve brain functionality, increase immunity and even fight ageing! Sitting still has never been so beneficial!
Massaging your scalp or forehead can dramatically reduce tension in your head by loosening muscles and improving blood flow (therefore getting more oxygen to the problem area). I love this Dummies’ Guide to massing away your headache.
I’d love to read your tips too, please share them in the comments.