A bit of facts to start with…
Migraines are a common problem seen in doctor offices or the ER. They occur from changes in the brain and the blood vessels surrounding it.
Migraine treatment can include natural or home remedies, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription medications used to prevent or subside the migraine headache pain.
Migraines are not the same as ‘regular’ headaches, Nor is cluster headaches, sinus or tension headaches.
If you have a migraine and are trying to figure out what type you have- read below. Or else scroll below to My Natural Remedies.
Migraine headache, on average, last 4-72 hours and can occur from daily to less than one a year. Common Migraine, also called absence migraine, accounts for 80% of all migraines. There is no “aura” with a common migraine. Classic Migraine headache, which is with an “aura” also called ‘migraine with aura’, experience an aura or visual disturbance before as a symptom that the migraine headache is coming on. Classic migraines are much more severe than common migraines. Silent or Acephalgic Migraine headache is migraine without head pain, but with aura and other visual disturbances and nausea, photophobic (light sensitivity) and phono phonic (noise disturbance) can accompany the aura. Hemiplegic Migraine is where you feel weakness on one side of the body, loss of sensation, or feeling on ‘pins and needles’. Head pain may not be severe. A Retinal Migraine is a migraine that is accompanied by vision loss in one eye. The loss can for a few hours to months. It is usually reversible but this is a sign of a more serious medical issue and if you have this you should seek care and see your doctor. A Chronic Migraine is a migraine that lasts for more than 72 hours and 15 days per month. A Status or Intractable migraine is especially severe and last beyond 72 hours. Emergency room visits and 1-3 day hospital stays (to manage pain and nausea) are common for stays migraine. Status migraines affect less than 1% of people with migraines.
I have chronic, status migraines…Lucky F&*cking me.
My Natural Remedies and Therapies
After years of being on so many medications, all sorts, every kind in my blood stream and it became flooded. My brain has changed, my memory is poor and it can be hard for me to focus. As well as prescribed meds, I have developed a repituar of natural remedies and therapies I can do that will help in some way. I do a lot of these, a lot of time, and others not so often. I feel that the natural remedies I use, could help with decreasing most types of chronic pain. You can use these ideas and customize them in a way that works best for you.
Some of the natural remedies that work for me are:
– Turmeric supplement- 1200 mg per day (great for any inflammation in the body)
-Vitamin B2- 400 mg (this is suppose to be a big help in reducing migraine pain)
- Vitamin D 1,000 IU (keeps me from feeling low or stressed)
- Sun exposure (I try and get 20 min of sun a day, while not wearing sunblock. Sunblock will mostly prevent the absorption of Vitamin D)
- Aromatherapy (I use a lavender blend and a Stress relaxing blend which are both very healing. You can either inhale by sniffing or putting it on your upper lip or oils can be taken orally, but not all types are edible so do your research)
- Drinking stress reducing tea (I sip on Chamomile, Ginger (a natural pain reliever), Tension Tamer and Lavender tea’s…this mix I drink 2-3 a day)
- Healthy eating (I consistently try and eat organic, non-GMO, un-processed food, fresh fruits and veggies, wild caught fish high in Omega’s, organic chicken and eggs, nuts and grains. I don’t eat dairy, sugar and very little gluten.
- I count chemicals, not calories
- I use all natural personal products (deoderant, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, lotion, etc.)
- I use only non-toxic, natural cleaning products and laundry detergant
- I make a Flax seed cocktail to help with constipation, a side effect from pain medications. (recipe for a flax seed cocktail: 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed in 8 ounces of water, stir quickly, drink quickly and follow up with another 8 oz of temped water. Do this as you first drink in the morning. Store ground flax seed in the refrigerator)
- I have a healthy bed time wind-down routine. (You should always turn off electronics 1 hour before bedtime. I get in my pj’s, have tea, smell and apply aromatherapy, will write a bit and put on my Celfay device which is numbing and helps me to fall asleep)
- I go to sleep at night and wake in the morning, the same time every day.
- I practice yoga 2-3 times a week (have gained 3/4 of an inch in height in just 6 months, from doing yoga. Yoga provides me with over all relaxation and clarity and my brains likes learning new things. It is also social which is important)
- I practice deep breathing exercises daily
- I do tapping on myself (repeating out-loud “I love and accept myself”)
- I practice Eco-therapy (being in nature as much as possible-I love long walks or hikes, enjoying the views and animals)
- Being active (If I am having a good day then I try and move all day and this can build the feel good hormones we have)
- Listening to Affirmations (I listen and repeat ‘Health, Wealth and Lifestyle affirmations’ – available on youtube.com or other apps)
- I put myself in peaceful soul enriching situations (I go to various church’s to pray, walk the Labyrinth path to pray and set goals, or I’ll visit the Buddhist Stupa to walk and think. Absorbing the positive energy in these places is restorative)
- I tie jeans around my head (when I am having a lot of pain I will wrap a pair of thick jeans around my head and tie the legs tightly at my forehead and this creates pressure, which is an aversion to the migraine head pain)
- I wear earplugs out in public (when I know I am going to be somewhere noisy I’ll wear my earplugs so the noise does not give me a migraine)
- I wear hats and sun glasses to keep the bright light away from my eyes.
- I blackout my house (I put cardboard on my windows or use black out curtains to have a dark house)
- I where a eye mask to bed (this helps me to not wake up as much and it helps to keep me asleep longer in the morning light)
- I meditate in stillness and while moving (I ask the Universe “what is it I need to know” and answers come. I love to mediate while walking or stretching)
- Celafy. -This is a device made for specifically for migraine suffers. (There is an adhesive you put on your forehead and connect a small electronic device with electrodes that manipulate nerves in your head. This device has been proven to very helpful to me)
- Sleep or rest (I rest as much as I can and even put rest time in my calendar. When I see it there, that’s what I do; I rest as it’s so critical to decreasing migraine break pain and symptoms)
- Massage (specifically on neck, shoulders and back)
- Chiropractic care
- Energy healing therapies such as Reiki and Acupuncture
- Hydration (I shoot for 3 liters a day or 100 ounces. I also drink tea, coffee and sometimes coconut water because it’s great for helping dehydration)
- Ici (an ice pack on my forehead)
- *** Lifestyle change*** (this has significantly changed my life for the better, 100%)
I have had Botox therapy injected into my head and neck and I think that worked pretty well.
None of the ‘preventative’ subscription medications for work me, but Celafy does the trick (it is a device not a medication). celafy.com
These natural remedies I have learned, mostly on my own. If you have tips to help pain and symptoms, you should share them in the comments section. It is important for us to share things that help or or not because most often migraneurs suffer in silence and so much is not-known about migraine disease or ways to treat it. Please share.
All migraines have similar symptoms such as:
-phonophobia or sensitivity to sounds
-photophobia or sensitivity to light
-hyperosmia or a heightened sense of smell
-changes in Vision or aura
Some other symptoms a migraineur may feel during a migraine include:
-Ice pick in the head
-Neck pain and stiffness
Some of the Prodrome symptoms- those that come before the migraine attack-include:
-Fatigue and stiffness all over the body
-Difficulty speaking and reading
What symptoms can you feel after the head pain is relieved or has stopped- or called Postdrome symptoms?
-Inability to concentrate
-Lack of comprehension
My longest migraine lasted 3 months…I’ll never forget…it started just before my birthday on September 10th and lasted until after Thanksgiving. I missed the holiday celebrations that year but mostly just missed being with my family. For me, after my head pain was gone, I had Postdrome symptoms or what I like to call the ‘recovery symptoms’ for a full month…then life started to go back to my normal life. Well, normal redefined.
I am pretty isolated here where I live, in Northern AZ. I live in beautiful Sedona AZ however it is 2.5 hours from Phoenix which is where my doctors are and most of the support groups and classes. We have no local news, so I do not hear about trials or see ads for new meds, support groups or here from local activist. I also have commercial free TV, as the commercials were driving me nuts! I’ve had to be creative and learn a lot on my own. Shit- it’s only been since I’ve started this blog that I am now opening up channels of learning from others. For years I was in the dark; literally.
If you have migraines or chronic pain, I encourage you to seek out others like you. Join a support group or create your own with a couple of people who can relate to what you are going through. Join with those who have similar struggles. It is important to share information because you never know what could help someone else cope, even if it did not work for you. Share your tips and tricks. Having a support group will help provide you will acceptance of your disease. You know, you are not alone and you will have people to call on when you need help. Ask yourself “who do I most desire support from?” And create that relationship. Asking for support is often the only thing you need to say..people naturally want to help (well, most people, but not all).
I would have to say that I was in isolation. One of the reasons I am so excited to write this blog is because it puts me in touch with the outside world. I feel like my story matters and that my life can be an experience that others can learn from. I have a great life and I am very fulfilled. My disease does not run me, I manage my disease with lifestyle solutions. (I wrote about lifestyle change and how it has worked for me, in my last blog post).
I am in the 1% of migraine sufferers with the worst type of migraines….and I am in control of my life. I am happy with all that I’ve been able to do, while being sick.
Celebrate your small steps forward…and sometimes you have to take 3 steps back. BUT, keep moving forward and discovering all you can about yourself. Be creative and think outside of the box. YOU are stronger than you think you are and YOU are in control.
Your life is what you make of it. Find joy in things you wouldn’t normally notice.
Do a pleasurable thing for yourself each day…enrich who you are. People who have a passion and engage in pleasure each day are less stressed and have happier, more content lives.
I learned this long ago and it has worked for me.
I hope today’s post was helpful in someway to you. As always, thank you for sharing this space with me.
I write with love and care for all those suffering from chronic pain.
Until next time,
-Sunshine. (my fondest nick name 🙂