Natural help for migraines

I have had migraines since I was 12 years old.  I was reading a book which had received for Christmas a few days before.  By my side was a tin of chocolate which I was dipping into when I noticed a shadow on the page. This was followed by numbness in my right arm, zig zag vision and 30 minutes later a cracking headache. It was my first experience of migraine. Over the years I have discovered that I have various triggers which I try to avoid - chocolate, oranges, atmospheric changes (can't avoid this one), strobe lighting, going too long without food and glaring sunlight. Sometimes though they seem to happen for no reason.  I have also noticed that my migraines got much worse during hormonal upheavals such as puberty and menopause.  Over the years too I have tried various treatments which I now share with you.  

Acupuncture - this is the treatment I am currently receiving.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that illness is a blockage to the flow of qi, the life energy, or that qi is congested.  Qi flows along channels called meridians along which the acupuncture points are located.  It is not a 'quick fix' solution.  I have been having a monthly treatment for several months and the interval between migraines is lengthening.  The hope is that eventually they will disappear altogether.  I also receive a massage and Chinese herbs to balance the kidney meridian as part of my treatment.  

Feverfew capsules - I found feverfew very effective for a few months but then my body seem to 'get used' to it and it did not seem as effective. I had taken it so long also that when I stopped I felt 'off colour' for about a week.  I would therefore not recommend it to be taken for more than four months. The other effect I noticed with feverfew is that it has a sedative effect.  This apparently is also an effect of conventional medicine which is great if your migraine is related to stress. Always check with your doctor before taking - feverfew is not for you if you take anti-coagulants for instance.  Also do not take it if you are allergic to the camomile family of plants.  

Co-enzyme Q10 has been found to be effective for migraines at doses of 150mg.  You may be short of co-enzyme Q10 if you are on statins.  

Magnesium relaxes your muscles so if your migraine is exacerbated by tension in for instance your neck, eat foods that supply magnesium such as grains, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables and maybe try a supplement.  

I also believe that the herb butterbur is effective for migraine but I haven't tried this one so I cannot vouch for it. Always check with your doctor before taking.

B vitamins may also help if your migraines are attributable to stress.  

Other advice - eat at regular intervals.  Low blood sugar can bring on a migraine. Have a regular bedtime and waketime, yes even at weekends - changes in sleep routine can bring on migraines.  Take steps to reduce stress such as yoga, breathing techniques and meditation. I had a terrible time with migraines just before and after my mother died.  You will find lots of help to reduce stress on my 'sister' blog, Flexiladiesyoga.  When in bright sunlight wear large sun glasses!  Strobe lighting is often used in shows and themed attractions.  You are usually warned of its use so my advice is cover your eyes as soon as it starts!! I also find dabbing some lavender essential oil on to my finger and then into my temples helps.

Hope this helps you, but work closely with your doctor when self-treating.

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