Natural Migraine Relief: the Best Strategies
Many people are fed up with drugs, and are looking for more natural migraine relief. Why? There are probably a couple of good reasons.
First, people are coming to realize that many drugs for migraine come with powerful side effects. Some common painkillers even cause migraine attacks to come back, stronger, and more often (see rebound headache).
People are also learning the benefits of treatments that are more readily accepted by the body. Supplements based on whole foods, lifestyle changes, or less intrusive therapies. And the good news is that many of these strategies for natural migraine relief have good research behind them, and are showing great results.
Arguably the most powerful type of natural migraine relief is the lifestyle change. This is not to say people with migraine have poor lifestyles. Rather, migraine is a disease that you can control to a certain extent through various forms of eating and exercise. Many of these changes wouldn't help someone who did not have migraine.What about diet?
Yes, many people have tried a "migraine diet" with varying degrees of success. Usually the diet does two things - eliminates foods that are likely to trigger and attack, and adds in foods that fight attacks. Some of this is just healthy choices, but many foods are perfectly healthy for most people, but dangerous for a migraineur. Read more about the migraine diet approach here.The other major lifestyle change is exercise.
Not only may an active lifestyle cut down on the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks, it will make it easier to cope with the attacks when they come. Read more about exercise and headache here.
There are many different types of exercises and stretches that you can try, such as pilates
There are many, many drug-free treatments available for migraine. This type of natural migraine relief covers a wide range of treatments, including physiotherapy, massage, and chiropractic treatment. Here are some highlights:
- Massage: Obviously, there is a wide range of massage treatments. There's massage you can do yourself, massage you can get from a friend, or massage from a professional. Massage in parts of the body other than the head and neck is also helpful - such as foot or hand massage. Here's a headache massage video, using massage with aromatherapy, myofascial release, and Indian Head Massage (Champissage). Popular with our visitors is the book Massage Made Easy, which is packed with great tips.
- Biofeedback: Excellent for adults and children as well, biofeedback is often used for natural migraine relief. Read more on biofeedback for migraine.
- Relaxation therapy: There are various types of relaxation therapy available. It's been used especially for those who have less drug options available, such as children and women during pregnancy. Ask your doctor to refer you to someone who can teach you these techniques.
- Heat and Cold: Heat and cold are used in many different ways, depending on how it benefits you individually. Some people find it helps to put their hands in hot water during an attack. Others use a cold pack on the neck, or a hot pad on the abdomen. Read some tips here. Also, how to make your own microwave heat pad (cheap).
- Aromatherapy: A very popular treatment for natural migraine relief - tips and links here.
Herbs and Supplements
There are many herbs and supplements that have been used very successfully for natural migraine relief. Let's take a look at some of the more common ones:
- The Herbs: Feverfew is probably the most popular, and has the most research behind it. But there are many others, such as peppermint, passionflower, ginko, cayenne, willow, chamomile, valerian, and butterbur. Read a summary of herbs here. Ginger is also helpful to fight nausea.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Taking certain vitamin and mineral supplements has proven to bring natural migraine relief to many. One of the best researched and most helpful is magnesium. It can be taken as a preventative, but some hospitals give it intravenously during an attack. Find out how to take magnesium for migraine. Vitamin B, particularly B2 (riboflavan), has brought relief to migrianeurs as well. Vitamin E is gaining acceptance as another supplement that may be helpful.
- The rest: There are many more supplements that are popular for natural migraine relief. One is melatonin, which helps you sleep as well. Another is 5-HTP. Coenzyme Q10 is taken by many migraineurs as a daily supplement.
- Mixtures: There are mixtures of supplements that have been very successful in migraine prevention. You'll see many of the above ingredients included. One of the best researched is MigreLief. Another we have mentioned here is ForeverWell.
There are, of course, many other examples of natural migraine relief that we could have mentioned here. I have tried to include those which seem to have worked the best for the most people.
One word of caution, however. Even though natural migraine treatments tend to have less side effects than the medicine option, that doesn't mean that there are no dangers. Herbal treatments can interact with drugs you're already taking, or each other. You can take too many vitamins, and even get a serious headache as a result (vitamin A is an example).
It's always wise to check with your doctor first to make sure you're getting something that is safe for you, based on your medical history.
Also, make sure you're getting your treatment or supplement from a reliable source. The links on this page will give you information to get you started. Read labels, ask questions, and be cautious.
A combination of several of the strategies for natural migraine relief will probably bring you the most improvement. All the best!
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