A migraine is a disabling disease. It’s powerful and painful. World Health organization places a migraine in the top 10 most disabling diseases.
WHAT IS A MIGRAINE?
A migraine is not just a headache. It’s a complex event that causes a variety of disabling symptoms. At the beginning of a migraine attack, specific regions of the brain begin to switch on and people may experience neck pain, nausea, light sensitivity, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.
As the attack proceeds, waves of abnormal activity-travel across the surface of the brain and may cause Numbness or difficulty in speaking or seeing. When a headache begins pain centers deep in the brain are switched on, causing severe headache and even vomiting.
As it resolves, regions of the brain remain abnormally activated and may cause hangover of severe fatigue and mood changes
WHAT ARE TRIGGER FACTORS?
Triggers are specific factors that increase the risk of having a migraine attack. Triggers do not cause a migraine as such but are known to activate the processes in the brain that lead to the disabling symptoms.
Skipping meals, alcohol & caffeine.
Napping in the middle of the day, oversleeping or too little sleep
Extreme weather, too hot or too cold
Bright or flashy lights, strong odors, perfumes, pollution, sitting in front of a computer or laptop for long hours without break.
In women, use of birth control pills without break, before the monthly menstrual cycle, menopause or hormone replacement therapy.
Any big change in personal or professional life, Job changes, relocating, death, Marriage
Head injuries, overexertion, overdoing the exercise.
It is very important to establish a daily routine and avoid the triggers to prevent a migraine from progressing into a severe more disabling attack and it helps in the long-term migraine prevention.
MANAGING MIGRAINE WITHOUT MEDICATION
When long hours of work, project deadlines, late-night shifts, traffic jams, unhealthy easily available junk food becomes a daily routine, splitting headaches have become even more common. Popping a painkiller seems easy and convenient, But it is not really problem-solving. Our lifestyle and avoiding the trigger points can help tremendously.
- Do not skip meals, eat regular balanced meals. A slight drop in blood sugar can precipitate a debilitating headache.
- Maintain a regular sleep pattern – At least 8 hours of sleep.
- Be active: Exercise regularly at least 30 mins three times a week. Being active helps relieve stress, improves sleep & even reduces the headache attacks.
- Try to reduce stress by avoiding conflicts & resolving disputes.
- Completely avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate) in any food item. Avoid chocolates, cheese, excess caffeine, or alcohol.
- Always drink enough water throughout the day. Keep yourself well-hydrated
OVERCOMING MIGRAINES – FEW NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR MIGRAINE THAT ACTUALLY WORK:
Ginger reduces inflammation and gives relief from pain instantly. It even cures nausea, which is a common ailment in migraines. Use it in tea or with lemon juice. A ginger paste can be applied on the forehead for fast relief.
Menthol present in peppermint helps to regulate blood flow and gives relief. Gentle massage with peppermint oil soothes the pain
Though it has a beautiful fragrance, it is also a very good remedy for chronic headaches. Steam inhalation with equal parts of lavender oil and water is an effective way of curing migraines the natural way. You can also massage with lavender oil to soothe the pain. It should be noted that lavender oil should never be consumed orally.
Cinnamon opens up the sinuses, & works magically with headaches. It can be taken as a tea or it could be made into a thick paste and applied on the forehead to relax.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:
2 teaspoons to be taken along with honey and lemon juice first thing in the morning. It can be taken twice or thrice in a day. Apple cider vinegar can be inhaled when mixed with an equal amount of water and boiled in a covered pan. It soothes the nerves and eases the pain.
Neck exercises, basic stretching exercises, moving the neck up & down, left and right, towards the shoulder. This releases the tension in and around the neck and shoulders as well as improves the blood flow.
Yoga or meditation relaxes you, keeps you focused, and makes you feel good by releasing the feel-good hormones. Keeps the stress level down. Take deep breaths, go on for walks, exhale and inhale with full energy so that oxygen reaches the brain well.
A HEALTHY, COLORFUL PLATE FOR EVERY MEAL:
Include all colors on your plate, rich in vitamins and minerals like Green veggies like broccoli, spinach. Orange Veggies like the carrots. Cooked yellow veggies like squash, corn, Non-citrus fruits like cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes. And drink lots of plain water. A well-hydrated body washes away the toxins from our body. Keeps us active and healthy.
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