Migraine Relief Natural Options
Migraine pain can be so intense that the faintest light appears blinding, small sounds are intensified and smells are unbearable to the point of causing vomiting.
Can gentle, holistic healing methods for migraine relief really control a disease that affects almost 30 million Americans and costs their employers more than 20 billion dollars annually in lost worker productivity?
Biofeedback A Proven Therapy For Migraine Relief
According to the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, “Numerous controlled, clinical, comparative, and long-term follow-up studies [including a German study in 2007] have proven beyond any doubt that biofeedback can reduce and cure tension for migraine headaches among adults and children.”
Biofeedback utilizes sensors placed on the body that teaches a patient to monitor bodily functions like muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure. As the patient watches the feedback from the sensors on a monitor they learn how to control their body’s responses to pain.
Migraine Relief Partners With Natural Holistic Treatments
The premise of acupuncture holds that energy, or chi, circulates along specific meridian points on the body; hair-thin needles are inserted along meridian lines to balance and restore energy.
Acupuncture affect the central nervous system, increases circulation and increases endorphins — all of which can act as a balm for migraine sufferers.
Typical puncture site for migraines is the area between the thumb and forefinger, and the insides of the ankles.
This ancient Ayurvedic technique calms the nervous system to prevent and relieve migraines. The treatment, which takes place with the client face-up on a massage table, consists of a continuous stream of warm sesame oil poured over the forehead and down the scalp and induces a state of deep relaxation.
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One of the main ingredients in this herb, petasin, is said to reduce inflammation and thereby prevents the swelling that leads to migraines. A 2005 German study reported that 77 percent of patients reported migrain relief and reduction in migraine frequency while taking butterbur during the four-month trial.
Check with your practitioner for the proper dosage, but don’t use butterbur if you’re pregnant or nursing.
According to the National Headache Foundation (NHF), near 20 percent of migraine sufferers can consistently identify a food trigger. MSG, found in fast foods and snack foods, is often cited as a culprit in migraine attacks. Chocolate, red wine and aged cheeses are other common triggers. “These foods may cause chemical changes in the brain that activate the migraine attack process.
In a 2008 issue of Herbal Gram, the journal of the American Botanical Council, it was reported that the use of feverfew leads to a “significant migraine relief and reduction in frequency and severity of attacks as well as decrease of nausea and vomiting.” Researchers think feverfew helps because it blocks serotonin, which causes abnormal blood vessel dilation during a migraine attack.
As with butterbur, avoid feverfew if you’re pregnant or nursing.
In 2008, the journal Magnesium Research reported on a study with migraine patients without aura; researchers discovered that when using magnesium fewer attacks occurred and the pain was less severe. There was also an increase in blood flow to certain parts of the brain in these patients. The Daily Reference Intake for magnesium, set by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, is between 310-420 milligrams, depending on age and gender.
Natural Magnesium is found in foods like leafy greens vegetables, whole grains, nuts and halibut.
Coenzyme Q10 has been touted as an extremely effective migraine relief aid. A 2005 article in the journal American Family Physician reported that during a trial of this supplement, 61.3 percent of the patients achieved at least a 50 percent reduction in frequency of migraine attacks by the end of the four months, with a 150mg dosage of CoQ10.
One of the worst aspects of migraines is the hopelessness that often accompanies the disease, particularly when one has suffered for decades and taken scores of medications, many of which have severe side effects.
Alternative remedies for migraine relief gives the sufferer options, prevention, relief, hope, comfort and freedom from migraine pain. It’s always recommended to consult with a qualified naturopathic or complementary healthcare practitioner before beginning treatment.