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How to Combat Migraines Naturally

Migraines can be debilitating.
Migraines can be debilitating.
Shane Adams

Migraine headaches are painful headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sound/light sensitivity. Some individuals receive a warning signal, or aura — such as flashing lights, spots, zigzag lines or temporary loss of vision — before a migraine fully develops. Few viable and valid options exist to manage migraines in Western medicine, but don’t lose hope, natural remedies can provide relief.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, women are three times more likely to experience migraines than men. While there is no known cure for migraines, you can help reduce their frequency, intensity and duration with a few practical behavior modifications.

Warnings:

· The author is not providing medical advice. This article is intended for education purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or condition.

· A proper diagnosis by a qualified health care provider is critical to rule out other conditions that may mimic migraines.

· Never quit taking medication or discontinue prescribed treatment without first consulting a qualified health care practitioner.

· Always consult a qualified professional before taking any dietary supplements to reduce the risk of drug interactions and avoid contraindications.

Seek out a trained Acupressurist.
Seek out a trained Acupressurist. Wikimedia

Seek out a trained Acupressurist.

Acupressure is a system of health based on restoring the flow of energy, or Qi, in the body by applying pressure to specific points on the body called acupressure points. One advantage of acupressure is that many practitioners are willing to teach you how to apply the techniques at home. This affords you the advantage of using the pressure points on yourself as soon as you recognize the symptoms.

Avoid food additives that initiate migraines.
Avoid food additives that initiate migraines. Steve Snodgrass

Avoid food additives that initiate migraines.

Some food preservatives are also associated with an increased risk of migraine headaches, including: monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrate, and aspartame.

Restrict foods that may cause or exacerbate migraines.
Restrict foods that may cause or exacerbate migraines. Wikimedia

Restrict foods that may cause or exacerbate migraines.

Eating better is an essential part of your migraine management plan, particularly avoiding foods that are known to trigger migraines. Foods associated with triggering migraines include: chocolate, alcohol, aged cheeses, dairy products, and excessive caffeine.

Take feverfew daily as a preventive.
Take feverfew daily as a preventive. Wikimedia

Take feverfew daily as a preventive.

Feverfew is often used as a treatment and preventive remedy for migraines in Europe, and some research suggests it is useful for certain groups of migraine sufferers'. Many migraine sufferers' report decreased frequency and/or intensity of migraine headaches when taking feverfew. Feverfew is available in whole form or standardized for parthenolide, the active chemical responsible for inhibiting the release of blood vessel dilating substances and reducing inflammation.

Get more magnesium in your diet.
Get more magnesium in your diet. Wikimedia

Get more magnesium in your diet.

Because magnesium deficiencies appear to be correlated with migraines, you should consume magnesium rich foods such as leafy greens, fresh seafood, nuts, whole grains, and soybeans frequently. You may also choose to take a dietary supplement to ensure adequate levels of this vital mineral. Adults should take 400 to 500 mg daily.

Take a homeopathic remedy known to be effective for migraines.
Take a homeopathic remedy known to be effective for migraines. Boiron

Take a homeopathic remedy known to be effective for migraines.

The most common remedies used are Belladonna, Bryonia, Gelsenium, and Iris. Each remedy should be chosen based on your individual symptoms and the remedy characteristics that match those symptoms best. Because choosing the right homeopathic remedy can be daunting, you may choose to take a combination remedy that contains a blend of common migraine remedies.

Massage Lavender and/or peppermint oil directly on your temples, across your forehead and on the back of your neck.
Massage Lavender and/or peppermint oil directly on your temples, across your forehead and on the back of your neck. Wikimedia

Massage Lavender and/or peppermint oil directly on your temples, across your forehead and on the back of your neck.

Stress can influence the frequency and intensity of migraines, and lavender is a stress-busting essential oil. Moreover, both lavender and peppermint provides pain relief, and are commonly used for their analgesic effects. Dilute a drop of each oil in a carrier oil before applying to avoid adverse reactions. If your migraine occurs when you are congested, eucalyptus oil may be beneficial.

Consider a natural pain reliever.
Consider a natural pain reliever. Wikimedia

Consider a natural pain reliever.

Salicin, a chemical similar to aspirin, is derived from white willow bark. This herb is a natural pain reliever, with fewer side effects than its drug counterparts. If you are sensitive or allergic to salicylate you should not use white willow bark.