How I’m Trying to Kick my Migraines

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This post is much different than most that I share. If you’re just here for the food, skip this one.  We’ll be back to the table on Monday!

The biggest goal I have this year is to get rid of my migraines and headaches.  I know.  That may not really be possible.  But as I thought about it, I do have control over a few things that could make a big difference in how I feel.

I almost didn’t share this post.  These things may not work for me.  Or for anyone.  The reason I decided to publish this is because maybe it will help someone.  People who deal with migraines will try all kinds of things to get rid of them.  But we also get tired of trying sometimes.  Right now I’m at the place where I’m ready to make a renewed effort.  If you’re at that place too, maybe some of these things will help.

This will be an ongoing effort for me, but here are the things I’m trying:

1.  Going to bed on time.

One thing that triggers migraines for me is being tired.  But I can make sure I get in bed by 10pm every night.  Or nearly every night.

2.  Yoga – particularly one set of poses for healthy neck and jaw.

I’ve been using Stay at Home Yoga since October.  I’m really loving this program!

Stay at Home Yoga

I like that it doesn’t require any special equipment.  And that I can do it in my living room.

There are full, multi-class series (my favorite series is Yoga for Desk Jockeys), mini yoga breaks that only take a couple of minutes and 3 short poses that focus on a specific need.

I’m committed to do the 3 poses for healthy neck and jaw everyday for at least 90 days.  I’ve logged 16 days so far (I started in December).  These poses stretch the exact muscles the massage therapist worked on last winter in an effort to treat my migraines.  As soon as I tried the poses, I knew I’d stumbled on something good.

Those poses only take about 5 minutes, so it’s easy to fit in.  Then I’ve been adding one of the other classes too.

3.  Essential Oils

After I had the flu/cold thing in November, with its weeklong headache, I broke down and bought Young Living Essential Oils.

I bought it mostly for the Thieves oil, which supports your immune system. (We diffused this when my daughter came down with the flu and no one else got sick.  You can read more about that experience here.)

I’ve been using peppermint oil and Stress Away to help ward off migraines.  As soon as I feel my shoulders, neck and jaw get tight (early warning symptom of a migraine for me) I rub Stress Away all over the area.  Then I apply peppermint to my temples, behind my ears and base of my skull.

I do think this has curbed several migraines.  And it also provides some relief when I do have one.

Young Living also has an oil called M-Grain that I’ll be trying soon.

4.  Taking vitamins daily.

I bought a big jar of gummy vitamins at Costco.  May not help, but it won’t hurt.

5. Magnesium oil

I’ve read that many people are low in magnesium and that can cause migraines (among other things).  One way to get magnesium is to spray magnesium oil on the feet each night before bed.  It’s absorbed best through the skin, which works for me because I hate swallowing huge pills.

You can easily make your own magnesium oil by boiling 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup magnesium flakes.  Put that in a spray bottle and you’re all set.  I added drop of Lavender oil because it’s good for sleep.

6.  No sweets until after dinner.

This is a personal rule I came up with to curb my sweet tooth a bit.  I think there’s connection between too much sugar (especially chocolate sweets) and my migraines.   Instead of going cold turkey like I tried last year, I’m taking a “small is big” approach.  I’m too likely to throw in the towel if I make it too hard on myself.  Knowing I can indulge a little late in the day keeps me on track.

How it’s going:

So far, so good.  I’ve taken  a lot less Treximet than I usually do.  Time will tell if these changes will reduce my migraines and headaches.  But so far, I do think I’m moving in the right direction.

This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! I deal with more migraines than I’d like as well. Often starting in my jaw, as well. Some of what you’ve decide to try, I’ve committed to already. But, I’m going to try all of your ideas right along with you. I need to reduce stress, as well, a huge trigger for me (along with lack of sleep and missed meals).

  2. I suffer from chronic migraines, getting about 12-15 per month. I sure would like to know if any of your stuff truly works and can help me when I’m in my worst pain ever.
    Thanks

  3. Deena Caunt says:

    I have persistent migraines that last for weeks sometimes. Feverfew taken daily can help, but it tastes vile! Some people benefit from vitamin b2, but I haven’t tried it. I hope you can get rid of yours, its a horrible complaint.

    • I used to take feverfew capsules every day. They worked well for a long time, but they do taste like grass. I may think about adding those back in sometime.

  4. I don’t know if this applies to you, but I had migraines for several years during peri-menopause. I, too, tried everything. I truly understand wanting to try anything that will help. The good news is I am now migraine free now that I have gone through menopause.

  5. Alison Jefferies says:

    I suffer with this problem too. I use Migrelief vitamins. I like Migrelief-M. I have a friend who took 400 mg of riboflavin (B2) and her migraines went away. Migrelief has the riboflavin and magnesium. I think it helps me.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been in the migraine club for about twenty years…I have different causes and triggers, and have gone through all the crap that comes with this battle. Have you tired the vitamin d and calcium protocols? I recommend googling that lol…also, I have been using YL oils for about 20 years as well, and my grandma gave me M-grain a few months ago…I love it a LOT!!! It is worth trying…it works best for my tension induced headaches, but I use it all the time…best of luck…I’m glad you posted this, I am always looking for new tricks to et through the day with out using drugs.

  7. Lisa Marz says:

    Hi! Also try putting a drop of peppermint
    Oil against the roof of your mouth.

    I ordered mag flakes a few days ago. Would
    Love to see your thoughts on how that is working.

    I do take mag Ciltrate pills daily and have seen improvements from that. You may want to try that as well. They absorb best with vitamin d3, which helps the immune system as well. Good luck and keep us posted!

  8. i take a magnesium supplement at night that is an effervescent powder. It helps to relax blood vessels and muscles. I haven’t had a migraine since I started taking it. It is called Calm and I get it at the Vitamin Shoppe.

  9. Butterbur is an herbal supplement that my neurologist added to my migraine regiment. It has been recommended by the American neurologist whatever board….. You can get it at gnc or I ordered from Amazon….. I’ve heard combining that with magnesium makes them work better….

  10. Hi, we certainly do need to live & sleep a ‘balanced lifestyle’ everything in moderation.
    On the ‘up side’ I know several people, who after taking health chocolate daily & regularly, suffer no more migraines. Makes a person think twice, about what we are putting into our body.
    Cheers

  11. My migraines are genetic, so I’m not sure how much anything beyond strong pain meds will help, but I’m definitely going to give some of these things a try.

  12. It would be prudent to look into food sensitivities as I find this is a huge trigger in my patients that have migraines or a menagerie of other signs and symptoms that seem hereditary or just hard to pinpoint the cause(s). The biggest offenders are wheat (glutens-a protein in wheat, which is put in the majority of packaged foods, sauces, dressings, some medications as binders, etc. or cross-contamination is also high in “gluten-free” foods), soy, dairy, corn, food coloring and others. The easiest way to discover what you’re reacting to is do a food elimination diet and see how your symptoms resolve then add foods back in slowly, one new one a week and see if there are changes in reoccurrence of symptoms. That’s how you know what to leave out of your diet. There may be multiple triggers to consider so be patient. If you really want to solve your mystery then you will be shocked at how this will improve many aspects of your health. When you do the elimination diet you just eat a hypoallergenic type of a diet like hormone free, no antibiotics and range free chicken and organic vegetables and watch many of your everyday aches and pains, sinus congestion, inflammatory issues and chronic conditions go away. Then add back in your one favorite food for the next week and see how you feel. You can google a good food elimination program to find your sensitivities and the time frames that are generally used or a good functional medicine specialist to assist you. If you are patient and really are serious about getting to the root of the problem, making healthy changes in your life and health this can be very rewarding for you. If you would rather not be bothered, then the pharmaceutical medication industry would love to help you out…for the rest of your life.
    There is also a huge deficiency in the populations mineral levels, as magnesium is definitely one, and this is extremely helpful as it is needed for multiple chemical and enzymatic reactions in the body that have to do with relieving pain, muscle relaxation, heart contraction and detoxification to name just a few. Hope you find the answers you are seeking to truly enjoy better health and happiness.

    • Thanks for sharing that info. I did Whole 30 for several weeks last year. I didn’t really notice anything changes during that time, but I had a headache the whole time I did it. Maybe I’ll give it another try sometime.

  13. Have you met the green smoothie girl? http://greensmoothiegirl.com/2009/09/02/help-for-migraines/
    What she teaches Has worked wonders for my family & me!

  14. Orange gatorade when you first feel it coming on – stops it dead

  15. Have you read anything about pseudotumor cerebri as a cause of some migraines? Johns Hopkins has some good information on their site. So sorry you are struggling with this.

  16. It’s not a tumor, but the symptoms are tumor like. I don’t know about your case- just thought I would pass it along. We had a next door neighbor that had almost daily migraines for years and that is what they diagnosed her with last year. She had all kinds of tests and meds without relief.

    • I’m glad she found a cause. Were they able to do anything for her? It’s unreal how many people deal with migraines and all of the causes of them too.

  17. Hi. While I do not suffer from migraines, I do suffer from seizures. I do have second hand experience with migraines because my mother suffered from both migraines and seizures for years and years. She went from neurologist to neurologist and medication to medication with no relief. Once she changed many lifestyle and food choices, however, she finally began to find relief of both seizures and migraines. The magnesium is a GREAT idea. Do this regularly. I had seizures as a child, but then grew out of them. A few years ago they came back and I began taking medicine again, but experienced a few breakthrough seizures. However, once I included magnesium, they appear to have gone away for good again. My advice to you if you aren’t already doing this is to avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate) at all cost. You will find this in all fried fast food chicken, Campbell’s cream of soups, and seasoning packets just to name a few. MSG is a neurotoxin, but is commonly added to foods because it provides a umami flavor that humans enjoy. The second suggestion I would make is to avoid aspartame… no diet drinks, ever. If you find yourself skeptical of this advice avoid these substances for two weeks and then bring them back into your diet and see how you react. There are more than just these two substances that wreak havoc on our bodies, but these are the two that seemed to impact my mother’s and my head/brain issues the most. Good luck and I hope you find relief!

  18. I suffered from severe headaches for over 25 years until I figured out that eating gluten caused the headaches. Within an hour of eating gluten or even taking a supplement that had gluten, I would have a debilitating headache which is so hard for my young children to understand. I am so thankful that a few practitioners helped me put the puzzle together. Now if I don’t have control over preparing my food, I have found an enzyme tablet that helps me digest the gluten without ill effects.

  19. I know several people who have found this information to be a life-saver, and help them become migraine-free: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/common-health-problems/headaches/

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