7 Alternative Therapies Can Be Used To Treat Migraine
Migraine is a kind of headache which is commonly described as pulsing sensation, usually on the one side of the head. It can last for hours to days and it can be so severe that it may disturb daily activities. There are several kinds of migraine depending on the symptoms. A person may also experience nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine may be very sensitive to light, sound and even malodorous.
No studies could find what exactly starts migraine in humans but there can be many reasons for migraine like
- Stress, anxiety, depression
- Excessive consumption/Withdrawal of caffeine
- Dieting/Missing meal, irregular meal times
- Tiredness, insufficient sleep
- Excessive inhale of carbon dioxide in-spite of oxygen (when AC is not working in a stuffy room)
- Noise pollution, temperature change, bright lights, strong smells
- Hormonal changes
- Consumption of alcohol, smoking
- Certain medication like sleeping pills, hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
When we go to a doctor they may suggest a number of treatments which are available for migraine like
- Pain killers like Aspirin with caffeine, naproxen and acetaminophen
- CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) Inhibitors/Drugs
- Devices like Cefaly (Electrical stimulation device)
- Mild Anesthesia
But whenever we want to treat any of our diseases, we need to check out the reason behind that disease. We have already discussed the reasons that may be causing migraine. Once we come to know the reason for migraine, it becomes a little easy to cure our disease. Now we are going to discuss some other alternative therapies than medication which are quite effective in reducing migraine symptoms. We can choose and try any of the following treatment as per our symptoms. We need to check out the reason which is causing migraine and what kind of treatment can help us in controlling symptoms of migraine.
Yoga is helpful in reducing the duration, frequency and intensity of migraines. Yoga uses breathing exercise called pranayama for migraines. It helps on inhaling more oxygen in different ways like breathing in from one nostril and breathing out from the other and repeating it numerous times. You may also try long but slow Breath in and Breath out exercise through the nose. These breathing exercises are really very helpful in recovering from migraines.
Also, yoga suggests body posture exercises like legs up the wall (sarvang asana and sheersh asana), savasana, bridge pose and some other postures which can be helpful in controlling symptoms of migraines. But these yoga body posture exercises should be conducted in the presence of an expert. Daily 20-30 minutes of such breathing exercises and 5-10 minutes of body posture exercises can reduce the intensity of migraine. Even yoga claims that daily and disciplined practice of pranayama (breathing exercise) can cure migraine completely.
#2. Sweet Almond Oil
In India sweet almond oil is used in many ways for the human body, internally and externally. Taking a half teaspoon of sweet almond oil with hot milk on a daily bases can reduce migraine symptoms.
There is one more way to inhale almond oil if we can put 2-3 drops of almond oil in each nostril with the help of dropper while lying on the bed with your head upside down so that oil can move towards internal brain nerves.
Almonds are full of nutrients like fiber, protein, fat, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium etc. So adding up magnesium oxide supplements like almond helps prevent almost every kind of migraines.
Along with consumption almond oil is also very helpful in migraines if it is used for head and sole massage. Daily massage of the head and sole with sweet almond oil helps in improvement of sleep quality which further helps in the prevention of migraine.
#3. Clarified Butter/Butter Oil of Cow Milk
Like Almond oil, if we put 2-3 drops of melted clarified butter prepared from cow milk in the nostril that may also help in curing migraine.
Sitting silent and closed eyes, chanting some spiritual prayers/listening to soft music for few minutes on a daily bases can help us relieving stress and anxiety, which further may help us in reducing migraine symptoms.
Meditation can also be considered as mindfulness which is a psychological process, where a person brings his awareness to the present. The person tries to stop thinking guilty about the past and worrying about the future. This mindfulness or meditation practice might help in
- Lowering stress
- Lowering the use of medication
- Improving pain tolerance
- Reducing the frequency and intensity of symptoms
- Improving sleep quality
- Promoting positive emotions
In this therapy or treatment, physical pressure is applied with the help of thumbs, fingers and hands to the particular acupuncture points to clear the blockage in main nerves/meridians to relieve pain and other symptoms. This therapy is based on a theory/concept of life energy flows through meridians in the body.
Acupressure is found helpful in relieving migraine-associated nausea and/or vomiting, chronic headaches and other conditions.
Some acupuncture points which are considered as regions to treat migraines and other headaches are
On feet, it is a point in the valley between the big and second toe. Applying pressure on this point may help in relieving headache.
Similar to feet on hands it is a point located on the web between thumb and index figure.
On the nose, it is a point located on both sides of the nostril.
Just below the eyebrows, a point located in the inner corner of the eyes.
A point located just between eyebrows where the nose meets the forehead.
#6. Peppermint Oil
Studies say that the menthol which is an active ingredient present in peppermint oil may help in reducing the intensity of migraine. So applying peppermint oil on the forehead may decrease pain intensity within a few minutes.
Some herbs like ginger, onion and black pepper are also very helpful in reducing migraine symptoms. It is advisable that juices of ginger and onion together with sprinkled pepper may ease nausea and/or vomiting caused by migraines.
Ginger powder also helps in reducing the intensity and duration of migraine with no side effects.
These alternative therapies have almost no side effects. Try the above remedies to find relief along with medication and advice of your doctor.