Migraines, or intensely painful headaches localized in one area of the head, are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. They can also cause extreme sensitivity to sound and light. The pain is severe, can be completely debilitating, and can last anywhere from hours to days. Depending on the frequency and duration of migraines, some people take prescription medications. However, there are natural treatments for migraines that you can try as well. Here are 5 natural treatments you can try in order to treat migraines.
Visit a Chiropractor
A chiropractor stretches and manipulates the spine. Studies are limited, but some have shown that chiropractic treatment is good for treating migraines. In one study, a small portion of people reported a near cessation of migraine attacks, with 60% of their symptoms being reduced, whereas about half reported a significant reduction in the intensity of the pain. Although the mechanism by which chiropractic care reduces migraine frequency or level of pain is not well publicized, chiropractic care is known to reduce stress and many people cite stress as a factor in their migraines.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very small needles into specific points in the body, and is an ancient Chinese technique. Acupuncture may trigger the release of opioids, or pain-reducing chemicals, such as endorphins. It may also stimulate the immune system. It can be beneficial in treating headaches, including migraines, and the effects may be long lasting. Acupuncture has the potential to reduce chronic pain associated with headaches and the effects can last months at a time.
Aromatherapy or Essential Oils
In aromatherapy, essential oils are inhaled or applied to the skin in order to induce relaxation and alter pain perceptions. You can smell the oils in addition to massaging them gently into the temples in order to help treat a migraine. The essential oils most associated with headache and migraine treatments include lavender, ginger, peppermint, and basil oils. Peppermint oil can help control blood flow as well as open up the sinuses and make breathing easier, while basil helps to relax muscles.
Some foods are known to trigger headaches and migraines in certain individuals. These foods include chocolate, aged cheeses, red wine, and citrus fruits. However, other foods may also trigger migraines and in order to try to identify if certain foods are triggering your own migraines, you need to keep a detailed diary of your eating habits. Reducing dietary fats has been shown to significantly decrease migraine headaches. Dietary supplementation with melatonin, CoQ10, riboflavin, and magnesium may also help. Additionally, don't fast or skip meals as this can trigger a migraine.
Biofeedback uses electrodes, or small sensors, to measure muscle tension and skin temperature. These sensors are attached to the skin, and they can also measure brain waves and other vital signs. The goal of these measurements is to provide a person with feedback about their stress response. With biofeedback training, a person can learn stress-reduction skills and relaxation methods, and can learn to better manage a headache by being able to use relaxation techniques to influence the blood flow to their brain, which is a major component of a migraine attack. Biofeedback, when done consistently, reduces both the duration and frequency of headaches and is effective for chronic or recurring migraines. Migraines are very painful and can severely interfere with a person's life. However, before deciding you are in need of prescription medication, there are natural treatments you can try first.
These remedies include chiropractic care, acupuncture, aromatherapy, dietary changes, and biofeedback. If you are unwilling or unable to take prescription medication, or view it as a last resort, you can try any or all of these natural remedies in order to try to treat or prevent a migraine.