What Causes Migraines And How Can Migraines Be Cured Naturally?
“You’re giving me a migraine!” is not just a rude way of asking someone to sing more quietly; it’s simply not true. While loud singing can definitely be annoying, it isn’t likely to give you a migraine. People tend to use the word ‘headache’ and ‘migraine’ interchangeably, but they’re actually very different.
What Is A Migraine?
The term ‘migraine’ is often used loosely to describe a regular or more intense form of a headache. But knowing the difference between a bad headache and an actual migraine is crucial, because it will influence the type of treatment you will need to receive.
For most of you who have experienced headaches, you’ll know what it feels like: uncomfortable pressure and ache in your head, usually on both sides. There are various factors that can trigger headaches, most notably stress and anxiety. A headache can cause mild, moderate, or severe discomfort.
By contrast, a migraine is a throbbing pain, usually in one side of the head. It is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Light and/or sound sensitivity
- See flashing lights/spots
- Temple pain
- Pain behind one eye or ear, or
- Temporary vision loss
which can vary between each person. There are two common kinds of migraine: migraine with aura (symptoms before the onset of a migraine, like visual disturbances – seeing zig-zag lines, flashing lights or having blank patches in your vision; stiffness in different parts of the body; or difficulty thinking), or migraine without aura, which is more common.
What Can Cause Migraines?
While it’s not proven what actually causes migraines, they are believed to be genetic. Other factors like gender, age and hormonal changes in women can also affect the likelihood of developing a migraine. It is believed that migraines may be caused by imbalances in brain chemicals like serotonin (see this recent study on it), the chemical that carries signals between the nerves.
People who regularly suffer from migraines can also identify triggers that can bring on a migraine, such as:
- Alcohol, particularly red wine
- Aged cheese
- Salty, processed or fatty foods, or food additives like MSG
- Changes in sleep patterns; getting too little or too much sleep
- Stress, tension, or excitement
- Sensory overload – bright lights, strong smells, or loud noises
- Fasting or irregular eating habits
- Physical exertion.
Ear Piercing For Migraine Relief Explained
Many people are now trying a piercing in their ear, called a daith piercing. A small ring that is pierced through the cartilage above your ear canal. The idea behind it is that it works as a permanent acupuncture by stimulating certain pressure points in the ear to relieve migraine symptoms.
There is no scientific evidence to prove that daith piercing can cure or help with migraines. When people who have tried it were asked whether or not they found relief after piercing, the responses were divided. Some said they saw relief, some said they saw no change, and still others said their migraines became worse. Basically, it depends on each person.
Doctors are hesitant to recommend daith piercing for migraines. This is due to lack of medical proof for it being a cure for migraines, and because they can cause unpleasant or dangerous side effects, like infection or allergic reactions. Many medical professionals agree that the risks outweigh the benefits of the procedure. If you suffer from migraines, speak to your doctor if you are considering daith piercing. There may be another alternative to help you, without the negative side effects.
Natural Migraine Relief Explained
There may not be a cure for migraines, but there are plenty of natural healing alternatives to help ease symptoms or prevent a migraine’s onset.
By knowing the things that trigger your migraines, you can choose the best natural relief option for your needs, including:
- Getting more magnesium
- Using feverfew (a plant that is said to help with migraine symptoms)
- Applying ice packs to the back of your neck, or
- Getting a weekly massage,
Pressure Points For Migraine Relief Explained
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese remedy, works by stimulating pressure points in your body, which in turn causes the body to react and fight off the “pain”. Acupressure is another remedy that you can even try at home, which works similarly to acupuncture. It involves applying strong, penetrating pressure for a full minute each to certain points on your body, such as:
- The Third Eye Point – where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead, right between your eyebrows
- Wind Pool – the back of your neck, halfway between your ear and spine, on both sides of your neck; on either side of the “bump”.
- Hairline Curve, Valley Lead, Celestial Hub, Floating White, Head Portal Yin – all these are located around the ear, and need to be pressed at the same time. Starting from the top of where your ear begins, cup your hand around your ear, keeping your fingers one finger width away from your ear. Your last finger should be on par with almost the halfway point of your ear. Another good point is right on your temple, which is found on your face; near your ear.
- The point right on top of the crease between your thumb and forefinger, when they are pressed together, where the muscle is protruding. This point should not be pressed if you are pregnant.
Essential Oil For Migraine Relief Explained
You probably already know that essential oils have amazing benefits for your body. But did you know that they can also help with migraine relief? Migraines are commonly triggered by stress and anxiety. Adding a few drops of essential oil like Lavender or Peppermint Oil to a hot bath can relax your body and ease tension that may trigger a migraine.
Lavender is especially known to balance your serotonin levels, which in turn eases migraine symptoms, and peppermint oil helps your blood flow more easily. You can also inhale the oils, or rub a small amount on your temples and wrists. Sweet basil oil is another option to help your mind relax.
What To Do For Migraine Relief If All Else Fails….
You’ve tried all the home remedies out there; you know all the medications better than Google does….and nothing seems to be helping; you’re still suffering from these intense headaches.
If your migraines are really interfering with your life, you may need to try something more meaningful.
- Surgery – while it’s still relatively new, the majority of people who underwent surgery which targeted their trigger sites found at least a 50% decrease in frequency and severity of migraines. Some found that their migraines completely went away, and others saw no change. The side effects of the surgery are not yet well known.
- Neurostimulation – this refers to ‘shocking’ specific nerve regions with electricity to reduce pain. This is usually used as a very last resort, since there is not a lot known about this treatment.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to discuss it with your doctor or neurologist, so you are aware of the possible risks or side effects involved with treatment.
You might not be able to stop being a “migraine person”, but if you live a healthy lifestyle, you can greatly reduce your risk of suffering through one. Eating healthy foods, staying away from smoking, keeping hydrated, and getting the right amount of sleep for your body can help prevent the onset of many a migraine.
If your symptoms continue, speak to a medical professional about further options so you can make an informed decision. Good luck!