Oh, how I love the fall. Sweater weather, cozy blankets, steaming cups or bowls of delicious concoctions, the sound of dry leaves skittering down the street with the howling wind, HALLOWEEN.
What I do not love about fall, particularly fall in Oregon, is the fluctuation in the barometric pressure. Which is a fancy way of saying, the rapidly changing weather patterns induce killer migraines. Which is a fancy way of saying, my head haz an ouchie.
Now, I have a friend whose migraines are the stab-your-brains-with-all-the-knives, shut-down-any-and-all-functioning, Vulcan-nerve-pinch doozers. The type that require a squadron of medical professionals prescribing a rainbow of pills.
Chances are, prayers be to all the gods, you don’t suffer in that extreme manner. If your headaches are more like mine, super painful, but infrequent and typically resistant to OTC meds then these ideas might be for you.
Of course, I am not a doctor, although in my own mind occasionally I aspire to be the first female Doctor(Who?), and have nada zero zilch medical experience. Trusting your diagnosis and/or medical care to me would be generally thought of as unwise. Your psychiatric diagnosis on the other hand…well, those letters on my license affirm that ability.
- Acupuncture – Age old is how old this treatment is. Like from HISTORY, people. It’s finally becoming more mainstream and has been proven with SCIENCE(probably) to reduce and relieve pain. It’s very effective for migraines if you can get in for a session while you have the headache, but it’s also good for reducing episodes in chronic sufferers if you go on a regular basis. Which, in the past, has been pretty cost-prohibitive. There is an organization called People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture(POCA) that is changing that deterrent and hoping to bring treatment to those that need it on a sliding scale basis. I go to a community clinic and I love the homey comfort of it as much as the treatment. You take a seat in a room full of comfy recliners and the practitioners move around the room inserting and removing needles. There are cozy blankets to be laid gently over you and soothing music and white noise machines around the building to heighten your relaxation. And the treatments range from $15-35. You choose what you pay. So far, the participating centers are only in the US and Canada, but hopefully soon they’ll take over the world. It will certainly be a more relaxed place if they do.
- Massage – Massage promotes relaxation(I mean, DUH) and reduces muscle tension. Have a massage if you can afford it because hello, that ish feels good, yo. But if you can’t afford to run to Juan Julio for a rubdown every time you get a headache, you can do a lot with self-massage. This is my most-used technique as it’s free and always accessible. There are a ton of articles and YouTube vids on the web showing different techniques. Try some and see what, if any, work for you. I also recommend Googling the anatomy of the head and neck muscles.
- Reflexology – This is another age old treatment, the cousin of acupuncture and massage. It’s also another method I use on the regular because I am into cheap and easy. That’s what she said. Holla to the hus. Reflexology can be performed on the hands, the ears or the feet. I do the feet because that’s what I know. I tend to work on the whole foot because BENEFITS, but the head and neck are located on the big toe and on down the foot. Dr. Google can give you a map, a certified practitioner can give you the full on treatment.
- Chiropractic adjustment – Chiropractic adjustment can give you immediate relief from a migraine and can be used as a preventative measure with regular appointments. If you’re in the Beaverton area, Dr. AJ Scherer is my doctor and my doctor is the best doctor. Well, not better than The Doctor, but as close as a doctor with only one heart can get. See him if you want to learn to take your pain management into your own hands. He was Sciatica Be Gone for me. If you’re not, ask around and make sure to talk to any potential doctors about the kind of theory they practice. We often get intimidated by doctors because they know something we know little about, but it’s really important for healing purposes to get the treatment that best matches your needs. Ask questions. Tell them I told you to do it.
- Intravenous magnesium – Ok, this one is actually a drug of sorts( I invoke the ish). But also a nutrient so HEALTH. And best saved for the Vulcan nerve pinch headaches. Especially since you’ll probably have to go to the ER to get an injection. I have never had one of these injections for a migraine. I was having them from my naturopath for depression at one time though. They seemed to help, but they became expensive and inconvenient and caused several side effects including skin breakouts and hrmm, well, poop related difficulties. Which I would totes suffer gladly(temporarily) for quick migraine relief. I’ll leave the tough decisions in your capable hands.
So, now you’ve got my tricks on how to get rid of a migraine without drugs. Do you have any for me? I feel a change in pressure coming on.