Natural Migraine Treatments
If you’re suffering from chronic headaches and migraines, then you’re not alone. More than 29.5 million Americans have regular migraines, and some headaches can be so debilitating that they can leave their victims groaning in pain. However, there is hope for migraine sufferers, and a wide variety of natural migraine treatments are available at little to no cost to the consumer.
What Causes Migraines
Although migraine triggers vary from person to person, these painful headaches start when blood vessels in the head or neck contract and then dilate. When blood vessels contract, migraine sufferers may see spots or have difficulty concentrating, and when the blood vessels dilate, the real pain starts.
Rather than returning to their normal state after contraction, blood vessels dilate much wider than normal, causing pain and swelling, which in turn triggers the release of certain chemicals in the brain which leads to muscle tension. The key to relieving migraine symptoms is to help these blood vessels relax again and return to their normal state, and there are a wide variety of natural migraine treatments that can help ease the pain.
Natural Migraine Treatments
Biofeedback: The person becomes aware of their own body and can prevent the migraine before the pain escalates. By noticing a change in finger temperature or the slight twinge near the eyes, a person can take a break from a stressful situation and relax rather than allowing the tension to build.
Nutritional Treatments: Your diet could be affecting how frequently you experience migraines, as certain foods contain chemicals that can cause blood vessels to contract or dilate quickly. Foods such as chocolate, cheese, pineapples (citrus fruits), processed meats, caffeine, and avocados contain components that are thought to trigger migraines. Consult your doctor to see if you have sensitivity to any of these foods. Well-balanced meals can help keep reduce your risk for a migraine.
Aromatherapy: The olfactory organ in the nose is connected to certain parts of the brain responsible for emotions and hormones. Certain essential oils may trigger feelings of peace and relaxation, which can help prevent migraines. Many people recommend using peppermint, lavender, and majoram.
Controlling Blood Sugar: Processed and refined sugars often result in an immediate spike in glucose levels followed by a crash. This sudden drop in blood sugar has been known to trigger migraines and tension headaches. Additionally, going for 3 or 4 hours without food can have the same effect, causing blood sugar to drop and triggering pain. As suggested above, it extremely important to eat a well-balanced diet full of natural fruits and vegetables in order to keep your body and mind performing at its peak.
Tips for Relieving Migraines
• Rest in a dark room
• Put something cold on the back of your neck
• Alternate between hot and cold cloths where the pain is
• Stay away from bright or flashing lights
• Drink water or juice (tomato juice is especially nutritious)
• Gently massage the fleshy area of the head, or any other tense muscles of the neck
• Cancel stressful activities