If you experience migraines, then you understand that they feel like torture on earth. They can cause pounding pain, throwing up, and queasiness — much more than a mere headache. To exacerbate the situation, they lack a known origin or remedy.
While medication is one choice for migraine prevention and alleviation, there are measures you can take at home that might also be helpful. Some individuals who have migraines depend exclusively on home remedies and lifestyle modifications, while others use them as a supplement to medication. For certain individuals, reducing the use of medication can also entail avoiding medication overuse headaches, which can be triggered by regular and prolonged usage of pain relievers.
While there are numerous techniques for alleviating symptoms, an integral aspect of migraine treatment is identifying your triggers so that you can prevent future attacks. This often necessitates keeping a headache diary to pinpoint what appears to be causing your symptoms — though you may need assistance with that. “If an individual is experiencing persistent migraines, even after making dietary and lifestyle modifications and attempting to address the underlying issue, then it’s time to consult a healthcare professional,” states Josh Axe, D.C., D.N.M., C.N.S., co-founder of Ancient Nutrition. Your physician can assist you in determining whether potential nutrient deficiencies or allergens might be contributing factors and, in general, help you establish a treatment plan that is logical for you.
With that in mind, if you’re interested in attempting home remedies for migraine prevention and alleviation, here are some of the finest options.
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Healthy fats, FTW. “Research suggests that omega-3 supplements might aid in reducing the severity and frequency of migraine symptoms,” states Axe. The reason: Omega-3s help diminish inflammation, and individuals who experience migraines tend to have hyperactive neurons that can be triggered by inflammation.
You can consume a fish oil supplement, or if that repels you, ensure that you consume foods abundant in omega-3s such as salmon, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
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Those sporadic late-night scrolls on your phone might be causing more harm than you realize. “A deficiency in sleep contributes to increased inflammation and altered hormonal levels,” both of which are migraine triggers, elucidates Axe.
Adhere to obtaining seven to nine hours of slumber per night and attempt to maintain a sleep regimen, signifying you retire to bed and arise approximately at the identical time each day,” he counsels.
Considering the significance of sleep for preventing migraines, it probably won’t surprise you that magnesium — which some individuals take to enhance the quality of sleep — is another home remedy for alleviating migraines. “Magnesium is involved in the functioning of neurotransmitters and blood circulation, in addition to its ability to release pain-relieving hormones,” explains Axe. “It is frequently used to alleviate the pain associated with migraines and promote restful sleep, which is essential for maintaining equilibrium in the body,” he adds.
Consider taking a magnesium supplement or obtaining magnesium through foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, bananas, and whole grains.
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“Stress can provoke migraines and exacerbate the pain,” notes Axe. “Both physical and emotional stress can impact the flow of blood, contributing to the expansion and contraction of blood vessels that reach your head,” he explains. This can consequently lead to increased migraine pain.
Ideally, you would eliminate any major stressors from your life — but obviously, some sources of stress are unavoidable. A more practical approach: Develop some go-to strategies and lifestyle habits that help you manage your stress levels on a regular basis, such as a daily meditation practice. Several small-scale studies suggest that engaging in a form of meditation known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) might help decrease the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Yet another reason not to skip that exercise class you scheduled for today: Incorporating regular physical activity is one of the best methods to avoid chronic inflammation and, consequently, help prevent migraines, according to Axe.
Specifically, yoga may be an especially useful headache relief home remedy. In one study published in the journal Neurology, one group of individuals with persistent headaches took medication while another took medication and practiced yoga as a supplementary treatment. For three months, the participants recorded the frequency and intensity of their headaches, as well as how much their headaches disrupted their daily lives. Both groups showed improvement after three months, but the yoga group exhibited significantly greater improvement than the other group in terms of headache pain intensity and frequency.
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It might be time to finally join the aromatherapy oils trend. “Using some essential oils topically may aid in relieving headache pain,” remarks Axe. Give peppermint a try, as it “has energizing, pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties,” and lavender, which “actively relaxes muscle tension and reduces stress,” he suggests. A headache relief home remedy that also serves as a spa-like experience at home? A win-win situation.