Migraines really are a colossal pain, and a source of incredible frustration to sufferers, because to the rest of the world, they are simply bad headaches! To anyone who has experienced a migraine, it’s pretty clear that a migraine is a lot more severe than a headache; it’s akin to the difference between stubbing your toe and having your foot cut off. Although migraines can affect both men and women, human anatomy seems to be just as discriminatory to the fairer sex, with most migraine sufferers being women. Individuals who suffer from frequent migraine attacks are often prescribed medications to prevent such attacks. While migraine medications available today are quite effective, they do pose a risk of certain side effects like weight gain and sedation, which is why many prefer to avoid them.
If you’d prefer to use natural methods of migraine prevention, it can be hard to sift through all of those dubious claims about herbs and supplements that will magically prevent and cure migraines. We did some research to find home remedies for migraines that have actually been proven to work. Some of the things we learned were pretty surprising, but this is what really works to prevent migraines.
Natural Remedies For Migraine Prevention
1. Relaxation Techniques
Controlling stress levels is critical to managing and preventing migraines, as stress is known to be one of the biggest triggers for migraine attacks. Studies over the years have shown that stress management techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help to lower stress levels, thereby reducing the incidence of migraines. Meditative practices were found to increase pain threshold, reduce dependence on medications, reduce frequency of attacks, and lower severity of migraine symptoms.
Researchers have been studying acupuncture for decades, trying to identify it’s mechanism of action and its efficacy as a preventive therapy and treatment for various conditions, including migraines. Although we still do not fully understand why acupuncture works, several clinical trials and studies have proven that acupuncture is effective at migraine prevention and poses fewer risks than migraine prevention medications. Some researchers recommend integration of acupuncture into conventional migraine therapy protocols. Acupuncture is believed to help with migraine relief because it facilitates the release of endorphins and other hormones that block pain.
Contrary to popular belief, yoga isn’t just great at staying in shape and getting super flexible; it also helps beat migraines. While it may be easy to write off a study appearing in the International Journal of Yoga, their methodology is sound and the findings are valid. They found that frequency and intensity of migraines can be significantly reduced with yoga therapy. If you need more convincing, papers published in Headache Journal and the Journal of Physical Therapy Science also support the use of yoga for migraine prevention and relief. Yoga works by reducing stress levels, increasing pain endurance, and reducing the severity of symptoms themselves.
Although the idea of exercising may not hold much appeal to you, it’s no surprise that exercise can help to prevent or reduce the occurrence of migraines; after all, exercise even helps during periods for pain relief. Researchers investigating the link between physical activity and migraines found that activity levels were considerably lower in individuals suffering from recurring migraines. Experts recommend mild to moderate intensity exercise on a regular basis, but sudden or sporadic high intensity exercising is best avoided as this can even trigger migraines.
Although studies on diets for migraine prevention or food triggers have been inadequate and often inconclusive, self-reported data suggests that certain foods and beverages should be avoided to prevent migraine attacks. According to the American Migraine Foundation, alcohol is the most commonly reported trigger for migraines, while others also report aspartame, caffeine, and foods containing MSG as being common triggers. Fasting is also said to increase the risk of migraines and can even increase their severity. The best thing you can do is to identify potential dietary triggers by maintaining a food diary and tracking your migraines. This can help establish a food connection, if any.
Whether it helps or not, if you’re looking for one more reason to fornicate, you’ve got it. A study published in the journal Cephalalgia demonstrated that sexual activity can actually provide quick relief from migraines and other severe headaches in many patients. Experts believe that this health benefit of sex can be attributed to the sudden release of endorphins, helping reduce migraine pain. Be warned that in women with sexual dysfunction, sex can be counterproductive as it becomes a potential trigger for migraines!
If you’ve been rooting for the legalization of marijuana in India, here’s one more reason to join the crusade. According to medical journals and historians, cannabis has long been used as a treatment for migraines and was in fact the standard recommendation during the late 1800s and first half of the 20th century. New research is actually supporting these recommendations, with several studies showing that smoking or eating marijuana can decrease the frequency of migraine attacks, as well as their severity. We’d advise caution, as cannabis is still classified as an illegal drug in India.
While not all of these natural methods of migraine prevention will yield the same results for everyone, all of them have been proven to be fairly effective. Try them out and find what works best for you.
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