Migraine headaches are becoming common among people nowadays. The whole cycle of the headache lasts from a few hours to a few days and can be very discomforting. Some of the remedies to relieve the pain are:
Any light source can be triggering during a migraine headache. Looking at a light source feels very piercing to a person who is experiencing a migraine. According to scientists, when the light falls on the cells of the optic nerve(on the eyes), the migraine attacks get triggered. The light source can be anything, eg. Sunlight or light from digital devices. Making your room darker for 20-30 minutes provides relief to the eyes and helps to soothe the painful sensation.
Sound is another trigger for people with migraines. Any sound source which is a bit louder causes a throbbing sensation. Sounds from the television, mobiles, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, etc. may trigger your migraine headache. Turn off any electrical devices that make noise. Additionally, when living with people at home, request them to make as little sound as possible to help soothe the headache.
Essential oils used in a diffuser are an excellent choice to relieve migraines naturally. Using calming scents like Lavender, Peppermint, Chamomile, Ylang-ylang, Frankincense, Patchouli helps in calming down the nervous system and aids to bring calmness to the mind.
Massage Pressure Points
Acupressure or simply massaging the pressure points is an ancient technique that has been used to cure various ailments in the body. Originating in China, this technique states that specific points in the body are connected to major organs, and massaging these points helps to reduce pain in the area.
The common massage points for relieving headaches are the point between the eyebrows, the upper points of the nose, the tip of the neck, the starting points of the shoulders, and the space between the thumb and the index finger.
Meditation is a major stress reducer. Stress is a very common trigger for migraine headaches. Meditation helps clear out thoughts and when done in combination with mindful breathing, helps in relaxation. Meditation makes one aware of the present situation and helps to let go of unnecessary thoughts. Studies have shown that meditation increases certain hormones like Dopamine(influences mood), Melatonin(the sleep hormone), and Serotonin(stabilizes the mood and feelings of wellbeing). Simultaneously, it decreases Cortisol and Norepinephrine(responsible for the reflex action).
Mindful meditation for as little as 15 mins will calm down the nerves and help you relax from stressful thoughts.
Dehydration can be a cause of major headaches. Having enough water is required for the proper functioning of the organs and overall health. Studies have shown that people who drank more water than their daily requirement had fewer headaches and felt a significant reduction in the present ones.
To make drinking water less boring, make flavored water by infusing cucumber, lemon, ginger, mint, or any other ingredient of your choice and keep sipping it throughout the day.
Check For Triggering Foods and Indigestion
Certain food items and ingredients have been shown to trigger migraines in people. Foods like fast foods, dairy, alcohol, fermented foods, and foods containing MSGs can cause migraine headaches. Avoiding these food items during a headache is a smart choice.
Indigestion is another common factor that can lead to migraine headaches. Studies have shown that people who experience reflux and indigestion are prone to get migraine headaches. Medicines that relieve indigestion can be taken to treat these ailments.
Vitamin B deficiency has been suspected of triggering migraines. Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, breaks down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. But vitamin B2 can only be stored in small quantities in our bodies. The deficiency of this small amount can make people susceptible to migraines.
Consuming foods rich in Vitamin B2 like eggs, fish, avocados, etc. can reduce this deficiency.
Exercise helps to relieve stress which is a major trigger for migraines. Exercising releases Endorphin which is a natural painkiller. You don’t have to go to the gym and do heavy exercises. Doing some light ones in the convenience of your room can help reduce the pain.
Use Hot or Cold Compress
Heat and cold, these two different temperatures can work together to relieve migraine headaches. The heat helps to increase blood flow and relax tense muscles. Cold helps to numb the pain area and reduces the sensation.
Use heat packs on the nape of your neck and a cold pack on your forehead at the same time and you will feel the effect instantly.
Don’t Chew Food
People with migraines know the feeling of the throbbing sensation experienced when chewing food. Since the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull) is closer to the ear, chewing can trigger pain. Having liquid foods instead of solids can help in not increasing the pain.
Caffeine is a common ingredient in most painkillers. But what if you can get that caffeine boost without popping pills? Yes, your favorite cup of coffee can provide you that instant relief from the migraine headache.
Drink Ginger Tea
While drinking ginger tea is not going to directly help with the headache, it is a remedy for headache-related ailments like nausea, indigestion, and an upset stomach. The chemical compounds found in ginger called gingerols and shogaols have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
It is preferable to have ginger tea without dairy to not alleviate any stomach-related issues.
Try Falling Asleep
This is more like a precautionary step to prevent having migraine attacks in the future. Getting a well-rested, full night’s worth of sleep is very essential for the overall functioning of the body.
Stay away from digital screens
Exposure to digital screens for a prolonged period of time can trigger migraines. The light coming from the screens is a common trigger. Stop using your mobile phones, laptops, tablets, or television when experiencing a headache.
Medication should be used as a last resort if all the above-mentioned methods fail to provide relief to the headache. A doctor’s consultation is a must before having any medication for migraines.
Some over-the-counter medicines include- ibuprofen, aspirin+acetaminophen+caffeine.
Remember, if the headache still persists, consult a doctor.