(NaturalHealth365) Migraine headaches can be severely debilitating, and those of us who frequently suffer from them can end up with a terribly diminished quality of life. In this article we’re going to take a look at six effective steps you can take to prevent migraines or at least catch them when they strike so as to minimize the pain and discomfort often associated with this condition.
Prevention is always the best medicine
Here are some preventative measures you can incorporate to reduce the likelihood of a migraine and headaches:
1. Check your diet: is it free of headache triggers?
Around one-tenth of people who suffer from migraine do so as a result of their food choices. Try logging your food intake for a few days and highlight potential offenders such as dairy, wheat, and refined sugars. Although this seems rather ‘basic’ – you’ll be surprised what you discover – once you start keeping track of what you’re eating.
2. Improve your sleep situation
Many times, all it takes is a concerted effort to improve your sleeping habits to reduce the incidence of a migraine. Getting in a routine of sleeping and waking at roughly the same time each day – even at weekends – can help to regulate your hormonal levels, leading to a great reduction of headaches.
Experiment with removing all electronic devices from your bedroom such as, T.V.’s and mobile devices; keep the bedroom as dark as possible and look into “grounding” sheets for your bed to get you ‘connected’ to the earth.
3. Improve your circulation
Paying extra attention to your circulatory health can help to reduce migraine attacks and can even help to relieve symptoms when one does strike. Using ginger (in fresh vegetable juices) and cayenne pepper in your food (or drink) – can have a very positive effect on your circulation.
And, of course, don’t underestimate the health benefits of a 20-minute walk (at low intensity) to promote good blood flow and the ‘relaxation response’ within the body. Finally, try contrasting the temperature of your shower water. Alternative 1-2 minutes of hot water with 30-60 seconds of cold and be sure to pay attention to your extremities.
When I get a migraine – what can I do?
Sometimes all the prevention in the world won’t be enough to stop the onset of a migraine or headache, so here are a few tips for making the experience less painful and hopefully stop your headache dead in its tracks.
4. Natural pain relievers can be as simple as herbal remedies such as, chamomile and peppermint tea – which can work wonders when it comes to helping you to relax and relieving some of the tension of a headache.
You might also like to consider using a curcumin – in supplement or powder form. Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric which has become increasingly popular due to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Being available in pill format makes it very convenient to take in place of a harsher chemical pain killer such as aspirin – which can be damaging to the liver.
5. Cool off by using an ice pack or cold compress on the affected region can be a highly effective way of helping to relieve pain – temporarily. You can also place your hands in ice cold water for a few minutes while repeatedly clenching and opening your fists for a similar effect. Obviously, once the pain subsides – it would be a good idea to get some much needed rest. (back to #2)
6. Relax! Sometimes the most effective remedy is to simply take a step back from your daily ‘grind’ and let go. Don’t allow the daily pressures of work and family life get the best of you. Yes, this comes down to mindset, and many times, that can make all the difference in the world.
If you feel a migraine (or headache) rearing its ugly head – put yourself into a hot bath; lay down in a dark, quiet room for a while or practice some simple breathing techniques. Settling down and relaxing your mind will in turn relax your body, resulting in the release of natural mood-enhancing and pain-relieving hormones such as serotonin and endorphins.
In conclusion, a change in your lifestyle is perhaps the most significant factor to consider when it comes to headache relief. Try to change your diet by removing sugary drinks, fast food, and possible allergens while also participating in regular exercise. Over time, you will be able to identify your own personal do’s and don’t’s – in terms of what reduces your symptoms and what causes them to flare up.
Consistency and thoroughness are crucial, and by gradually applying these preventative measures and migraine-relieving techniques, you should be able to vastly improve your quality of life, free from pain and discomfort.
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