How to Cure Migraines Naturally - 4 Tips
Cleanse Your System - How I Beat a Lifetime of Migraines in 4 Steps.
It sounds like a crazy claim. I know. After years - a lifetime - of migraine pain,
I cured myself of migraines.
Since the age of 12 I experienced the horrible pain of migraine headaches. And not the once in awhile aura type quick migraines. I’m talking the 3 day long, nauseating pain migraines. I’m talking the migraines that wouldn’t go away unless I took the adult prescription drugs. Of course we tried the Ibuprofen, the Naproxen, the Tylenol. So much so that I ended up with current rebound headaches. Bring on the Imitrex.
I remember missing meals, school, birthday parties; I was prisoner to my pain.
I remember crying and crying to my mom while she tried everything in her toolbox. Darkness, cold compresses, pills. I was somewhat lucky that she too was a migraine sufferer, and knew the level of pain I was experiencing.
As I got older it got worse. Everything was a trigger. EVERYTHING. Not enough food, too much food, the wrong food, alcohol, fatigue, my period, weather changes, scents. In a show of support my workplace implemented a strict scent free rule. Lord help me if I was stuck in a grocery line with someone wearing perfume or spray deodorant.
I was suffering from migraines 3 to 5 days a week.
I saw doctors and neurologists, trying different preventative medications. More pills. More side effects (to this day my fingers and toes are regularly cold to the point of numbness - a known side effect of sumatriptan). I even saw a naturopath who gave me a tincture that he claimed included tiny amounts of all the things I reacted to, that could allow me to build up immunity to them. WOW. That stuff might as well have had a label on it saying “Migraine in a Bottle”.
I finally found relief through taking Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant that is effective in preventing migraines for some, though they’re not 100% sure why.
So great. 1 year, no migraines. Just on anti-depressants, and experiencing zero sex drive, an inability to cry, and I was hospitalized twice for chest pains and dizziness.
Oh and also when my spouse and I started talking about children I discovered it causes birth defects so…. Ya. No. Off the drugs I came.
And then we got pregnant.
And I just remember vomiting. Not from morning sickness, but from migraine pain. I felt completely helpless. There was no western medicine I was comfortable taking. And I was afraid of a holistic approach after the experience with the Naturopath. But, at my wits’ end, I am so glad I took the advice given by a friend.
The first step to freeing myself from migraines for good:
I saw an Acupuncturist.
I have no understanding of how acupuncture works, but this woman saved my life that day. And many days throughout my pregnancy and beyond.
She said that many migraine sufferers have stagnated liver Qi (pronounced ‘chi’).
Literally translated as Life Force or Life Energy, Qi is our air, our breath, our steam. It is what enables life to exist within us. And when your Qi doesn't flow smoothly, you feel discomfort.
In the early stages, you may hardly notice your symptoms, or experience them just as mild, passing irritations at the waywardness of life.
However, if symptoms continue, signs of stress intensify, often manifesting as tension headaches, migraine headaches and sore neck muscles. The longer the stress continues the more likely a chronic issue will emerge.
So, using acupuncture needles, and this amazing process called cupping (woah. Get some.) she opened up my Qi flow I guess. Whatever it was, it helped.
She also introduced me to step two:
The Power of Chlorophyll
Now known as the new preventative medicine in my home, good old chlorophyll quickly became a go to. When most of us hear chlorophyll, we think “this is what makes plants green!” But chlorophyll does so much more. Chlorophyll contains high levels of vitamins A, C, E, and K. It also contains folic acid, iron, calcium, and protein. Additionally, it’s a significant source of magnesium, which is extremely alkalizing, and delivers oxygen to your tissues and cells.
Chlorophyll helps bring oxygen to the brain.
The issue with many types of headaches or migraines is that there is a lack of oxygen flow. Therefore, by consuming more chlorophyll, this can actually help PREVENT headaches, dizziness, and migraines. Taking chlorophyll on the regular greatly reduced the number of migraines I was experiencing. The triggers were all but gone. All that remained were the monthly cycle related migraines, and food triggers.
So on I went to step three:
Coming back to the Qi, stagnation happens when we are not free flowing. When stressors in our lives slow our flow. Once my Qi was a-flowin', I had to find a way to keep it moving. And found it in the beauty of sitting in silence.
Stepping back from my lifelong tendency to think think think until my brain physically hurts, I took the time, and the baby steps, to learn how to meditate. I find this especially helpful during the premenstrual phase of my monthly cycle. In removing myself from the constant inner and external dialogue, I am gifted with a level of calm and flow that I had never before experienced.
This step was a huge eye opener for me. We need not seek external solutions all the time. Meditation allowed me to let go of toxic mental chatter, moving me into the present moment, and allowing space for me to breathe deeply and release tension. There have been days that I have felt the slight twinge of a migraine coming on, and I have successfully avoided it with meditation and self massage.
And last but certainly not least, Step 4:
Kitchen Purge and Detox.
In one foul swoop I removed every food item that had ingredients I didn’t recognize from my cupboards. No more monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), sodium caseinate. No more aspartame or artificial sweeteners of any kind. No more sulphites. No more nitrites. Real, clean foods only.
And the effect is absolutely profound. Beyond the benefit of not having migraines, I immediately started to experience increased energy, immunity, and overall sense of well-being.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates
What amazes me about this is that it by no means says that I’m a vegetarian or that I don't eat unhealthy foods. I enjoy meat and baked goods and salt as much as the next guy. But my meat is hormone free, my baked goods are homemade and preservative free, and I’m officially migraine free!
Now the thing about adopting daily actions like meditation and diet changes, is that it’s not always easy.
I had a whole bunch of bad habits that fed my migraines. But even as I discovered them to be the root cause, it was still hard to break the cycle.
What saved me from myself, was The Habits of the Real You. A group of women also ‘over’ their self sabotaging habits. A group of women also looking to solidify healthy changes in their lives. Without the accountability of the group, I would’ve continued to backslide. I can’t believe how many years of freedom from pain I lost because of my poor habits. Now I’ve learned simple habits that keep me well fed, well rested, well hydrated, and, well, just feeling awesome all the time. There are multiple members of this group who have experienced the same - freedom from migraines! It’s like a new life.
So try the steps above. And if it’s not working, or you’re not finding flow, contact me. What have you got to lose, other than the pain?