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Natural Ways to Relieve Migraine Headaches

November 9, 2012
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           It’s estimated that only 1% of the population escapes having a headache throughout their entire life. About 90% of the population get at least one headache each year. And of that 16-17% of the population gets a migraine headache at some point in their lifetime. Migraines affect 30 million Americans with more than three times of them being women.  Because headaches are such a common condition its easy for people to confuse migraines and headaches.

            Migraines are often misdiagnosed as sinus headaches or tension headaches. Where as migraines are actually vascular headaches, which are usually associated with pain on one side of the head, pulsating or throbbing, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound, visual disturbances, auras, and can last up to 72 hours or longer. Migraines can be triggered by multiple things that occur throughout the day i.e. skipping a meal, change in your sleeping pattern, medications, bright lights, movies, TV, certain foods, loud noises, stress, and depression, etc.

            Typical migraine treatments include taking some sort of prescription medication to prevent or abort a migraine. However what if you don’t want to take drugs or medications?  For many people who experience migraines, it’s almost impossible to stop a migraine once it’s started. That’s why alternative and natural treatment methods for migraines are much more widely accepted. They are cheaper and usually harmless without the possibility of side effects. However because migraines are caused by a wide range of triggers, there are also a wide array of treatments. What works for one person, may not work for another, different treatments work for different people. That’s why there are many alternatives to medication when it comes to migraine relief, such as chiropractic adjustments, biofeedback, massage, relaxation techniques or diet change.

            Chiropractic care is one of the most popular forms of natural headache relief. Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal misalignments, which can cause headaches. This is also true for migraine headaches. Chiropractic treatment can stop a migraine from occurring and lessen the symptoms of migraine that has already started. Headache and migraine sufferers see great relief from chiropractic adjustments without the use of drugs or invasive medical techniques.


            Another alternative migraine headache treatment includes biofeedback. Biofeedback is a training technique designed to develop self-control of one’s autonomic or involuntary nervous system. Biofeedback teaches one to control heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and muscle relaxation. Muscle tension especially in the neck is just one of many causes of headaches and migraines. Biofeedback techniques are first learned through the use of equipment to measure the autonomic system output. One trains them self to control these systems to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, relax muscles, and control skin temperature. Once in control of these techniques biofeedback equipment is no longer needed and one can produce the desired effect at any time. For someone who experiences headaches or migraines, biofeedback techniques can help to reduce muscle tension, which can be causing the symptoms.      

Muscle tension is often due to stress, which can cause migraine headaches. Stress is the underlying cause so to ease your tension headaches one must eliminate stress and relieve the tension. Relaxation techniques such as meditation yoga and massage therapy are great alternatives to reduce tension and relieve migraine headaches. Other natural ways of reducing tension include taking a arm bath, lying down in a darkened room, putting ice or a cold compress on the back of the neck at the base of the skull. These all are invaluable ways to reduce tension headaches without the use of medication.

If your migraines aren’t caused by spinal problems, muscle tension or stress then your diet maybe to blame. Certain foods can bring on migraines such as salt, cheese, alcohol, nuts, beans, caffeine, chocolate, onions and some food additives. The easiest way to determine if your migraines are caused by food sensitivities is through an elimination diet. Once you have determined which foods are triggering your headaches you can avoid them and prevent future migraines from occurring.

Natural migraine and headache treatments are relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of prescription medications. Unfortunately modern medicine hasn’t found any other forms of migraine or headache treatment than the use of medication, which can have side effects and sometimes be ultimately ineffective. Alternative treatments are noninvasive safe a most often more effective at relieving and reducing symptoms associated with headaches and migraines. If you are tired of taking drugs, turn to a more natural way to reduce your migraine headaches.