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Natural Ways To Prevent Migraines

—  found in  Well-being  —

If you're struggling with migraines, I'm here to tell you there is hope! If you haven't had a chance to read my last post about the common triggers of migraines, I recommend doing so before or after reading this post. 

And as promised, I’m back this week to share some natural ways to prevent migraines that do not involve medication.

Naturals Ways To Prevent Migraines

Elimination diet

The best way to prevent migraine headaches due to a food sensitivity or histamine intolerance is to do an elimination-style diet. If you're wondering how to do so, following my recommendations in my book, Joyous Detox, is a great start! After a while, you can then reintroduce one offending food at a time to determine which foods are triggering your migraines.

You may want to use a migraine journal or food diary (you can download one right here) to keep track of all of the foods and drinks you have consumed before the onset of a migraine attack as well. You can also do a food sensitivity test which will identify all of your IgG sensitivities. If you don’t want to go through the process of doing an elimination diet, which can be an extensive, lengthy process – this is a good option for you. 

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

Colourful fruits and vegetables.

Eliminating pro-inflammatory foods like refined sugar and processed foods and focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet is essential in the prevention of migraines.

Key Foods To Include Are:

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Balance your hormones

Significant hormonal fluctuations can be a trigger for your migraines as well. It can be helpful to work with a practitioner who can run comprehensive hormonal testing (please get in touch and I can refer you to someone).

Other ways to address hormonal migraines include:

Light sensitivity

One primary symptom that often occurs for migraine sufferers is photophobia, which is an abnormal sensitivity to light.

Light sensitivity can be triggered by fluorescent lights, extended exposure to blue light from our screens (that describes me!), changes in light levels and even fluctuations in natural light.

Some ways to avoid light sensitivity are to wear sunglasses and hats when inside and wear blue light blocking glasses when looking at a screen. Laying down in a dark room can also provide some relief. 

Odour Sensitivity

perfume

The most commonly reported odours and scents that are triggering and should be avoided whenever possible include:

  • Perfume
  • Scented deodorants
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Exhaust fumes/gasoline
  • Chemical cleaners
  • Coffee
  • The smell of fried foods and onions 

Sound Sensitivity

Sound sensitivity can trigger an attack and increase the pain and discomfort of a migraine. Some ways to avoid triggering sounds include:

  • Avoiding places where you know sound may be an issue, e.g. a loud concert
  • Carrying earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to block out and muffle sounds in noisy areas
  • Use a white noise machine to block out harsher sounds when in your home or work environment

Acupressure 

Some studies suggest that the stimulation of different pressure points on the body can also help relieve migraine symptoms. All you have to do is give these points a gentle squeeze.

Pressure points on the body include:

  • Union valley – located in the webbing between your thumb and index finger
  • Drilling bamboo – on either side of your nose where your nose meets the ridge of your eyebrows (I personally LOVE this one and experience a lot of relief from it)
  • Third eye – the centre point between your eyebrows
  • On the wrist – the area we often associate with anti-nausea sea bands have also been shown to help relieve nausea associated with migraines

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture, a method from Traditional Chinese medicine, has also been studied as a form of pain relief for migraines. One review of over 22 studies concluded that in some cases, acupuncture was just as effective as conventional migraine medications for providing pain relief, which is pretty impressive! 

Drink more water!

Flavour-Infused_Water

Our brains are made up of almost 75% water! When we are dehydrated, we are at a much greater risk of developing a migraine as found in research. Easy ways to stay hydrated include:

  • Drinking more water (yes, it's obvious – but most people aren't drinking enough)
  • Carrying a water bottle with you
  • Drinking flavoured water by adding some sliced cucumbers or fresh mint
  • Eating more fluid-rich foods – watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, cantaloupe, and celery
  • Avoiding dehydrating drinks like caffeine and alcohol

Sleep

When it comes down to it, sleep is one of the most restorative practices you can do to relieve a migraine. Whenever I get bad headaches now, I avoid watching TV or looking at my phone and go to bed as early as possible. I know not everyone can take the time out of their day to lay down for a couple of hours, but if the option is available to you, sleep is one of the more efficient ways to eliminate a migraine.

In one study, 81% of the participants reported that going to sleep was the most effective strategy for eliminating their headaches. If you can, laying down with a cold compress on your head or neck can also help reduce inflammation and decrease the constriction of blood vessels and nerve contractions in the brain. Too little or too much sleep can also trigger a migraine attack.

Maintaining a strict sleep schedule is very important for prevention.

Have an orgasm

It’s safe to say that when you have a migraine, having sex is probably the last thing you want to be doing! Some research has shown that orgasms can reduce the pain of migraines and that having an orgasm on a regular basis may also be preventative. In one study, orgasm provided complete relief for 47% of the participants. Time to get busy!

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Although there is no one size fit’s all approach to treating migraines, I hope you have found this post helpful! If you stumbled upon this article before reading my other article “ Causes and Triggers of Migraines ” I highly recommend you give that one a read too.

Next week I will be back to share natural supplements for preventing and relieving migraines! We're almost there!

Hoping this helps you,

Joy xo

2 Comments
Lawna   •   December 25, 2019

Thanks Joy. Had migraines since childhood. Children have abdominal migraines rather than headaches. Many food triggers, weather related, hormonal cycles, as well as those you mentioned. Mine were double triggers so it took quite a while journaling food etc. to narrow them down. Fortunately old age brings some relief!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   December 26, 2019

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