Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Migraines
- Acupuncture, the practice of inserting and maneuvering needles at specific pressure points in the body, has long been practiced as a way of treating various ailments. Although results vary a bit between migraine sufferers, it may work for you and might be worth a try. Be sure to receive treatment from a trustworthy acupuncturist and exercise good judgment when receiving any form of health care.
Take Herbal Supplements
- Although feverfew leaf will not do much to relieve the pain during a migraine, it can be useful in prevention. According to the National Migraine Association, studies show 70 percent of patients reported fewer and less painful migraines after taking supplements (see link in Resources). Feverfew leaf can also decrease nausea and vomiting, often annoying side-effects of migraines. If you are pregnant you should not take feverfew supplements.
Other supplements that have been found helpful in some sufferers (but not all) include riboflavin (also known as Vitamin B2), co-enzyme Q-12, oral magnesium sulfate supplements (there is some controversy over this supplement) and magnesium taken intravenously (particularly for those with a magnesium deficiency). Talk to you doctor to see if these options may work for you.
Hot and Cold
- Since migraines are related to the pattern of blood circulation in your head, many have found that regulating that circulation may be helpful. Try taking a hot bath, soaking your feet in hot water or placing a heated washcloth across the back of your neck, all while placing a cold pack (or frozen bag of peas) on your head to help constrict those vessels. Many migraine sufferers have found relief through this simple remedy.
Also, lying in a dark room with an ice pack on your neck may help prevent a migraine you feel coming on.
- Biofeedback is a form of alternative medicine sometimes referred to as "mind over matter medicine." In this treatment, a specialist hooks you up to specialized machines that are then used to help you train your mind to have control over certain body functions normally considered involuntary. Many migraine sufferers have found that using biofeedback to learn control over their muscle tension, related to stress (a common trigger of migraines), has drastically reduced the number of migraines they suffer from.
- Getting a good massage can be more than just a way to unwind and relax. Chronic migraine sufferers have found that getting massages can help to reduce the number and intensity of migraines they receive. Also, massages can help you to sleep better at night, which has also been found to reduce the number of migraines you may get.