One of the things which can rear its ugly head (or indeed get worse) during perimenopause is The Migraine. I have always had these myself and, despite taking a preventative, I was still having a bad one every month…yep, at THAT time…which I was prepared for and expected. Since I started winding down to the menopause I still get them every month but they last for four or five days at a stretch. Lovely! I have heard this is a very common symptom and happens to many women so I know I am not alone in this change.
If any of you are dealing with the same beast then here are a few ideas on comforting yourself.
Whether caused by tense muscles, hormones or both there is a lot to be gained by laying down in a dark room and listening to a guided meditation aimed at relaxation. Not only does this relax you it can also get your mind off the pain and help you have a nap to take the edge off.
Cajeput, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Marjoram and Rosemary are all good choices and what you choose will depend on whether you want to keep going or have a nap. I use a diffuser when possible or put a couple of drops of my chosen essential oil on a cotton pad to inhale. I also rub lavender oil on the back of my neck, my temples and across my forehead. Peppermint used in the same way can be soothing too but don’t get it near your eyes! Ideally a willing partner who is happy to massage the back of your neck/bottom of skull area with a little carrier oil/essential oil mix is always a bonus and much better than doing it yourself 😉
You can also use a homemade balm for pain and I have given a recipe for this in a previous post How To Make A Balm. I usually find applying this to the back of my neck, temples and across my forehead will do a lot to take the edge off as long as you don’t mind smelling of Camphor! If you are in the middle of a migraine then you probably won’t care as long as you get some relief 😉
Always do a skin test first as some oils can react negatively on sensitive skin.
* If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any medical problems (especially asthma or other respiratory problems) then check with your health provider first before using any essential oils. All recipes and ideas used at your own discretion and risk.
Amethyst is my go to for migraines and headaches. I hold a piece to the side of my head over the pain or to the back of my neck if caused by muscle tension. There are other crystals you can use such as Aventurine, Magnesite, Rose Quartz, Lapis Lazuli and more. Watermelon Tourmaline or Pietersite may also be of help as these can support hormone regulation.
Wheat/Lavender Heat Cushions And Ice Packs
Personally I like the comfort of a nice hot lavender scented cushion to blast away at that pain and block out the light. For some people keeping an ice pack in the freezer for such moments is what works for them.
You can learn to give yourself a form of Reiki if you choose. Check out my previous article on Reiki For Self Love. This can soothe and take the edge off; relaxing you and giving you comfort. Touch is one of the greatest forms of comfort there is for any human being in pain.
I find a foot massage works really well for me when my man is around to help out (any excuse, hey? *big grin*) or I am able to do it myself if the pain is moderate. Check out this article by Holly Tse CMP on Chinese Foot Reflexology for a guide to where to find the points which bring relief.
If you can, just go to bed. Simple and usually effective. I listen to a podcast or an audio book quietly playing to help me drop off and surround myself with sedative aromatherapy oils. An open window, if not too noisy outside, is also a good idea. Florence Nightingale was a clever woman.
Keep hydrated! Sometimes easing any sort of headache or migraine can be as simple as drinking more water. We get so busy we sometimes forget to drink several litres of water a day (I know I do sometimes!) and this can be all which is needed to wrestle that thumper to the ground and bring relief.
I hope these ideas will help any of you who are struggling with The Migraine Beast. If you find the frequency of your migraines (or indeed any other symptoms which impact on your quality of life) are becoming a real problem then I would encourage you to go to the doctor and ask for help. Too many women ‘put up and shut up’ during the perimenopause and menopause but there is no shame in asking for help when you need it. Nobody gives you a medal at the end if you have struggled on needlessly, girls 😉
If you have any ways of coping with migraines yourself then please do share them in the comments below – I am up for trying anything to take the edge off my own!