Migraine Self Help

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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.

Meditation

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.

Aromatherapy*

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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.

Crystals

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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

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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.

Reiki

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.

Reflexology

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.

Sleep

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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.

Water

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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!

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8 thoughts on “Migraine Self Help”

    1. Thank you, Karen.

      We do indeed! I find I am often forced to stop doing anything much when a migraine strikes. I used to feel guilty on the impact on everyone else when I was younger but now it is what it is. I still think of things I could be doing (!) but these days when The Migraine Beast comes along it is time to slow down and take a little me time.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. One of the things I picked up along my way is Tiger Balm. One of our neighbors through most of my growing up was from Singapore. She found my mom one day fighting a crippling headache that had come from painting the ceilings (craned neck plus paint fumes…OW). She went home and came back with a tiny jar of white stuff she used two small dabs of to massage my mom’s temples. Within five minutes, the headache was gone. The stuff was Tiger Balm, and I’ve kept a jar each of red and white in the house all the time since. Says their website:

    The active ingredients [in White] are camphor, menthol, cajeput [or cajuput] oil, mint oil and clove oil. Tiger Balm Red also contains cassia oil.

    Our neighbor used White for chest congestion and headache, and Red for everything else. I use Red for most uses; my skin is sensitive, and in spite of Red having an extra ingredient, White feels stronger on the skin to me. Red also smells really good!

    I also learned about a pressure point that’s an excellent headache reliever. It works very close to 100% for other kinds of headaches, and at a lower rate for migraines, but still well enough to be worth trying.

    Make an L with the thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand; stretch the fingers out so the webbing is taut, but not so much that it hurts. With the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, gently pinch the webbing. Now relax the L slightly and begin moving the pinch in toward your palm. You’ll feel a place where the meat of your hand definitely begins to firm up and thicken; just before that spot, the pad of your thumb should fit as if in a cradle. When you find it, pinch very firmly, bearing in toward the center of the hand and down. It should feel a bit unpleasant or achy (like tension being released in deep massage), but if it hurts sharply or your hand twitches, you’re doing it way too hard. Hold for 30 seconds, and when you let go, your headache should be greatly reduced or gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant! Thanks, Maia! I will be adding all those to my list of comforts.

      Yes I have heard of Tiger Balm, never had a pot though. I use a similar mix from your description in my own homemade balm. Will go in search of Tiger Balm itself if it has that effect though, it will be very welcome! I use camphor a lot for pain as it is the business, good stuff. Pressure point is duly noted and will be tried at the first opportunity although hopefully, please, not too soon from now 😉

      Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed comment, much appreciated.

      Like

      1. No problem. 🙂 You’ll find Tiger Balm looks really expensive for the amount in the jar, but you also use an amount that (especially with the White) is almost invisible on your fingertip. One of those teeny jars usually lasts me a year or more, and I use it fairly often.

        Liked by 1 person

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