By: Erin Stevenhaagen
Migraines, many people suffer; lots of people refer to them as a “headache”. We migraine warriors are generally bothered when we hear the word ‘migraine’ replaced with ‘headache’. I have suffered from chronic migraines for years now, most of my teenage and adult life. They started as a teenager for no pin pointed reason. Many people develop chronic migraines from a traumatic accident, or a brain growth. Those of us that have chronic migraines with no particular reason are almost in a worse position. With no evident reason as to why I suffer, it is harder to treat.
Five Years ago I was blessed to be referred to my pain management doctor, Dr. Jeff Matheson. He has single handedly helped me heal multiple health issues I have come across over the years. He always aims for the most natural treatment there is, and is always there to lend an ear when I’m brainstorming a potential “fix”. Through Dr. Matheson I receive weekly nerve blocker injections in my neck, shoulders, and back. These nerve blockers help to numb some of the pain I experience on a daily basis. I also get Botox every 90 days as well. All of this is just for maintenance. Because there is no one cause of my migraines, it is hard to just fix. Some people can have surgery, or just need time to heal the injury in which is causing the chronic pain.
I am heavily affected by hormonal, as well as weather changes. Either of those can cause me to be bed ridden for days, unable to drive, or move too far. Migraines and the chronic pain I experience in my shoulder can be absolutely debilitating. Luckily I am able to see Dr. Matheson in a pinch if I need too, and he is able to help with certain “last resort” fixes. I have tried about every medication on the market, and truthfully only the very strong pain killers make it tolerable on the bad days.
In order to get relief, and try and eliminate a migraine all together I definitely try multiple different tricks as each migraine is different, and can respond to different treatments. In some cases, pain killers are the one option, but I always supplement my pain management with the use of essential oils. I’m always diffusing peppermint oil in my house, and then I also absolutely love having peppermint applied topically. The cooling sensation is extremely soothing to tense, sore muscles and also allows my eyes to relax. Often times when I have a migraine I am squinting without even realizing it which adds to unnecessary tension. I always make sure to have my peppermint headache stick from terra20 close by. It’s like a chap stick for your temples, and it’s less than ten bucks! The chap stick texture helps the peppermint oil last longer. It’s very effective, and holds well in your purse or wallet.
I also use plenty of other essential oils like rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus and lavender and rub them on my temples, neck, and shoulder. It’s really about maintenance because I have more days of the week in pain that I do without.
Extreme heat, humidity, extreme bitter cold, or overcast weather cause bad migraines as well. It’s really unpredictable, and hard to manage. I also use eucalyptus or lavender bath bombs with mineral salts or Epsom salts to help relax.
Sometimes a migraine could be due to dehydration, or blood sugar being low, so staying hydrated is extremely important. I purchase water with higher pH levels in order to stay as hydrated as possible and I enjoy coconut water as it has potassium, and is more hydrating than regular water. You can always add a little lemon or berries to switch it up too.
Trying multiple methods for each migraine is very important simply because no two migraines are ever the same. I’ve recently started running a Himalayan salt lamp because it’s been said they’re effective for helping treat headaches and migraines.
I hope you've learned some new tips and tricks, and I really hope you can get some relief from whatever migraine or headache pain you may be experiencing this winter.
Have other natural remedies for migraine or headache relief? Share with us in the comments below!