5 Ways to Get Migraine Relief without Drugs – Quick!

Back in the day, when I lived with the weekly beast of migraine headaches gnawing at my skull or looming nearby, I experimented with a wide variety of ways to get migraine relief without drugs.  When I felt one coming on, I’d frantically start going through my arsenal of tricks, and usually ended up succeeding one way or another in keeping it at bay or dissipating it entirely.  I refused to take pharmaceutical pain or migraine meds – because I understood that my migraines were actually caused by pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics, that threw off my gut flora balance.  I’m not sure that my strength to stay away from pain meds would have persisted had I not finally discovered the plant-based solution to migraine headaches that I now call The SimplyWell Migraine Relief Protocol.

Some of the ways I’ve succeeded in getting rid of migraines were not only not replicable at all, but highly esoteric (visualizing sacred geometry – specifically, the torus symbol below).  Other attempts were successful but extremely hard to pull off while in so much pain (such as giving myself a craniosacral therapy treatment, or making love with a splitting headache, eventhough they worked!).

torusSo I want to share with you the five most common ways that I consistently managed to stave off or get rid of a migraine.  Obviously, these techniques are the most effective when applied the soonest you feel a migraine coming on.  However if you are like I was and constantly have some kind of a headache more or less all the time, there’s the tendency to hope that early signs of a migraine will just resolve themselves with a little sleep or rest.  Better to be proactive before things ramp up too much.

I offer these tips as a temporary measure for those of you who have not managed to get your dietary triggers figured out or who have not done the SimplyWell Protocol for long enough to see results yet.

In order to understand why the approaches below can often work to get rid of a migraine, we need to understand what migraine is and why it manifests.  My belief is that the majority of migraines result from 1) compromised kidneys which affects blood pressure and electrolyte balance, 2) imbalanced gut flora with a predominance of histamine and nitrate producing flora, which makes eating foods high in these substances overwhelming and activates inflammation in the gut and brain, and 3) congested lymph, especially in the neck area.  There are of course other factors involved, such as liver health, thyroid health, and issues with nutritional absorption all of which also affect migraines, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll just focus on these main points.  I’ve listed the most effective solutions here first.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – and Raise Your Blood Pressure

Yes, we’ve all heard this one before.  What some of us haven’t heard is that drinking water doesn’t make your cells hydrated if your electrolyte balance is off.  The cells need an optimal ratio of potassium to sodium in order for the potassium/sodium channels to work (as well as magnesium and calcium, but potassium and sodium are the most important for actually getting rid of a migraine). Therefore, have a DIY electrolyte powder on hand that you can drink when you feel a migraine coming on.  Buying pre-formulated electrolyte powders won’t work as wel because most of them are formulated for athletes who lose a lot of sodium or aren’t directly formulated for migraineurs.

Click here for a DIY Electrolyte Drink Recipe!

So, in order to be hydrated you need both electrolytes and water.  Water contains oxygen but also increases blood volume, which is important because increased blood volume will mean there will be more blood to permeate all the extremities as well as the head even in the midst of low blood pressure. After you’ve taken 1 T of the elecrolyte mixture in water, drink a minimum of 3 pints of fresh water to raise your blood volume.Low blood pressure and dilated blood vessels will mean that less blood and oxygen will get to the head, so we need to constrict the blood vessels and raise the blood pressure (in addition to raising blood volume).  Getting sufficient sodium will also help to raise blood pressure (in addition to hydrating the cells), while potassium will help to relax tense muscles (in addition to hydrating the cells).

2. Move Your Lymph

People with migraines often have congested lymph, especially in the head and neck area.  Contrary to popular belief, muscular contraction during exercise is not what moves lymph along.  It’s actually deep diaphragmatic breathing (which can also occurs during exercise).In order to move congested lymph from your head, first massage under the jaw.  Use deep firm pressure under the lip of the jaw bone moving medially inwards to outwards towards your sternocleidomastoid and jaw (putting pressure directly on the submental and submaxillary glands).  Next, massage your cervical glands by gripping your sternocleidomastoid muscle in a pincer grip from top to bottom.  Here is a video demonstrating manual lymph drainage.

face-and-neck-lymph-nodes-5514bd716d393Once you have the muscular tissues and lymph moving in your neck and head, do a few deep breathing exercises, making sure to emphasize a complete and full EXHALE.  Get all the stagnant air out of the lungs.  This is just as important as a deep inhale.After this, go outside for a vigorous run, ideally up a steep hill or up a flight of stairs.  Do this for at least 20 minutes.  The exercise will increase blood flow to the brain, move stagnant lymph, and oxygenate your entire body.  The headache should subside, especially if you have also taken electrolytes prior to running.  It can be hard to push yourself during a migraine, but it’s well worth it.  If you don’t have stairs or a steep hill, do jumping jacks or any kind of vigorous movement that gets the heart pumping hard and the diaphragm moving vigorously for 20 minutes.  Dancing works too!

3. Calm Your Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve acts as the communication link between the gut and the head.  When the gut is inflamed, the vagus nerve sends alarm signals to the brain.  There are simple ways to calm down the vagus nerve.  You can take an alternating hot/cold shower.  The heat will increase blood flow, and the cold will constrict blood vessels, encourage deep inhalation, and calm the vagus nerve.  Get the water as cold as you can, and make sure you are proportionally staying under the cold water at least twice as long as the hot water.  Make sure you get the cold water on your head, face, back and torso.  Definately end with cold water, not hot.  (In general, avoid soaking in hot water while you have a migraine, as this dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure).If you cannot take a shower, you can calm your vagus nerve by splashing cold water repeatedly on your face (a minimum of ten times).  This may not get rid of a migraine by itself, but it can really help especially in conjunction with other approaches outlined here.For more ideas on how to calm your vagus nerve, read this article here.

4. Constrict Your Cranial Blood Vessels

When vertebral arteries and blood vessels are engorged (dilated) and blood pressure is low, blood does not get to the head and the blood vessels impinge on the plexus of cranial nerves leading into the head from the neck.  Therefore, constricting these blood vessels is an important way to get rid of a migraine. The cold shower should help with this, but in addition, you can place an ice pack or pack of frozen peas on the base of your skull, thereby creating more space for the cranial nerves going into the skull at the foramen magnum.In addition to the ice pack, you can constrict your blood vessels by drinking a frozen drink (getting a “brain freeze” can help constrict the blood vessels by cooling the back of the mouth).  Some people find more success using a frozen coffee drink, since caffeine also constricts blood vessels.  You can also drink chilled peppermint tea (peppermint is a vasoconstrictor).  This alone is not likely to get rid of a migraine but may help to tip you away from it when used in conjunction with other methods outlined here.58qv-2804

Another way to constrict your blood vessels is to use a blend of hypertensive essential oils. You’ve probably noticed that it’s not just synthetic fragrances that are a horrible trigger when you have headache and migraine symptoms – some essential oils (especially the more floral and low-note oils like jasmine and patchouli) can wreak havoc on your fragile brain too.  That’s because those and many other oils are hypotensive (ie, vasodilating) oils. Therefore, migraineurs may want to avoid geranium, jasmine, marjoram, rose, valerian, lemon, melissa, neroli, nutmeg, vetivert, and ylang ylang essential oils, especially when they are symptomatic – and instead opt for hypertensive oils.

To learn more about hypertensive, vasoconstrictive essential oils, head on over to my blog post on that topic, where I share with you my recipe for a vasoconstrictive/hypertensive essential oil blend.  The oils I’ve chosen to use in my own SimplyWell Migraine, Headache, & Brain Fog Support Blend are only a few of the vasoconstrictive essential oils out there. All of the oils used in this blend are also great for digestive issues.  No surprises there, since most migraines are digestive migraines!

5. Remove Fermentation & Histamine From the Colon with an Enema

This is a last resort, but it has worked for me many times.  It is not an optimal solution, because we don’t really know how enemas affect the gut flora.  However, some people may find it to be a solution preferable to taking a pharmaceutical medication (which also negatively affect gut flora).  Coffee enemas tend to be the most effective, perhaps because they help to stimulate the hepatic nerve of the liver and thereby reduce liver congestion (which is also implicated in migraine headaches).Most importantly, an enema will help to remove food that has reached the colon that is triggering inflammation, perhaps because this food has not been sufficiently broken down through DAO (diamine oxidase). Many people with migraines have low DAO levels, and DAO receptor sites on cells are also affected by electrolyte balance, so the electrolyte mixture above will help with that as well.When food which has not been properly broken down by DAO reaches the colon, it starts to feed unfriendly bacteria which produce histamine, thus adding to your histamine load.  Removing this histamine burden through an enema can often make a migraine go away.While I won’t be going into a tutorial on how to do an enema here, it’s important to emphasize that the water or coffee be lukewarm and not hot, and that the water be purified.  A full quart bag is usually needed to clean out the colon, and multiple enemas may be necessary.

I Hope These Tips Are Beneficial to You!

None of these ideas are long-term solutions, they are merely singular ways that I’ve found to consistently get rid of migraines.  The important point is to get to the root of your migraine problems by avoiding trigger foods and healing your gut, as outlined in the SimplyWell Migraine Relief Protocol.  Luckily, we do have very powerful plant food allies that can help us so powerfully that over time, we will no longer need to resort to any of the techniques above to get rid of a migraine.

Please note that this information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat migraines, or act as a replacement for medical care from a medical professional.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist and health coach specializing in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions. She practices out of Portland, Oregon. In January of 2016, Marya healed herself of chronic debilitating migraine headaches caused by pharmaceutical medications she received after a c-section operation. Her life purpose is to educate people about broader health-care and self-care options through promotion of specific fabulous medicinal foods that have been forgotten or ignored. [/author_info] [/author]

Migraine Medications or Folk Medicine?

Migraine Medications or Folk Medicine?

The Necessity of Pharmaceutical Migraine Medications

It’s very clear that pharmaceutical migraine medications allow some people with migraines to function and keep a job while dealing with what is considered to be the sixth most debilitating condition.  The annual burden of migraine costs in the US in 2005 was estimated at $17 billion annually.  Without migraine medications, migraines are a serious handicap which lead to lost productivity, huge impacts on quality of life, lowered energy,  compromised presence with kids and family, and on migraine days – inability to function in any capacity.  Therefore, use of migraine meds is totally understandable, especially given the scarcity of truly effective, safe, natural alternatives – or the fact that they are not being actively marketed to us and so require a lot of digging and research to hear about.

Since most people manage their migraines by way of health insurance and the treatments that the practitioners within their networks provide, they are less likely to discover natural and plant-based solutions unless they have literally become so desperate to find a solution that they spend much of their time researching how others have healed themselves and/or experimenting with ways to heal themselves.

This is what happened to me.  Without health insurance and after a few expensive out-of-pocket expenditures with various alternative health care practitioners, I still had debilitating migraine headaches a few times a week and finally reached the point where I decided to take matters into my own hands.  Two and a half years of self-experimentation, online research, cleansing and dietary and lifestyle changes, mixed with some incredible luck, led me to the discovery of a folk medicine solution to migraine headaches that completely cleared my head and is now helping many others to do so: the SimplyWell Migraine Protocol.  There is now a choice between pharmaceutical migraine medications and folk medicine solutions to chronic migraine headaches.

In comparing pharmaceutical migraine meds with plant-based, drug-free folk medicine solutions to migraine headaches, it’s not my intention to judge or demonize anyone who is taking pharmaceutical migraine medications.  Some people have had daily, weekly, or monthly migraine headaches for literally decades, and must do something to manage them.  These people are acutely aware of the drawbacks of pharmaceutical medications and their attendant side effects, but haven’t found a better solution to manage their migraines besides meds.

I wish I could say that the SimplyWell Migraine Protocol were an easy replacement for migraine meds, but it appears that frequent use of migraine medications makes the protocol take longer to be effective, and in the case of daily use of migraine medications, may render it totally ineffective until those meds have been weaned off.  It’s my belief that this is because anything we ingest orally will affect our microbiome (the gut flora balance in our colon), and that pharmaceutical meds feed pathogenic bacteria (this is just a hypothesis) which keeps the histamine load in the colon high (thus perpetuating migraines).  They also steal vital nutrients needed to create important enzymes that break histamine down.

The good news is that people who only use migraine medications very intermittently, or who wean themselves off these meds, usually respond very well to the SimplyWell Migraine Protocol.  Since I never took migraine meds, I didn’t have to go through that process, but very soon I’ll be highlighting the stories here of some of the courageous people who have managed to successfully wean themselves off meds and how they did it.  So stay tuned!

Pharmaceutical Migraine Medications:

  • require a prescription, are high-tech and patented (not easily accessible)
  • are expensive (require costly health insurance or are subject to random price hikes)
  • have negative so-called “side-effects” (in other words, are making you sick with dizziness, fatigue, rebound headaches, medication-induced headaches, drowsiness)
  • are suppressive, so don’t solve the underlying problem but rather, drive it deeper into the body.
  • are foreign substances to our bodies (evolutionarily novel for our organs to process)
  • steal vital nutrients needed for essential body functioning
  • compromise liver, kidney, and gut health (thereby affecting bile flow, gallbladder health, lymphatic health, and gut flora balance).
  • some opiate-based medications activate mast cells and increase histamine release
  • are habit-forming and prevent some other natural therapies from working
  • we don’t really know how many of them actually work

The Ultimate Migraine Medicine

  • Reduces histamine load
  • Reduces estrogen dominance
  • Balances the gut flora
  • Balances electrolyte levels
  • Balances blood sugar levels
  • Raises blood pressure and thereby improves blood flow to the brain and extremities
  • Improves vitamin/mineral absorption
  • Supports liver, gallbladder, kidney,  pancreas, colon, adrenal and thyroid function
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves energy levels

In other words, a truly holistic medicine will have POSITIVE SYSTEMIC “SIDE-EFFECTS”.  The Simplywell Migraine Protocol is the ultimate migraine medicine.

Medicine by the People, For the People
(ie, Folk Medicine)

  • discovered by laypeople without expertise or specialized training
  • easily accessable, affordable or free
  • self-administered, ie, self-empowering
  • free from unwanted side-effects
  • safe, gentle, and effective
  • easy to comprehend and therefore, relay to others
  • easy for our bodies to process
  • natural, nourishing and supportive
  • low tech and open-source (free from trademarks and patents)

Wellness comes about through a lifestyle of self-care, firsthand experience, self-experimentation, and community gossip about what works.  The Simplywell Migraine Protocol is an expression of Folk Medicine.  Folk Medicine is happening.  It’s not prescriptive – it’s descriptive of what people prefer and are creating, rediscovering, and sharing as laypeople, as the “Folk”.

To learn more about Folk Medicine, read my article “Resuscitating Folk Medicine – for Migraine Headache Relief and Beyond”

To get your copy of the Simplywell Migraine Protocol E-book, go to the homepage and subscribe for a free copy.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist and health coach specializing in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions. She practices out of Portland, Oregon. In January of 2016, Marya healed herself of chronic debilitating migraine headaches caused by pharmaceutical medications she received after a c-section operation. Her life purpose is to educate people about broader health-care and self-care options through promotion of specific fabulous medicinal foods that have been forgotten or ignored. She is actively trying to form a Folk Medicine movement to transform the culture of suppresive and poisonous medications to one of holistic health accomplished through an educated, pro-active, and mutually-supportive community.[/author_info] [/author]