Mineralized Water with Magnesium and Sodium Chloride (Video)

In this video I share how I make my own mineralized water.

Here is the recipe:
In a saucepan, combine equal parts magnesium chloride flakes to purified water.  Save this “magnesium oil” in a container with a lid and keep it next to your water filter so you can add it to water as you drink it.

1 teaspoon of magnesium oil is approximately 500mg of magnesium.
I use 1 teaspooon of the magnesium oil with a pinch of salt twice a day in a pint of purified water for a total of 1000mg a day of magnesium chloride.

To learn more about the amazing properties of natural, structured water, check out the links below.


Coffee and Migraine Headaches: Benefits and Drawbacks

The majority of migraineurs I see in my coaching practice are addicted to coffee.  And why not?  After all, coffee constricts blood vessels and thereby alleviates headache symptoms. There’s a good reason why caffeine is added as a key ingredient in some NSAID migraine meds like Excedrin: caffeine lowers adenosine levels (but like all other migraine meds as well as coffee itself, Excedrin also causes rebound headache). Coffee actually has a lot of great health benefits, some of them particularly relevant to those with migraine, which is probably one reason why so many with migraine are so dependent on it.  All of us also know that coffee consumption has some drawbacks as well – causing us to either feel physically or psychologically bad for drinking coffee when we do. So are coffee and migraine headaches incompatible, or complimentary?

Quite a few of us yo-yo between these two states: going through phases of intense coffee use and then denial, back and forth.  Others have wholeheartedly and without reservation accepted their coffee obsession, without any qualms.  A few lone souls have actually managed to completely stop drinking coffee.

Coffee is just too delicious and too sacred a ritual for the majority of my clients to give up with any ease.  Usually I will recommend that people NOT try to give up coffee in the early weeks of implementing the SimplyWell Migraine Relief Protocol because I think it is often unrealistic and too challenging to expect people to start drastically new dietary and lifetsyle habits while also going through withdrawal from their favorite drink.

But when we recognize we’ve reached a place where we are truly ready to do anything to heal, the time comes to really take stock of what we consume regularly, ESPECIALLY if our use of it is chronic, addictive, or we feel we literally can’t function without it.  That’s a sign that the substance offers substantial benefits but is also probably being misused.

Like all foods with inherently dynamic properties, there is ample evidence for both the benefits and drawbacks of coffee consumption as it relates to those with migraine.

Above all, my intention here is simply to share some of the research that I’ve found on both the positives and negatives of coffee and migraine headaches and how I personally choose to interface with coffee.  My intention here is neither to demonize or glorify coffee.  It’s a food grown from a plant, and you know how I adore plants.  I believe we need to be able to integrate food into our life while being very mindful and educated about each food’s properties, and then check in with our inner body wisdom and experience to make the final call about how much to incorporate that food into our life.

Coffee and caffeine’s affects on us are complex and vast. The most thorough and balanced article on coffee’s benefits and drawbacks that I was able to find concludes that much of the research on coffee is conflicting at best, because:

. . . most research studies observe and measure the effects of a single dose of caffeine rather than the effects of chronic ingestion. Yet most coffee drinkers drink coffee daily. As a number of studies have shown, single-dose experiments don’t necessarily reflect the effects of our regular routines. . .  [But what is clear is that] caffeine impacts whether certain chemicals are available; how receptive our brains are to them; and whether we’re even making those chemicals in the first place (Source).

Coffee benefits for those with migraine

Coffee imparts certain benefits to those with migraine especially.  The question is whether these short-term benefits are worth the drawbacks. So first, what’s so fabulous about coffee, above and beyond the taste and the ritual, specifically for those with migraine? Here are the highlights that I find intriguing:

  • “Chronic caffeine intake has been shown to increase the receptors of serotonin (26-30% increase), GABA (65% increase), and acetylcholine (40-50%). This may contribute to the elevated mood and perceived increase in energy we feel after a coffee.” (Source)
    Why this is relevant: Migraineurs tend to have lower levels of most neurotransmitters, including serotonin and acetylcholine, but more receptor sites for them (presumably because their levels are so low, they need more receptors to benefit from the few that are available). Coffee inadvertently increases receptivity to serotonin, GABA, and acetylcholine BECAUSE it depletes our bodies of them (maybe not such a good thing, but the initial effects of increased receptivity feel good).
    “In the human body, when neurotransmitter receptors . . . increase their sensitivity, it generally suggests a reduction in functional capacity and activity of neurons associated with those receptors. Either the brain needs more chemicals to do the job, or the neurons involved aren’t working as hard. This might mean that a certain neurotransmitter is in short supply, or that its activity needs to increase.” (Source)
  • Caffeine inhibits blood platelet aggregation (it does so by inhibiting the release of serotonin). Why this is relevant: Migraineurs generally have thick, sticky blood.
  • Caffeine synergizes with progesterone, and increases its concentration in blood and tissues. (Source)  Why this is relevant: progesterone is a glutamate scavenger.  It is also essential for the production of cortisol, which puts the brakes on histamine.  Progesterone offsets estrogen, an excessive amount of which contributes to histamine overload and interferes with proper signaling in your thyroid gland.  Increased progesterone can improve liver and thyroid function as well.  All of these are good things for those with migraine.
  • Coffee contains magnesium and potassium. Other vitamins and minerals found in coffee include vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, phosphorus and manganese, but these are not present in dosages high enough to warrant drinking it. Why this is relevant: Migraineurs get migraines due in part to deficiencies in essential vitamins and electrolytes.
  • Caffeic acid, found in coffee as well as other plants like celery and the herb Danshen, lowers CGRP levels.  Why this is relevant: CGRP, an inflammatory neuropeptide, has shown to exist in higher levels in those with migraine.
  • Coffee raises blood pressure.  This is perhaps the greatest benefit of coffee, and explains why it can get rid of a headache once in awhile.  Coffee raises blood pressure by way of stimulating adrenaline. Why this is relevant:  those with migraine generally have low blood pressure, so raising it and thereby getting rid of the headache is a huge relief. The blood vessel constriction and raising of blood pressure results in reduced blood flow to the brain.  Check out these before and after images of the brain after coffee consumption.
  • “Caffeine affects the activity of a naturally occurring and necessary brain substance called adenosine. Adenosine levels in the blood go up during migraine attacks. Furthermore, adenosine when injected into a vein can trigger migraine attacks. Adenosine is widely available in the brain, and can produce many effects including less brain electrical activity, temporary widening of blood vessels, and control of some aspects of sleep and movement. Adenosine acts by sticking to specific receptor molecules on the surfaces of some brain cells. Caffeine can block the action of these receptors, and, thereby, stop the effects of adenosine. We do not know how these effects of caffeine result in acute anti-migraine and pain control actions.” (Source)
  •  Caffeine shows promise as a means to reduce β-amyloid levels which cause lesions in the brains of migraineurs and those with Alzheimer’s. So far, this has been demonstrated in transgenic mice.
  • Coffee is high in niacin.  One cup of coffee contains about 40 mg of niacin. Niacin helps to lower glutamate and increase blood flow in small capillaries of the body.

Coffee drawbacks for those with migraine

  • Despite increasing receptor sites for serotonin, caffeine inhibits the release of serotonin. Why this is relevant: low serotonin is a major cause of migraine, and elevating serotonin’s levels also serves to stop the overproduction of inflammatory brain chemicals like glutamate and CGRP. While lower serotonin levels result in increased receptor sites (as discussed in the benefits section), low serotonin is not a good thing for migraineurs.  Changes in serotonin levels from coffee consumption lead to the “characteristic withdrawal symptoms (such as agitation and irritability) when coffee intake is stopped. The brain has come to expect more action in its serotonin receptors, and when its abundant supply of happy chemicals is abruptly cut off, it gets crabby. . . .” (Source) To help with migraine symptoms, we want to increase serotonin, not inhibit it.
  • “Caffeine produces its stimulant effects by inhibiting the release of GABA and thereby allowing the increase of excitatory neurotransmitters. The less GABA, the more nerve transmissions occur. Think what too much coffee feels like: that is the sensation of glutamate without enough GABA.” (Source) Why this is relevant: migraineurs need to increase their GABA.  They can do so through improved gut health and consumption of prebiotics as outlined in the SimplyWell Migraine Relief Protocol.  Inhibited GABA is not desirable for migraineurs, because it leads to excess glutamate (which in turn leads to excess CGRP, an excitatory neurotransmitter elevated in those with migraine).
  • Coffee inhibits the absorption of iron, as well as vitamin B6 and thiamine.  This is true even in the case of decaf coffee, because the nutrient depletion happens not by way of caffeine, but by way of the tannins in the coffee that bind to these minerals and vitamins.  For this reason, tannins in tea are also problematic and steal B vitamins.  Why this is relevant: Iron and B6 are both involved with the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. B6 is also needed to create Diamine Oxidase (DAO), the enzyme that breaks down histamine. Thiamine is important for the creation of acetylcholine, which is needed for proper vagal tone and to keep inflammation in the body down. Migraineurs are generally anemic and low in these vitamins already.  They need the constituents necessary to produce serotonin, DAO, dopamine, GABA and especially acetylcholine.
  • Increased alertness (or anxiety) due to caffeine may be mainly due to blockage of adenosine receptors which normally inhibit glutamate release. Why this is relevant: migraineurs have high levels of glutamate, which causes excitotoxicity in the brain.  We need our adenosine receptors to be working properly so as to prevent an excessive buildup of glutamate. Glutamate released into synapses is normally reabsorbed back into neurons by the ion-exchange transport system, or soaked-up by astrocytes which convert the glutamate into glutamine (a molecule which cannot cause excitotoxicity). However part of the pathology of migraine is imbalanced electrolyte levels which impact the effectiveness of ion-exchange.
  • Caffeine increases cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine, mimicking a state of acute stress. Why this is relevant: stress increases histamine and inflammation, which we all have enough of already.
  • Caffeine is metabolized more slowly in women, especially those on oral contraceptives or postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, due to the fact that it is detoxified using the same enzyme used to metabolize estrogen. Why this is relevant: more women than men get migraines and many women are on hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives.
  • Chronic coffee consumption increases insulin resistance. This typically occurs with a diet high in refined sugars and starches, and many people consume their coffee with pastries or refined carbs. This horrible combination creates inflammation and neurotransmitter imbalances. Why this is relevant: Migraineurs already have imbalanced sugar metabolism and low blood sugar.  We don’t need more.
  • Caffeine decreases vitamin D receptor protein expression (Source).  Why this is relevant: Vitamin D is essential for lowering inflammation, proper digestion, deep sleep, and for serotonin production.
  • Coffee is a diuretic, ie, dehydrating. Why this is relevant: As migraineurs, our kidneys and adrenals are already stressed out from the constant inflammation in our system.  Due to their compromised status, we already excrete important vitamins and minerals like sodium, magnesium, and the B vitamins faster than most people.  And we are already dehydrated.
  • Coffee is acidifying. Why this is relevant: due to having compromised kidney function, most migraineurs also have compromised pH balance (ie, are already acidic).
  • Coffee consumption causes dependency and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. “Studies of caffeine dependency and tolerance show that daily caffeine users are actually more motivated to consume it to avoid withdrawal symptoms, than to experience the lift that its stimulant properties may provide.” (Source)
  • “Research has shown that some conditions, such as long-term antibiotic use or excessive consumption of alcohol or caffein can deplete inositol stores. Suboptimal levels of inositol can negatively impact brain function, and memory loss may be an indication of inositol deficiency.” (Source)

The healthiest coffee

The healthiest coffee to drink is cold-brewed, organic water-pressed decaffeinated coffee.  Conventional processes used to decaffeinate coffee use a lot of harmful chemicals.  Decaf coffee contains some caffeine.  And it is still acidifying for the body.  Once you have bought your water-pressed decaf coffee, you can cold brew it according to these instructions here.

Alternately, you can make an herbal “coffee” substitute using healing herbs that actually support digestion, liver health, and adrenal function.  Check out my chicory, dandelion, and chaga “coffee” recipe here.

The ultimate question is always: what does your bodywisdom say about your coffee consumption?

I’ve learned over the years that I actually don’t love coffee.  I love the flavor and ritual of coffee.  And there is something about the joy of doing something that I tell myself I shouldn’t just because it’s fun to live a little, to indulge in life’s pleasures and to counterbalance any tendency towards strict denial in life.  But ultimately I’d rather have a clear head, healthy kidneys, and a happy stomach.  So I only drink coffee about twice a month to remind myself that I don’t actually enjoy the feeling coffee gives me, even while I love the taste.

So what’s the takehome?

Is the occasional cup of coffee going to counterbalance all your efforts to get rid of your migraines?  No. Will occasional cups of coffee actually be supportive to you as someone with migraines?  Yes.  Is the consumption of daily cups of coffee, even decaf coffee, going to undermine all of your other good lifestyle habits?  If you are consuming coffee in excess out of stress, depletion, and a deep sense of fatigue – absolutely. We may want to keep in mind that caffeine is a defensive toxin designed by various plants to repel herbivores from its the berries and seeds. On the other hand, humans evolved eating small amounts of toxic substances which stimulate the liver.

What do the neurologists say about caffeine consumption if you have migraine?

It is important to emphasize that caffeine consumption is rarely the sole “cause” of frequent headaches including migraine. However, it is a modifiable risk factor, unlike many other unavoidable migraine triggers. Caffeine is often a significant and overlooked contributor to the problem of frequent and chronic daily headache. Migraine sufferers should use caffeine less frequently or remove it entirely as one component of a program of therapies for success, and it requires no prescription. (Source)

[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, health coach, and wellness researcher. She specializes in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions.

The SimplyWell Protocol is available here, or you can book a consultation with Marya.
Learn more about Marya’s healing journey here.
[/author_info] [/author]

Rehydrate with this DIY Electrolyte Recipe to Get Rid of Migraines

DIY electrolyte recipe

The Key to Proper Hydration is Electrolytes!

Yes, we’ve all heard this one before – those with migraines need to hydrate.  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). I’m sharing my own DIY electrolyte recipe so that you can make some yourself and have it on hand to drink when you feel a migraine coming on, or preventatively.

Buying pre-formulated electrolyte powders won’t work as well because most of them are formulated for athletes who lose a lot of sodium or aren’t directly formulated for migraineurs. Migraineurs need a higher potassium to sodium ratio to help the sodium potassium channels work optimally properly. Migraineurs also lose more electrolytes due to kidney dysfunction, so must replenish more frequently than most people to stay hydrated (since their kidneys don’t reabsorb minerals as efficiently).

DIY Electrolyte Recipe for Migraine

4 parts potassium gluconate powder (I use NOW brand potassium gluconate)
1 part sodium chloride salt (I use sea salt or Himalayan Pink Salt but any kind will do)
8 parts Acerola Cherry Powder Vitamin C (I have used Terrasoul Superfoods Brand)

To make a big batch of electrolyte powder reflecting the above ratios, I tend to mix up 1/2 cup of potassium gluconate, 1/8 cup of salt, and 1 cup of acerola powder.  Then I mix approximately 1 Tablespoon of this mixture in 1-2 cups of water or juice (depending on your sensitivity to sugar).  I add 1 teaspoon of maple syrup for taste so that it’s not so tart, tho it will work just as well without it.

Alternately, if you’d like to get phosphorous and calcium in your electrolyte drink, you can also use SaltSticks. For every 1 SaltSticks capsule use 1 teaspoon of potassium powder (I use NOW brand potassium gluconate).  I just open up 30 capsules of SaltSticks, pour them into a jar and mix them with 10 Tablespoons of potassium powder and 20 Tablespoons of Acerola powder so I have a lot on hand.

Note that I’ve added Vitamin C to this DIY electrolyte recipe (which isn’t an electrolyte) because it is a mast cell stabilizer, supports brain health, and lowers histamine.  Unlike lab-created vitamin C powders which are created through a fermentation process, Acerola powder offers up vitamin C in a whole-food form.  You can make this electrolyte mix without the vitamin C but the vitamin C will greatly help those with migraines.  Vitamin C is incredibly important for both brain and adrenal health, since it helps to increase progesterone (a glutamate scavenger) and serotonin (which most people with migraine are low in).

I take this electrolyte drink for maintenance but it can be very effective if you feel a migraine coming on or have brain fog.  You may need to take this every few hours and/or drink it with a lot of extra water to stave a migraine off.

Adding in Magnesium as an Essential Electrolyte

Personally, I also like to add magnesium chloride to this DIY electrolyte recipe, because it is easier for me to take this all at once rather than separately.  I’ve found I do better taking magnesium in the morning rather than evening.  I make my own magnesium chloride at a 1:1 ratio with hot water until the chloride flakes dissolve, then add 1/2 teaspoon of this to my electrolyte drink.  Magnesium is essential for proper absorption of Vitamin D and is a precursor to Serotonin (among other things).

One of the many chemical reactions in your body is the release of serotonin.  Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter by relaying messages from one area of the brain to another.  Of the approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced by serotonin either directly or indirectly.  This includes brain cells related to mood, depression, sexual desire and function, sleep, memory, appetite and some social behavior.

Serotonin is dependent on magnesium.  The biochemical reactions necessary for serotonin, which is the brains natural feel good drug, cannot function properly if you are suffering from low magnesium. (Source)

Taking supplemental magnesium will make your stool softer. Magnesium gluconate seems to be the most well-tolerated form of magnesium taken internally. Using this same 1:1 ratio of magnesium chloride flakes to water to make a magnesium oil that can be applied topically is an alternative solution to oral intake for those that have trouble digesting the magnesium.

Also, keep in mind that magnesium is necessary in the body for proper detoxification, therefore, may cause detoxification symptoms with its use. Detoxification symptoms include headache, fatigue, brain fog, body ache, and other similar ailments, so it’s important to go slow if you are just starting out with magnesium supplementation.

Test How Well this Drink is Working by Measuring Your Blood Pressure

Of course, you should know whether this drink is working for you by way of your symptoms improving or being alleviated.  But it’s also valuable to check your blood pressure.  Most people with migraine have low blood pressure.  You can buy a hand-held blood pressure cuff at your local drug store.  You need to know your normal resting blood pressure in order to see how much your blood pressure will go up after getting proper electrolytes.

For me, my normal blood pressure is 100/60.  I have brain fog symptoms starting at about 94/60.  Taking salt or electrolytes usually raises my blood pressure back to 98 or 100/60, and symptoms subside.

Happy hydrating!

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. 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]


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]