Monday, October 13, 2008


From Mercola?

What Typically Triggers Migraine Headaches?

There are many potential triggers, and what triggers a migraine for one might not trigger it in another. However, here are several of the most commonly reported triggers:

* Food and Drink: Many people experience migraines when they eat certain foods, especially wheat, dairy, sugar, artificial preservatives or chemical additives. Cured or processed meats, alcohol, aspartame, caffeine, and MSG are common culprits.
* Allergies: Including food allergies and food sensitivities, and chemical sensitivities.
* Dehydration and/or Hunger
* Changes in sleeping cycle: Both missing sleep and oversleeping can trigger a migraine.
* Stress: Any kind of emotional trauma can trigger a migraine, even after the stress has passed.
* Physical exertion: Extremely intense exercise has been known to bring on migraines.
* Hormones: Some women experience migraines before, or during their periods, during pregnancy, or during menopause. Others may get migraines from hormonal medications like birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy.
* External stimuli: Bright lights, fluorescent lights, loud noises and strong smells (even pleasant ones) can trigger a migraine.
* Weather changes, Seasonal changes, and changes in Altitude

Quick, Natural Tips to Relieve a Migraine

Preventing migraines begins by avoiding the triggers. Most often this means eating healthy whole foods (avoiding most processed ones) and managing your stress effectively.

Avoiding wheat, grains, sugar and all fluids but water seem to be particularly effective.

Regular exercise will also help to keep migraines away by improving your response to stress along with the underlying inflammatory conditions that can trigger migraines.

Ideally, these are the things to focus on so that you can reduce your migraines altogether.

But if a migraine does strike and you need relief NOW, try:

1. Stimulating your body's natural painkilling ability. By putting pressure on a nerve just under your eyebrow, you can cause your pituitary gland to release painkilling endorphins immediately.

2. Taking 10 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a glass of water. Endorphins are released by your brain when the cayenne hits your stomach lining.

3. Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Newcomers who use this simple process by themselves achieve relief 50 percent to 80 percent of the time and, in many cases, the relief is complete and permanent. More sophisticated uses by an EFT expert may be required for some migraine sufferers.

4. Green apple scent. One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy so consulting with an aromatherapist may be beneficial.

Other useful techniques include:

o Putting a cold compress on your forehead or behind your neck
o Massaging your ears and ear lobes
o Massaging the "crown" of your head -- the ring of muscles that circle your head where a crown would sit

Some people even say that having a purring cat, which sends out low frequency vibrations, next to their head relieves migraine pain.

The point is that there are many, many, non-drug options out there, and finding the one that works for you is likely just a matter of trial and error.

Also see my other posts on this subject

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