Most people simply pop a pain pill at the first sign of a migraine, and for some migraine sufferers this works alright for now. Unfortunately, the more painkillers you consume, the greater your chance of becoming sensitized to the medications you’re taking. After awhile, the pain medicines can actually be causing the headaches instead of relieving them. If you live with migraines maybe it’s time you tried a natural approach to relief. They are generally safer than medications and can often give better results than even the strongest prescription drugs.
There are two types of natural treatment that can help with migraines. These two treatment methods will either be designed to prevent the migraine headache from occurring in the first place or relieve the pain of a migraine attack that has already begun. The three treatments that we’ll be talking about are in the category of helping to relieve an acute attack, but not used for prevention.
There are many areas that can be used as acupressure points to relieve migraine headache pain. Using acupressure requires you press with your thumbs or the pads of your first two fingers on an area with a firm, but gentle pressure. Keep the pressure constant for at least 30 seconds, but not longer than 60 seconds. Applying pressure to the following points can often relieve migraine pain very quickly.
There are two points, one on the left and one on the right, just beneath the base of the skull about one or two inches from the very center of the neck. Apply pressure as described above to these two points.
Another point is located between the thumb and first finger of each hand. Squeeze the fleshy point between the thumb and first finger of the left hand for about 30 seconds and then repeat the action on the other hand. Again, this can often reduce the pain almost immediately.
2. Heat and ice
Since migraine headaches develop when the blood vessels surrounding the brain become enlarged and dilated, it only makes sense that decreasing the size of these blood vessels will relieve the pain. There are two good ways to accomplish this feat. You can either decrease the amount of blood going to the head or divert the blood away from the head.
Placing an ice pack on the back of the neck at the base of the skull can do wonders for limiting the blood flow to the head. With less blood flowing in the vessels of the brain they will begin to constrict instead of dilate, and therefore relieve the pain. Leaving the ice pack on for at least twenty minutes, but preferably thirty minutes, is necessary for optimum results.
Diverting the blood away from the head is achieved by heating up the body somewhere else. It can sometimes be as simple as placing your feet in warm water. However, the best approach is to hop into a nice warm bath. This will dilated the blood vessels in your body, causing more blood to move to that area instead of your head. For best results you can use place an ice pack on the back of the neck while in the bathtub. This will give you double the effect of just using one of the techniques.
3. Relaxation techniques
One of the most common approaches to relieving migraine pain is to simply lie down in a quiet, dark room. Bright lights and loud noises can increase the intensity of a migraine attack, so lying down in a quiet, dark room can most often reduce the pain and sometimes even stop it altogether. One classic symptom of migraine is that the pain is increased when doing any strenuous work or exercise. Relaxing in this described fashion will help calm you down and decrease your pain.