If migraine headaches are plaguing your life, there are a few natural strategies you can try to help manage and prevent them.
An effective strategy to decrease your migraine risk includes maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity and getting adequate rest. Following these practices may also help avoid future chronic headaches.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthily is one of the key ways to prevent migraines, with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins among others providing essential nutritional support. Avoiding foods high in saturated fats, added sugar or sodium could also prove useful.
Keep a food journal to track both your diet and headache symptoms to identify potential triggers, as well as exclude certain food categories like aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol from your diet.
People with migraines may find certain foods can exacerbate their condition, so it may be beneficial to limit or avoid their consumption as much as possible. Speak to your physician about a diet plan tailored specifically to you and your unique symptoms.
Exercise may also help people who suffer from migraines manage their condition. Physical activity releases chemicals into your body which reduce pain while helping you to relax.
Acupuncture can also be an effective natural treatment for migraines. Based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), this ancient art can provide fast relief of headaches at home.
A 2014 systematic review concluded that acupuncture could help decrease headache attacks and severity in some chronic headache sufferers, as well as provide relief for severe uncontrollable migraines.
Another natural way to reduce migraine frequency and severity includes taking feverfew, ginger powder or dietary supplements. Some individuals also find relief with over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen which can help manage pain associated with migraine attacks until an appointment with their physician can be scheduled – these OTC drugs provide temporary pain relief while waiting.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise offers numerous health advantages, and those living with migraine often agree that exercise can help manage their symptoms more effectively. Exercise helps relieve stress–one of the main triggers for migraine attacks–while also improving sleep and managing overall quality of life.
Exercise can boost both your mood and energy levels, which in turn may help prevent headaches from the start. But before embarking on any physical activity regiment it is wise to consult a healthcare provider first.
Dr. Jennifer Kriegler of Cleveland Clinic’s Headache Clinic suggests that your type of exercise will play a key role in its effectiveness for preventing and managing migraines. Aerobic exercises such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing or using an elliptical machine are recommended.
If you’re new to exercising, start gradually and increase intensity until it feels comfortable for you. Make sure you drink plenty of water both before and after working out; dehydration is a known trigger of migraines so staying hydrated is vital if you want the most from your workout!
Consider starting a yoga practice to manage stress, which is one of the main contributors of migraines. Yoga also helps focus and relax you – potentially decreasing frequency in some individuals.
Essential oils may provide another solution. According to Courtney Beck FNP-C, nurse practitioner at The Migraine Clinic. these natural remedies may ease migraine-related discomfort by reducing inflammation and nerve tension while simultaneously increasing happy hormones, she explained.
As other options to prevent and manage migraines include meditation, yoga and breathing techniques – it’s also wise to keep a migraine diary to monitor symptoms and identify what may trigger them.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Your sleep habits have an immense effect on your overall health, both psychologically and physically. A lack of rest can impact everything from mood, focus, and heart rate to headaches and migraines. Adopting healthy sleeping practices is essential to living a healthier life; improving them may make you more refreshed while decreasing headaches.
Sleep can help alleviate stress levels, which is often a trigger for migraine attacks. You can do your part in managing it by exercising regularly, eating healthily and attending to mental wellbeing issues.
An effective sleep regimen involves following several key steps, such as adhering to a consistent bedtime and getting up at the same time every day (even weekends!). Furthermore, creating an environment in your bedroom that is quiet, dark, and relaxing is also key.
Even though this can be challenging, consistent sleep schedules are well worth your efforts; they will allow for improved quality rest and can prevent headaches in the future.
Avoiding large meals and caffeine just before bedtime can help facilitate more comfortable sleeping conditions, as well as screens right before you head off to bed – their blue light can irritate the eyes, making it harder for you to settle into restful slumber.
Yoga breathing meditation techniques have also proven successful in helping reduce migraines, using breath to focus on present moments and ease tension within the body.
Finalize by drinking plenty of water throughout the day – dehydration can cause headaches so make sure that you stay properly hydrated daily!
4. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the primary migraine triggers and can be found in numerous products, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and chocolate.
No one knows for certain how much caffeine it takes to trigger migraines, but eliminating all caffeine could make a significant difference in symptoms. Each individual may react differently when exposed to caffeine – even small amounts may seem like too much for some.
Since caffeine is a diuretic, it may lead to further dehydration if taken on an empty stomach. To stay hydrated and avoid this situation, drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay hydrated with electrolytes as much as possible.
As well as drinking plenty of water, eating healthily is another effective way to manage caffeine consumption. Avoid foods high in saturated fat such as red meat.
If caffeine consumption is necessary, try to restrict yourself to one to two cups of brewed coffee per day – this amount should help control headaches when combined with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Consider scheduling an acupuncture session with your doctor to alleviate migraine pain and help avoid future attacks. Acupuncture treatments may also help relieve stress–a common trigger of migraine attacks.
Before beginning to treat migraines, be sure to avoid junk food and alcohol consumption, both known migraine triggers. Also ensure you get enough restful sleep and manage stress effectively.
Find what works for you, using both natural remedies and pharmaceutical treatments simultaneously. Just keep in mind that alternative and complementary therapies may not be FDA regulated, so ensure to discuss any new migraine remedies with your physician first before beginning them.
Stress is one of the leading causes of migraines, so developing effective methods to combat it is crucial. You can do this through employing relaxation strategies such as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery relaxation techniques.
Practice these techniques regularly to manage how your body reacts to stress and alter the way in which your brain processes it – not only when migraines strike. These strategies should be utilized at any time of day or night.
Breathing exercises can help you unwind and engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls rest-and-relaxation response. One such breathing exercise includes taking rhythmic breaths while slowly inhaling from your diaphragm.
Progressive muscle relaxation exercises such as PMR may also help alleviate stress and tension, potentially helping prevent migraines. One study indicated that participants who performed PMR twice daily were 50% less likely to have headaches.
Acupuncture may help ease migraine discomfort. Studies have demonstrated that acupuncture may reduce both frequency and intensity of migraine attacks in some people.
Other home remedies to relieve migraine pain include applying ice to your head or neck, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest. Over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen may also prove helpful when an attack strikes.
Massage can also help ease tension, so if you suffer from migraines, try massage as an additional therapy to lessen their severity and make life more manageable, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It can either be performed regularly or when a migraine strikes in order to make its impact more manageable.
There are various natural migraine remedies that may help manage or prevent migraine attacks, but you should always consult with a healthcare provider prior to using any remedies to ensure there are no adverse side effects or interactions with any medications you are already taking.