the 5 drug-free methods for dealing with a migraine!
Updated: Jan 11
The Migraine! A lightening storm of a headache that can shut down your sensory function and make simple conversations and decision making unbearable. People even end up in the ER to seek help. Most often MDs will just throw pills at it and never really address the cause! Thankfully, there's Chiropractic, cause based migraine care that is actually effective.
Migraine headaches are a common neurological condition that causes severe, recurring headaches, often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances. Migraine headaches can be debilitating and can greatly impact a person's quality of life.
Migraines are most often caused by significant pressure to the brainstem/spinal cord and arterial blood flow to the brain. Put simply, restricting nerve communication and oxygenated blood, coupled with stress, causes the brain to "panic" and the result is a migraine.
Tip #1 - Get to a Chiropractor ASAP
Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, including headaches. Many chiropractors use spinal and adjustments to help alleviate migraine symptoms. The theory behind this is that misalignments of the spine, known as subluxations, can cause tension and irritation of the nerves, in the cervical spine, leading to headaches. By correcting these subluxations, chiropractors are able to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Several studies have found that chiropractic care is an effective treatment for migraines. For example, a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that Chiropractic adjustments were more effective than a commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of migraines both short and long term.
Tip #2 - Get some rest
Now that you have seen the Chiropractor, let the body rest. Although this may seem obvious, especially for anyone who has suffered from migraines, what I am referring to is allowing the body to shift back to a parasympathetic state (relaxed state), which occurs from the Chiropractic adjustment. This will shut off the adrenal gland that is pumping during sympathetic operations (stressed state). Running on adrenalin is designed for short term use and can alter how the body functions. Causing sleep, digestive and mood disorders.
When the body is able to recover in a parasympathetic state, it's better able to absorb water and nutrients, as well as regain control of hormonal function. With more systemic communication, comes more systemic function. This is an essential component to healing.
“You Can’t Medicate Your Way Out Of A Problem You Behaved Your Way Into”. – Dr. Austin Davis
Tip #3 - Make it personal
As much as the world is a dynamic and beautiful place, it can also be wild and stressful. Here's the big dirty secret...there will always be stressors in life! Removing all stress from life, isn't a reality. In fact, trying to remove all stressors, would be incredibly stressful. The key to real wellness is adaptation! How you adapt to stress dictates your level of health!
That being said, there is still a lot a person can do to minimize unnecessary stress. Take the responsibility of looking at your life objectively and seeing what triggers socially/environmentally that causes an overreaction of the sympathetic system. Once those components are known, face them! Journal, meditate, and any other mindful practices that allow for the space necessary to analyze and dissolve the connections to stress.
Tip #4 - Eat better and drink more water
I am not a nutritionist so let's keep this short. There is a simple phrase to remember. G.I.G.O...Good In, Good Out. Garbage In, Garbage Out. Limit the intake of Inflammatory/processed foods, alcohols, refined sugars, etc. and the body will thank you. Look for Anti-inflammatory foods that best support a healthy system and especially the gut (Kimchi and other fermented foods), Kefir, Fish oils, healthy fats, proteins, whole foods, etc.
Drink, at least, half your body weight in ounces of water per day! It can be shocking how something as simple as hydration (while avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks) can improve your health! From migraines, to mood disorders, to digestive problems to skin conditions...let water, hydrate your mind, body and soul!
Tip #5 - Finish strong
Move your body! Humans are designed to be dynamic creatures. Moving the body, circulates oxygenated blood, cerebrospinal fluid and facilitates healthy muscle and organ function!
When a person is too sedentary and the functions of the body are inhibited, dysfunction will occur. This can be going to the gym or simply getting in walk after every meal. I strongly encourage both weight lifting, balance training, stretching and cardio! Get that heart rate up on a regular basis. This will help stimulate healthy circulation and the removal of toxins from the body!
It is important to note that everyone's experience with chiropractic care and other healthcare methods may differ, find what works best for you from these categories.
Chiropractic can be an effective form of treatment for migraines headaches. It may involve some consistency, the more you put in the more you get out. Same with exercise and lifestyle changes and the focus should always be on the root cause of migraines, rather than just symptomatic relief. Utilizing these tips can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
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