How to Show Your Migraines Who’s Boss

I never understood what a migraine was. Even when I was first experiencing them I was at a complete loss as to what was happening to my body. It was so weird. I thought that a migraine was simply a giant headache and I couldn’t possibly understand why people were so controlled by them – making excuses about not being able to come to work or not being able to attend social events. I had no sympathy because I didn’t understand. So here’s a good definition I found on the migraine trust website:

“A migraine is an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance.”

Sensory disturbance can include disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, felling ill or vomiting (Goadsby, 2017). Attacks typically last anywhere between 4 and 72 hours at which the individual may be required to lie still for the first few hours. He explains how migraines can have an enormous impact on your work, family, and social lives – pretty much stating that migraines suck.

Everyone experiences migraines differently (this is actually the key for figuring out what’s causing them), but for me loss of vision was first, closely followed by a mild panic attack because I knew what was about to come. I would then experience a complete loss of sensation. I lost feeling in my hands and feet, my ability to see clearly, to comprehend what was going on around me, and I lost my ability to talk. No wonder I had a panic attack almost every time I felt a migraine coming on.

Balancing university, work, my fitness, and somehow a social life was hard enough without migraines getting in the way. The amount of stress it caused resulted in more migraines which made me more stressed and so the downward cycle continued.

I am not ashamed to admit this because I know that there are plenty of others out there who feel the same, but my migraines were so bad that every time I got one I was quite happy to give up on life. I thought ‘what is the point if I’m going to feel like this everyday’. I used to get a couple of migraines a week and the symptoms would last up to a couple of days each – so yes, it was extremely rare that I ever felt ‘normal’.

I would lie in bed and just cry. Cry because feeling helpless was not the life I wanted to live. I like to think that I have a tough personality. I know that I can get through anything. So when a migraine came along I used to get so angry and upset because it turned me into someone who was weak and helpless. It went against everything in my being. I felt hopeless.

Kelsey

As a psychology graduate I knew that whatever chemical reaction that was happening in my brain was extinguishing any trace of positivity that I had left. I was an unhappy soul. But this was not who I wanted to be. I am not the type of person to just let things ‘be’. So I googled EVERYTHING and was willing to try ANYTHING.

The following are the steps in which I took to conquer my migraines. Because YES it is possible. I haven’t had a migraine for 10 months and counting and I’d like to provide a tactical approach for those who might also be struggling. I’ve done the research and my experience is a testimony as to what can work.

First up: Meditation. 

Kelsey Yoga

Stress was a definite cause of my migraines. Especially when combined with a lack of sleep. I thought meditation would help. And it did to an extent. My stress levels went down slightly but the migraines were still constant and as bad as ever. Still recommend trying.

 

Second: Diet.

I had heard that things like dairy, gluten, fermented foods, alcohol, chocolate, or other additives can ‘trigger’ a migraine. I wasn’t sure if my migraines were triggered by certain foods but I was desperate so I cut everything out for two months and ate only whole foods. My body loved me for eliminating those foods from my diet – not that I was eating much of it anyway – and I felt more energised and alert. But my migraines didn’t budge. Definitely recommend trying as I know that this may be a trigger for others.

Third: Hormones.

Yep. Exactly what you were hoping not to see on this page. But ladies, this one is huge. I was on the pill trifeme, loved it, didn’t have an issue apart from bad acne so I eventually decided to switch. This was when my migraines started. I tried 4 different pills over a year and a half with no luck. I eventually found a good doctor who told me that I shouldn’t be on the pill if I was experiencing migraines that bad. Wow. Could have told me earlier.

So I came off the pill. And my body loved me for it. My migraines reduced in frequency and severity, but were still occurring occasionally. This one is a definite must for women experiencing migraines. Depending on what you’re after, there are plenty of birth control options out there that don’t put hormones in your bloodstream and tamper with your neurological system. Get off the pill.

Four: Chiropractor

Surprised? So was I. This was my magic fix. I was working at an expo one weekend and was going around and chatting to people at their stalls. One stall in particular promoted chiropractic care. Being conscious of my overall health, this was something that I wanted to tick off my list anyway, plus it was free.

So I sat down in the chair as the woman checked my spine. Moments later she told me quite bluntly that my neck was out. I explained to her my issues with migraines and she responded by booking me in for a free x-ray and consult. I left the stall in tears, hoping this might finally be the solution.

After my first adjustment I felt the effects immediately. My constantly blurry vision cleared up, and my intense sensitivity to light lessened. I was a happy girl. So please, get your spine checked. I was a non-believer in chiropractic care and now I swear by it.

Last one: Go natural

Get off that medication that your doctor prescribed. I have an aunty and uncle who have been nursing for over 25 years so when they heard about my migraines they helped me out with endless amounts of medication used to target migraines. None of them really worked. Your body doesn’t want it.

If that’s what you need to help you get by while you figure out the primary cause, then I have a better alternative.

Therapeutic, medicinal grade essential oils. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. But there’s a reason people rave about them. Frankincense was my God-send. And before you go buying it from the nearest health food store, think again. I would say ‘do the research’ but I’ve taken the liberty and done that for you…

There are no manufacturers who monitor whether essential oils are 100% or not. This means that although the oil itself may in fact be 100% pure, there is no way to tell what other products or chemicals they’ve mixed with it.

My answer. Young Living.

If you don’t believe me at this stage then research it, and shoot me a message when you’re convinced – I’ll help you get started.

On a final note, I hope this has inspired some of you to pick yourself up and find the cause of your migraines. There is a reason that you are the one experiencing them and not others. There was a reason that I was experiencing them, and not my friends, I just had to figure it out and decide to be the boss of my migraines.

 

References

Goadsby, P. (2017). More than just a headache. Retrieved 2017 from: https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/migraine-what-is-it/more-than-just-a-headache/

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