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How to Get Rid Migraines Naturally

Updated on December 9, 2012

The Road to Migraine Relief...

Experiencing migraine is a real torture for many. If you’re one of those millions of people who suffer from these excruciating headaches, you’re surely searching for the most effective ways on how to get rid of migraines, am I right?

If I am, and I know I am cause you're here reading this, then take a few minutes and browse our different sections below. They won't cure your migraine headaches overnight, but they are guaranteed to alleviate the pain and make your migraine episodes a bit more manageable.

Also, don't forget to take our "Migraine Quiz" and participate in our migraine polls!

3 Natural Ways to Get Rid of a Migraine

1) Migraine Herbs

Herbs have long been used as great natural treatments, whether as a sole treatment or together with other medications, to cure migraine. Feverfew, Butterbur and Ginkgo Biloba are well-known herbs that effectively reduce headache pains.

Feverfew consists of an active element termed as parthenolide, which calms muscle spasms, hence relieving migraine headaches.

Butterbur comes from the plant Petasites hybridus and it contains the compounds petasins, which block calcium channel to alleviate headaches.

Ginkgo Biloba is a very popular tree species that is utilized for various medical purposes. It helps cure migraines by enhancing the blood circulation to the brain.

You can take any of these herbs on a regular basis not only to cure migraines but to prevent their occurrence as well.

2) Hot or Cold Compress

Depending on a person’s preference, hot or cold compress can be utilized to have quick but temporary relief from a migraine.

Cold treatment, or cryotherapy, functions to constrict blood vessels in your head which causes to relieve pressure on the nerves, hence reducing migraine pains. You can use a damp, folded hand towel or refrigerated ice packs.

If you prefer hot compress, use hot water, soak the cloth and then apply on your forehead. You may also take a cold or hot shower with aromatherapy for immediate relief. Typically, hot compress is more effective for muscular tension-induced migraines while cold compress is more suitable for mixed types of headaches.

3) Avoid the Three C’s

You should keep in mind that migraines caused by different triggers for each person. It’s very important that you find out and avoid your own triggers to prevent torturous migraines.

The most potent food triggers are the 3 C's -- which are caffeine, chocolate and cheese.

Cutting down on such foods, or perhaps eliminating them from your diet, will make a big difference in treating migraines for long term.

Caffeine is a notorious headache trigger because it mainly constricts blood vessels in the brain causing the vessels to overstretch. Chocolate contains caffeine so it’s also a must-avoid food. Cheese is also bad for migraines, especially the aged ones.

Moreover, be sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle and this includes sleeping regularly for eight hours daily, exercising and avoiding bad vices like alcohol.

By following these top three methods on how to get rid of migraines, you can finally break free from those excruciating pains.

How Painful Are Your Migraines?

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4 More Effective Ways to Get Rid of Migraine Headaches

Millions upon millions of people experience the pains of having a migraine every now and then. With so many people, I highly doubt the 3 "remedies" above are going to solve all your problems -- that's why I have included 4 more tips/treatments. Now we're up to 7, wooo-hooo!

Quick Note: Some of these methods are "preventative", some are "curative", but they all help in one way or another!

1. Light and Sound Settings

Some people are quite sensitive to light, sound and even temperature. If you find that you experience migraine attacks each time you sit in a hot room or very bright area, the best thing you should do is go to a silent, dimly lit room and rest. Try to calm yourself, clear your thoughts and meditate. Do slow, relaxing breathing exercises.

2. Rest

Maintaining a regular, adequate sleeping pattern can do wonders in curing your migraines. Sometimes, we get too stressed out and having insufficient sleep can only increase the frequency of migraine attacks. Try to take a nap during daytime if possible and get at least eight hours of sleep at night.

3. Exercise

Proper exercise can greatly help in preventing and treating migraines. Regular exercise helps in boosting blood flow in your system, hence preventing potentially painful headaches. Simply spend half an hour per day, in the morning or at night, doing easy exercises such as jogging, running or even walking.

4. Over-the-counter Medicines (It's An Option, Just Not One of My Favorites)

It’s not quite recommended to take medicines or OTC pills for migraines every time, as it could lead to dependency or cause side effects. However, if you want instant (or at least VERY FAST) migraine migraine relief, try Triptans which function by way of interference with a brain chemical known as 5HT, considered by medical scientists as a main cause of migraines.

Also, common OTC headache & pain pills such as Ibuprofen, Advil and Tylenol may help to relieve pain. It’s best to consult your doctor to be sure which drugs are suitable for you if you are worried about possible side effects or are concerned about other health issues.

It’s very important to note that there are various factors which could trigger a migraine attack. What causes your migraine may be different from what causes others; thus, try to keep a journal of your own triggers (everything you've done for the past hour leading the migraine) so you could learn how to get rid of migraines more effectively.

What Do You Do?

When a Migraine Is In It's Early Stages, You....

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Is It Really a Migraine?

So you've been getting a lot of headaches recently, and you're afraid that they might be migraines. But, you don't want to waste a trip to the doctor if they are not migraines, right?

So, exactly how can you tell the difference between migraines and the simple tension headaches? While this article may not tell you everything you need to know about migraine headaches, it will certainly help you to understand and be able to spot the difference when your next headache or migraine arises, so pay attention!

The First Thing To Check... Level of Pain

The first and easiest way to spot the difference between a headache and a migraine is that if the pain is just a dull and constant ache, then it is probably just a common, run of the mill headache.A migraine, however, causes stabbing pain in certain areas of the head as well as light sensitivity and in some cases sound sensitivity.

The most common areas of pain with a migraine are the top and back of the head. Also, with a normal headache you'll still be able to function to some degree. Migraines, on the other hand, are almost always debilitating for many people. In fact, you may find it difficult to hold a conversation or even open your eyes if your migraine is severe enough.

The Second Thing to Check... Sensitivity

The next difference is sensitivity. While everyone complains about noise when they have a headache, they are very rarely "super sensitive" to sound like you are with a migraine. It just happens to be really annoying because of your headache.

Migraines are very often light sensitive too, meaning the light makes them worse and staying in a light room can make them excruciating. That is the key difference, as it is with sound as well. The pain will quickly escalate until you find a quiet, dark place to rest. If you have a tension headache, you probably won't notice much of a difference by doing this. If you have a migraine though, you'll notice that it's not getting any worse and that it is in fact slowly getting better.

The Third Thing To Check... How Often?

One of the last things you want to look for when it comes to determining symptoms of migraine headaches is if you get them on a regular basis. While migraines are often caused by stress and anxiety, they are more often caused by dehydration or tension. That said, if you find yourself getting these mind-numbingly painful migraines after any and every stressful event -- no matter how seemingly insignificant -- it could be time to invest in relaxation therapy.

This could be anything from a warm bath with herbal oils, to watching TV and relaxing on a sofa, to even curling up on the couch with a good book. The better you handle your stress load, the less frequently you'll suffer from the symptoms of migraine headaches.

Maybe It's Not a Headache or a Migraine. Have You Been Injured Lately?

While you're evaluating the symptoms of migraine headaches to determine if you have one or not, be aware that if you have been injured recently (from a few days to a week or two) you could have a concussion, not a migraine or a headache.

This is much more serious and demands medical attention ASAP, so if you were hit in the head before these headaches/migraines started, go see a doctor right away. An untreated concussion can lead to a coma or worse, so it is not something that you want to put off because you don't like going to the doctor.

Got a Remedy To Share?

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    • healingsword profile image

      Ann Wehrman 

      6 years ago from California

      Very well-written and informative Hub. Thank God I don't have migraines. However my dear friends suffer greatly from them, and after reading this, I understand more clearly what they are going through. Great job!


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