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March 28, 2014

Tips for Migraine Relief. ~ Guenevere Neufeld

Headache

I’ve had a migraine for the past four days.

It’s not fun.

There are all sorts of reasons people get migraines. I know mine are usually stress and tension induced; I start noticing them once my neck muscles have tightened and soon I’ll be laying nauseous in a darkened room. I haven’t had regular migraines in a while and I’ve certainly never had a dull, aching one for this long. Needless to say, I’m ready for it to go away.

Here’s what usually works for me.

Water

Dehydration often accompanies stress and tension, and alone can be a cause of headaches and migraines. Drinking more water is one of the easiest things we can do to increase our health. And is especially helpful if I’m to imbibe in:

A glass of wine

At the onset of a tension headache, before it crosses the line into migraine territory, I can sometimes curb it with a relaxing glass of wine. What is about a good Cabernet Sauvignon? I get to take a time out and release from my day as the alcohol mixes into my bloodstream and lets my muscles release as well.

Of course it’s possible to get headaches and migraines from alcohol. Always listen to your body’s wisdom.

An orgasm

Similar to the “Red Wine” concept, an orgasm both encourages a culminating release of muscles, as well as potentially shifting energy to a positive experience of intimacy with another. Or, you know, ourselves.

Revolved Triangle…

…or any other gentle stretches. I’ve discovered that revolved triangle helps because of the twist in my lower spine—where my tension generally begins.

I can also get this with reclined twists, lying on my back with my arms in a “T” position, bending my knees and letting them move towards the floor on one side and then the other. I like to include my neck in these twists, stretching the entire length of the spine. It’s all connected, after all.

I stay away from flowing sequences like Sun Salutations—all that movement creates more pressure in my head—and absorb all I can from a restorative practice with lots of child’s pose.

Limiting screen time

I realize the irony of writing on a computer screen during a migraine and making the suggestion to limit screen time. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Depending on the severity of the migraine, limited screen time can be supplemented with taking “gazing breaks.” I’m often starting off into space anyway, but during computer work, it can help relax the eyes to gaze into the distance. A window helps. As does the window of imagination.

Posture

If my headache or migraine is not at the stage where bright lights cause intense discomfort, I make sure to keep good posture while on a computer. This comes back to whole spinal awareness and keeping my neck in alignment by keeping my chin tucked back.

Look for the root

While I can’t pin it down to any single cause, I am undergoing simultaneous major life changes, which definitely have their influence on my migraines. Other factors include hormonal, mattress/pillow arrangements, and the weather. What can help me is to reflect on what is happening in my life, and try to uncover just what it is that I’m storing in the tension in my back and neck.

Prayer

From the obvious, “Please let this be over soon,” to the more beneficial directing of mental energy, prayer can find an expression through mantra. I mentally recite the Divine Light mantra, taken from Swami Sivananda Radha’s larger meditation, the Divine Light Invocation.

I am created by Divine Light

I am sustained by Divine Light

I am protected by Divine Light

I am surrounded by Divine Light

I am ever growing into Divine Light

I enter into the words and let the feeling they create emanate out of me. It gives me something to direct energy toward that can lift me in a positive direction.

Though it may not seem like it at the time, migraines and headaches will end eventually. For all the sufferers out there, you have my empathy and encouragement on the path of well-being.

 

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: elephant archives and Flickr

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