Non-migrane sufferers need not read this.
'Cause you're those people who look at us migraine sufferers like we're crazy when we say our heads hurt so much that it feels like it's being squeezed by a vice-grip and that the very sound of your voice makes us want to hurl all over your lap. Yes, they are debilitating. No we are not being whiny crybaby sissies when we say that we need to go home because of a headache. Migraines suck.
Maybe it's from fatigue or maybe even from the fact that my post-partum hormones are having a party, but whatever the reason may be, I've unfortunately been getting alot of migraines lately. Fortunately, given how much I hate taking prescription meds, I've got a list of ways you too can get migraine relief without having to see the doctor (unless you're screwing him or her...read on)
1) Turn down the lights & noise Duh.
2) Excedrin Migraine OK, yes it's a pill that you still have to pop, but I remain delusional that it won't have as many short or long term side effects since it's over the counter. Just one of these asprin/acetominophen/caffiene cocktails works for me. The trick, though, is to pop one of these babies when you feel the slightest hint of a headache coming on, otherwise you may be too late.
3) Minty oil or balm Yes, you will smell like your 85 year old Chinese grandma, but this stuff works. Simply dab some on the areas that are ailing you, such as your temples, forehead, neck or that little spot just under your nose and you'll feel your head clear up. (Just be cautious not to get too close to your eyes!) My formula of choice is White Flower Oil since I've been using it for everything from stomach aches to headaches since childhood; I also like that its vintage-y looking bottles come in three sizes including a miniature one that I take with me wherever I go. These can be purchased for a couple bucks anywhere Chinese health products and herbs are sold such as Wing Hop Fung; a better known choice is Tiger Balm which can even be purchased at your local drugstore.
4) Spicy foods I know, I know. The last thing you want to do when you're all nauseous is eat, but eating something sometimes helps to curb the nausea. (This was also true for me during pregnancy--hmm, could there be a connection?) Additionally, it's always been my personal theory that migraines are your body's way of telling you it's trying hard to eliminate something it doesn't want up in there. Eat something spicy--a big steaming bowl of spicy noodles is my personal fave--to make yourself sweat and to get that nose running which will hopefully help clear up that foggy-headed feeling that often accompanies a migraine. I always keep some Nong Shim Neoguri Spicy Seafood Udon on hand just in case I'm feeling too crappy to pick up some pho, boat noodles, bibim naeng myun or wonton noodles.
5) Caffeine, preferably with carbonation Caffeine helps to constrict the blood vessels that caused the headache in the first place. I usually reach for a coke before the coffee for this next reason...
6) Gas No, not the kind you put in your car, silly. You know what kind of gas I mean; yes, that's right...burp or fart. I don't know why, but it helps take the edge off the pain.
7) Sex Has someone ever given you the excuse "Not tonight dear, I have a headache?" Well there's a chance that he or she was lying. Studies have shown that the endorphins and pain relieving horomones released while knockin' boots helps to cure headaches. No spouse, significant other or booty call around? Get creative. You know what I mean. Oh yeah, and don't do numbers 6 & 7 together, please.
8) Elimination I know this is gross, but as I mentioned before, I always have the feeling that my body's trying to get rid of something every time I have a migraine. Which is why, despite my lifelong fear of throwing up, everytime I actually did hurl from the migraine associated nausea, I immediately felt better. And um, not to be even grosser, but elimination the other way also provides some headache relief. (Note: don't do this either if doing number 7)
9) Take those contacts out The last thing you want when you already feel like your head is being sucked into a vacuum is the feeling of suction cups grasping onto your eyeballs. Take those suckers out or if you can't at least give your eyes a good drenching with rewetting drops.
10) Clean up Hopefully you did this before doing #7, but even if you didn't do the deed, go take a steamy hot shower or at least go brush your teeth and wash your face. The water helps the muscles and blood vessels in your head and neck chill out.
11) Sleep Probably the best cure of them all. When all else fails, turn the lights out and catch some zzz's. Your body will thank you.
So there you have it. Now these aren't meant to be a substitution for seeing the doc if your migraines persist...they're merely ways to make your day less miserable when that headache does strike. And there's no guarantee that any or all of these will work for everyone either as each person is different so don't come after me if none of these work. I might just throw up on you.
P.S. This may be a little controversial, but you can always kill two birds with one stone and opt for plastic surgery and botox to get rid of both your forehead frown lines and your migraines. I will be following steps 1 through 11 above until I hit my 40's (right around the corner by the way) which will hopefully also be when going under the knife for migraine relief becomes more mainstream. No more migraines and health insurance paying for a little nip-tuck? Yes, please.