Sunday, August 9, 2009

From Noodles To Sex: The Prescription-Free Way To Migraine Relief

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 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.


Sinosoul said...

Speechless. I'm going to try all 4 in that pix at the same time some day.

H. C. said...

I'm not sure if I'm a migraine-free blessed who's only had one or two really bad headache ever, or if I'm a migraine-person who's only had one or two episodes ever. But yeah, as noted on our tweet-talk, white flower oil is a cure-all... esp. *ahem* for thumb-sucking.

Paul said...

where did u get that bowl of wontons from?

does masturbating count as sex?

Gastronomer said...

I will pass this on to my mother and auntie. Both are migraine sufferers and will appreciate this bit o fun! Or they'll think I'm bananas. What evs.

weezermonkey said...

4 aspirin + 1 Coke = relief!

Jean Z. said...

I keep the excedrin in my desk, medicine cabinet and in my purse. But you're right, you have to take it early on. Sex -- sometimes it works, sometimes it only creates more tension and not enough release. Great post, by the way. Do you know what your triggers are? Mine is based completely on the barameter. I can tell you 36 hours before it rains. And it's been a very wet summer. -- Jean

Anonymous said...

I never understood people who NEVER get headaches. Lucky bastards.

Losing my job also meant my migraines went from 3 a week to one every two months. So there's that...

joanh said...

man, a bowl of wonton noodle soup never looked so good! and yes.. i've been lucky enough to be in the no migraines category.

Daily Gluttony said...


LOL--who needs recreational drugs when you've got white flower oil, coke, excedrin & lube?


OK I hate you for being a non-headache person. White Flower Oil rocks! Though hopefully my boy doesn't become a thumb sucker and hopefully I'll never have to resort to that!


Hmm, gee...I wonder...haha

In regards to your other question, um, people don't always need a +1 to release endorphins, pain relieving horomones and ahem, something else. So there's your answer.


LOL that you'd pass it along to your mom & gma. Hopwfully they're a little more open minded than mine would be. I'd get disowned for publishing something like this. That's why my mom doesn't read my blog. haha

Weezer Monkey,

That's kinda what I took when I was prego & had a headache. Except I couldn't take asprin so for me it was 1 or 2 tylenol plus a coke.


The only thing I know that triggers mine are when I frown or squint too much (hence my desire to get a forehead lift-haha) and my hormones...I usually get them the week before & during Aunt Flo's visit. (Sorry if TMI) but I've never been able to ID any other triggers like foods. That's a trip that the weather affects yours!


oh so true about the direct correlation between work and migranes. and yeah, what's up w/ those peeps that NEVER get them. No fair!


LUCKY! i hate you too! LOL

April said...

I've been following your blog for a while (love!) but this is the first time I just HAD to comment. I have tried all of the remedies you suggested, and I was lucky enough to be one of the 1-2% of people who have an "adverse reaction" to the 28 Botox injections in my head and neck. "Adverse" only if you consider that I couldn't hold my head up for 4 days... Anyhoo, keep up the good work!

Right Way to Eat said...

Will #7 really works? The only reason I asked was that I thought they raised too much blood pressure. LOL.


Food, she thought. said...

Thank you so much for all these suggestions. Some of them I didn't know (spicy foods? who knew?) and some of them I did but I have never seen them altogether in one place. I am going to bookmark this. Two weeks ago on the way home from Palm Springs for work, I had to pull over to the side of the road and sleep off a doozy of a migraine. Next time, taco stand, large diet coke with ice and my handy Exedrin Migraine. TY.

Food, she thought. said...

Yeah, thanks again for posting. I came straight here this morning when my newest migraine reared it's ugly shimmering head,

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