Migraine is an excruciatingly painful headache. It is usually accompanied by visual disturbances, tingling sensation along the limbs, nausea and even vomiting. While there are over the counter preventive medications available for migraine, there are few non-medical treatments that provide relief from such severe pain and even decreases the frequency of these painful experiences.
While everybody loves a good massage, massage therapy is found in various ancient cultures as an effective way for pain relief. A small research in 2006 based on 47 candidates suffering from migraine suggests that massage therapy can be held effective for not only relieving pain but also reducing headache days. It was found that participants who received massage therapy experiences less attacks and slept better in the weeks that they received the therapy. Massage leads to release of the chemical serotonin that relieves pain and is believed to be related to migraine. Massage also blocks the pain signals from being sent to brain which may lead to reduction in frequency of migraine attacks.
Acupuncture has proven to be an extremely effective method in relieving migraine pain and reducing migraine days in various clinical trials. In a particular study carried out over 5 weeks, the participants of the trial had 10-20 needles inserted in their skin, twice a week. This resulted in them suffering in lesser frequency. While the average frequency of the participants were six times a month, since the therapy, the frequency reduced to about three times a month and with reducing intensity. Authentic Chinese acupuncture therapy is found to be the most effective in the long run. It is, however, said that sufferers who have not received any other kind of treatment respond better to acupuncture than someone who has gone through other kind of treatment.
University of Minnesota suggests that 30 minutes of exercise, thrice every week can reduce the intensity of migraine. A point to note here is that exercise often induces migraine or headache if it is too intense or is done sporadically. However, light aerobic exercises done on a regular basis reduces the intensity of migraine by relieving tension. It is suggested that for someone who does not work out and is a beginner, should ease into it by doing the right warm up exercises and starting with walking, cycling, yoga and such.
A study has found that a migraine sufferers who practice meditation for 20 minutes a day for 30 days, along with medication, experience a significant reduction in severity and number of migraine attacks. Medication is a mind-body spiritual practice. It involves the practitioner to concentrate attention and awareness into the calmer and relaxed inner self and ignoring any external and internal distractions. While practicing meditation thoughts can pass our mind but the mind cannot dwell in it, in an attempt to keep the mind clear. Although researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how it relieves pain but meditation has been shown to have major effect in most kinds of chronic pains. In case of migraine headache, meditation has been found particularly effective in reducing headache days.