The ancient practice of acupuncture can alleviate and prevent migraines. In fact, a 2008 study published in the American Headache’s Society Journal of Head and Face Pain found unequivocally that “TA [traditional acupuncture] was the only treatment able to provide a steady outcome improvement” in migraine treatment of the methods studied, including the use of prescription migraine drug Rizatriptan. (19)
18. DIY Scalp Massage
There’s a reason we have the instinct to rub something when it hurts. Massage therapy has been shown to be a very effective method of alleviating the frequency of migraines and improving sleep, even for weeks after therapy ends. (20)
If you suffer chronic migraines, it’s worth trying a self-massage every day and noting any changes. You know that it certainly won’t hurt you and will more than likely help.
- Gently massage your head with your first two fingers in a circular motion. While massaging, keep in mind that there are pressure points at locations like the base of the skull, middle of the forehead (between the eyebrows) and corners of the eyes that when pressed correctly help relieve pain.
- Alternatively, heat two tablespoons of sesame oil. Mix in one-half teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom powder. Let it cool so that it is warm but not hot. Test the temperature on the back of your hand. Then, apply this mixture on your forehead and massage. Leave it on for a few hours before washing it off.
19. Eat an Apple
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that constricts blood vessels, but its mechanism in the manifestation of a migraine isn’t fully understood. Choline (an essential nutrient) synthesizes acetylcholine; what is known is that low levels of choline in the blood—hence, acetylcholine—are associated with migraine headaches.
Apples actually increase the production of acetylcholine in the brain. (21) One Chicago study found that smelling a green apple reduced the intensity of a migraine and shortened its duration. It’s thought that the scent relieves muscle constriction, thereby alleviating pain. (22)
20. Weather-related Migraines
Since you can’t change the weather and unless you’re willing to move to a different climate, weather-related migraines are difficult to prevent.
Migraine Again suggests the following (23):
- Stay adequately hydrated.
- Remain indoors to reduce exposure to bright light, drastic temperatures, and high humidity.
- Invest in special glasses – even when you’re indoors, fluorescent lights and other bright lights can aggravate some migraine sufferers. Block indoor lights and outdoor glare with migraine glasses using a tint called FL-41.
- Check the weather forecast to plan for what’s ahead. Some weather websites have a feature for “Personalized Forecasts”, including “Migraine”. You can enter your location and it will tell you what weather conditions will be for the next few days in the context of people susceptible to migraines.
- Get a barometer – it will indicate changes in air pressure that may contribute to a migraine. There’s also an app for that.