Being the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world, a migraine mostly affects women and children. This does not mean that migraines do not happen to men, but it’s less common. All because the nerve cells that cause pain during migraines become more active in the presence of the female sex hormone estrogen. A migraine often occurs as a consequence of birth trauma in a child.
What Does a Migraine Feel Like?
Migraine is a disorder that causes prolonged, intense, sometimes completely intolerable headache that usually occurs in one side of the head. Most patients suffering from migraines also complain about neck pain. Though a migraine is considered to be not a life-threatening condition, it greatly affects the quality of a person’s life. A severe headache, often accompanied by nausea, photophobia, sensitivity to sounds and smells, vomiting, tiredness, and mood changes, knocks you out of a rut and makes you incapable to work, concentrate and live a full life.
Unlike other types of headache, a migraine attack can last up to 72 hours or even longer. Another phenomenon associated with a migraine is an aura which often involves vision or sensitive disturbances – the warning signs of an upcoming attack. They can be flashes of light, tunnel vision, numbness, strange heavy feeling in arms or legs, inability to speak clearly, changes in taste or smell. For some people a migraine pain is unbearable, and they have to stay in a dark and silent place for relief. The severity of migraine attacks differ from person to person and throughout life. But the fact is that this debilitating illness can completely deprive you of sleep and rest, bothering your career and personal life.
What Causes Migraine
The main factors that increase the risk of migraine are genetic predisposition and changes in the level of sex hormones in the body. Migraines are usually stimulated by triggers like stress, a lack of sleep, changes in the workload, for example, rest after hard work (weekend migraines are very common), as well as a diet violation (popular food triggers include chocolate, vine, canned food, cheese, alcohol). There are also menstrual migraines.
The mechanism of a migraine is not fully understood, but there are some effective alternative treatment methods that you can try in order to alleviate the pain and make the attacks less durable and intense. Below we will give some pieces of advice to help overcome migraine attacks without using traditional medications, like triptans, NSAIDs, or antiemetics that are widely prescribed by conventional medicine.
Yoga and Mediation as the Best Relaxation Techniques to Prevent Migraine
Practicing yoga for migraines can reduce pain, throbbing sensations, and frequency of the attacks. The increased tone of the nervous system keeps the body of a migraine sufferer in a state of alert, making it difficult to relax, sleep and even breathe. The modulation of the autonomic nervous system is the leading mechanism of how yoga helps with a migraine. Yoga and meditation reduce the level of stress, improve blood circulation as well as develop your ability to feel the body and its needs. Yoga practice harmonizes your inner state making fear and anxiety decrease. If you experience migraine right now, some yoga poses (like child’s pose, forward fold, supine chest, and shoulder stretch) can target tension and stress, boosting the circulation of blood flow to your brain. Be aware that if you have a migraine from yoga, you should reconsider your habits around the yoga practice. For example, you may be hungry or thirsty or have a lack of sleep which makes you feel bad during the practice. Performing yoga poses in the wrong way, not breathing correctly also can lead to migraines. So, it’s better to start yoga practice with a professional yoga teacher.
Medical Marijuana Reduces Migraine Pain
There are several studies that confirm the positive effect of marijuana on the overall health of migraine sufferers. A recent study published in the Journal of Pain in 2019 stated that medical cannabis can reduce migraine pain by about 50%. According to the next study published in Brain Science, medical cannabis helps boost mental health, minimize the frequency of attacks and reduce the number of traditional anti-migraine medications used by patients.
The principle of treating a migraine with marijuana is simple: the cannabinoids — natural compounds of marijuana — interact with a person’s body and its receptors. They stimulate body functions and calm down pain signals. Inhaling medical cannabis is one of the most effective and quick ways to relieve pain. Other forms of medical cannabis (like pills, gummies) can also be helpful. Which form to choose depends on your body’s reaction and the previous experience with marijuana. Medical cannabis is able to relieve nausea, and if taken right at the beginning of an attack, can even stop a migraine. The sedative effect of cannabis eliminates stress which is one of the most common reasons for a migraine.
Acupressure Massage to Relieve Migraine Pain
Being one of the ancient healing practices of Chinese medicine, acupressure massages help people with different health problems, including migraines. They are usually made with the help of needles that trigger certain points. Pressure points responsible for migraines include those on the ears, hands, feet, face, and neck. Acupressure gives a person muscle tension relief and improves blood circulation. Moreover, acupressure to specific points on the head and wrist reduces nausea during an attack. The feeling of relaxation, relief, and extra energy is very common after the acupressure manipulations. If you don’t have time to go to professionals, you can use acupressure mats that have a similar effect. This way you get quick relief without leaving a home. These mats can take some time to get used to, as the spikes may be sharp at the beginning and cause some discomfort. But then you will start to feel the warmth and relax.
Animal Therapy as a Part of Migraine Treatment
All pets can provide valuable support and companionship to their owner. Animals can provide a needed silent emotional support to migraine sufferers. Moreover, they are able to recognize early signs of a migraine and notify you by licking, barking, or jumping around. This enables you to take medication timely before the pain persists or get relaxed in order to prevent an attack. If we talk about service dogs for migraines, they can be taught to perform different actions to help you cope with a migraine and its consequences, for example, dogs can retrieve a phone, water, medications. If a migraine occurs in a public place, a service dog can be taught to help you get faster to a safe place and find assistance. So if you are suffering from chronic migraines, think about getting a migraine service dog or an ESA pet: this will definitely increase the quality of your life! Here you can find more information about housing rights for people with emotional support animals as well as how to obtain the necessary certification for them.
If after reading this post you decide to try medical marijuana for a migraine, you are in the right place. While a migraine is not listed as being a qualifying condition for getting a medical card, chronic pain is. In case your migraines are regular, intense, and debilitating, you have a legal reason to apply for a medical marijuana card. Experiencing migraine as a symptom of another illness that is a qualifying condition (such as, but not limited to HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also allows you to qualify for a medical card.
In order to get a marijuana card, you should have a special letter written by a licensed doctor from your state that will confirm your diagnosis and the need to use marijuana for relief of your health condition. It’s possible to require such a letter from your own therapist. But, if you, for any reason, don’t want to do it, addressing this issue to Mmjcard4less service will save you time and effort.