When a migraine strikes, it can be crippling. Intense and sharp pain not only at the temples, but radiating throughout the entire head; feelings of nausea and digestive discontent; an unbearable aversion to light, sound, and even the smallest of movements.
Instead of succumbing to the incredible pain of migraines, you can get through your day with the right relief. These ten tricks may help you soothe the pain of intense headaches without any prescriptions.
Though you probably haven't sipped grape juice in years (aside from "adult" grape juice, that is), it's the perfect go-to remedy when a migraine strikes.
According to First Choice Smart and Home-Cure, grapes are an excellent pain reliever. Take a drink of all-natural grape juice (avoid sweetened kinds), or create your own at home to find relief. Blend fresh, ripe grapes with a bit of water, and you'll drink your discomfort away.
If you suffer from migraines on a regular basis, consider making one small switch to your diet: more nuts. Nuts can work as both a pain reliever and a preventative method to stave off future onsets.
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As Everyday Roots writes, many varieties of nuts (specifically almonds, water chestnuts and peanuts) contain the compound salicin (also found in willow bark extracts). Salicin is a pain-blocking agent that the body turns into the active chemical in aspirin. If you don't want to reach for over the counter pain relief, try eating some almonds when a headache strikes.
Although it may feel as though your head is under an incredible amount of pressure and pain, getting in touch with certain pressure points on the body can alleviate your discomfort.
When you begin to feel the first tinges of a migraine, place a bit of pressure on your craniosacral system. By pressing with your fingers on certain migraine-specific spots, you can force your brain to relax and rest, restarting it from a pain-free place. Though it increases pressure in the cranium, it works to send the tension that's building in your brain elsewhere.
Check out Acupressure's Potent Points: A Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments for more on using acupressure to relieve headaches and migraines.
Ever tried chewing on a piece of ginger in its natural form? You may want to try it after hearing about its pain-relieving powers.
According to Everyday Roots, ginger root affects the way our body handles inflammation and pain. When we ingest ginger root, it sparks the production of lipids within our cells—and lipids work to calm the nerves that react when we feel pain. Ginger root stops our body from recognizing and responding when migraines occur and can soothe nausea. All you need to do is chew on a piece, or sip some ginger root tea.
You've heard that eating turkey on Thanksgiving can make you sleepy thanks to its tryptophan. Did you know that it can also help you to find relief from migraine pain faster?
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that stimulates dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the "happy" chemical, one that helps us to feel great, and it is also a key component in the release of serotonin within the body. Serotonin works to relax the body, alleviating anxiety, worry, and negativity. Even more importantly, as tryptophan helps to produce dopamine and, in turn, serotonin, it relaxes the muscles surrounding the brain, soothing the capillaries of the scalp.
A regular massage may seem like a luxury, but when a migraine strikes, it can be the best way to relive all that's built up in your head.
Learn how to give yourself a calming and pain relieving massage, and you can prevent your migraines from growing worse, quickly. As you stretch and massage both the neck and the base of the scalp, you will stimulate blood flow and relaxation, sending the pain away from your head.
Check out Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage for more on how to relieve the pain of headaches and migraines through massage.
There are two tried-and-true methods that most of us turn to when facing an injury and its pain: hot or cold therapy. While it might seem odd to consider placing an iced or heated pack on your head, it can make all of the difference in just a few minutes.
As Stress Knots and the Mayo Clinic both recommend, simply choose which works best for your migraines. When you apply heat, your muscles will relax, and pain will lower. If you choose icy cold, you will numb the areas most in pain to all that they are feeling.
Try out one of these headache hat or other ice pack headbands — keep the included ice pack in the freezer so it's cold when pain strikes. If heat works for you, try this moist heat headache wrap or eye mask.
Although it may be painful to consider heading out into the sunlight when you're struggling to stop a migraine, getting close to nature can help—if you have an herb garden nearby. Ginger, peppermint, and cayenne can provide some natural pain relief and can treat both a headache and nausea that often comes with a migraine.
As Food Matters writes, ingesting these herbs offers the fastest relief. Create an at-home herbal tea by mixing cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, and peppermint leaves and steeping them in hot water for 15 minutes.
If you aren't a fan of hot tea, you can also create a migraine-soothing lemonade mix that combines lavender and lemons into one healing remedy.
Light is painful when you're suffering from a minimal headache, a hangover, and especially a migraine. Its brightness can trigger an even greater head pain, so don't be afraid to turn things down a bit.
As mentioned at ZeroWays, sensory stimuli can make migraines worse—and bright lights are one of the most problematic of these. To achieve quick relief, shut out as much light as you can. Turn down the brightness by shutting off the lights in the room you're in, and make sure to close the blinds or curtains. If you're in need of even greater help, don't be afraid to wear sunglasses, either indoors or out. The lenses can protect you from both natural and unnatural light. You could even grab a sleep mask to block out the light and lie down for a little while.
Although caffeine can cause headaches of its own in large amounts, a small dose of a beverage like coffee or soda can soothe the pain of an intense migraine.
When you drink caffeine, it can offer pain relieving benefits—as long as you drink just a small amount, as the Mayo Clinic notes. If you drink it right when you feel a migraine beginning to appear, it can also improve the effects of Tylenol, aspirin, and other over-the-counter pain relievers (Excedrine Migraine includes caffeine for this reason).
Whatever you choose to calm your intense migraine pain, keep track of what you eat, drink, and do when you get them. Finding the trigger to your headaches can help you avoid them in the future. Avoiding certain foods, ingredients, and activities, you can keep migraines at bay and not have to endure their awful reign.