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6 Ways to Stop a Migraine in its Tracks

Anyone who has ever suffered a migraine can tell you it is more than just a headache. According to Axon Optics, migraines cause intense pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances. The following are some natural techniques you can use to try to stop migraines before they start.

woman relieving migraine pain
Photo by Fotolia.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle factors can often trigger a migraine. A few simple modifications may help to reduce their frequency and severity.

• Try to reduce stress and find a calm environment at the first sign of a migraine. Tension and excessive stimuli can contribute to migraine symptoms. 
• Practice good sleep habits. Exhaustion and a poor night’s sleep can often trigger a migraine.
• Adopt a healthy lifestyle involving exercise and a healthy diet. Fluctuations in blood sugar and chemicals such as MSG and nitrates in certain foods can trigger migraines. Exercise causes the brain to release chemicals that can block pain signals.

Keep a Headache Diary

The best way to prevent migraines is to avoid known triggers. Keep a daily record of all foods, medications and activities. This can help you identify and eliminate potential headache-causing items and discover when you’re most likely to get them.

Invest in Essential Oils

Essential oils can reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve blood flow. Many of these oils have been used for years as home remedies for headaches, among other things. The most beneficial essential oils for headache relief include lavender, peppermint and basil.

Cool Off with Ice Packs

Ice packs are often more effective in relieving migraines than heat. The ice reduces inflammation may lead to migraine pain. You can also benefit from the numbing effect of the ice which can block pain signals.

Turn to Herbs and Supplements

Recent studies show that supplements such as riboflavin and CoQ10 are effective in preventing migraines. Other popular herbal headache remedies include feverfew, butterbur and flaxseed. These remedies either reduce inflammation or regulate blood flow, which can prevent or alleviate headaches.

Utilize Relaxation Techniques

Massages can ease headaches by stimulating blood flow and relaxing tense muscles in the neck and shoulders. Exercises such as yoga and tai chi help to reduce stress and increase body awareness, making it easier to detect early headache symptoms.

Recurrent migraines can be incapacitating, and have devastating effects on professional and family life. Many migraine sufferers feel anxious or depressed over the impact that headaches have on their daily lives. A support group or counseling can be an effective part of a migraine management regimen and provide sufferers with a renewed sense of control over their lives.

Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.