Today I thought I’d share the things that help (me) when I have a migraine. I have chronic migraine, which means I have more than 15 days of migraine per month, luckily, some of the days it doesn’t get too bad, but the consultant said these are still migraines.
These things don’t always work, and are definitely more effective if I use them when I first feel the migraine coming on. If it goes to full blown migraine, the only thing I can do is take my meds, sleep and hope!
This little thing is great! It is peppermint and lavender oil in a glass tube with a roller ball. I put it on my temples as this is where my migraines start, sometimes I put it near my jaw or the back of my neck too as I often get migraines when I am stressed and clench my jaw. I wouldn’t say it makes a migraine go away, but it reduces the pain for me. And if I’m early enough, sometimes it does turn into a full migraine. Handy tip: don’t let it go anywhere near your eyes! It hurts! You can buy the Migrastick online or in shops like Holland & Barrett.
2. My migraine pillow
This sounds strange I know, but I have a pillow which i always use when I have a migraine. I have had the cushion forever, but I call it my “migraine pillow”. It is one that you can sink into and the cover stays quite cool. My regular pillow is quite firm so it is nice to have a soft pillow to sink into when my head hurts!
Again, never going to stop a migraine, but if it is right at the beginning it can prevent it and if not it can reduce it a little. I know that a lot of my migraines are stress induced so that’s probably why mindfulness helps. It makes me focus on my breathing instead of the pain and I relax all my muscles. I am a very tense person and find this can cause more migraines, especially tension in the jaw, neck and shoulders. I use an app called Stop, Breathe and Think. I have talked about this before in my post about mindfulness – A month of mindfulness! and Mindfulness: update
Unsurprisingly, sleep is one of the things that helps most when I have a migraine. A dark, quiet room is best. I snuggle into my duvet, use my migraine pillow, maybe listen to a (quiet) mindfulness meditation, and hope that when I get up, the nasty migraine will be gone.
It would be a total lie not to mention medication on this list. I previously used medication too much due to the frequency of my migraines, so now I have to be careful about when I take it. My doctor said a maximum of 10 times per month so I am sticking to that. I have become a good judge of when I need the medication (when it reaches 6/10 in pain) and when it is manageable without medication. I take sumatriptan, a medication available on prescription, and it is incredible. It usually works in less than an hour for me!
I hope this might help some others, as I am fully aware of how debilitating migraines are. I’ve had them since I was about 13 and the frequency has continued to increase as I’ve got older. I will being seeing the migraine consultant again this week so may have another update soon!
Do you have any tips or things that help you with migraines? Let me know as I’m always looking for new things to try!