As a fellow migraine sufferer, I know how it is. I know about the blinding pain and the various and weird other syptoms. I know that some days you push through and some days you lie down. I know that the sound of someone chewing their food can make your head want to explode and the feeling of being looked at in disbelief for making statements like that. I know that feeling of the prodrome…the sinking feeling that another one might be coming on…
Also, I know better than to tell you I have “the cure.” Unfortunately I haven’t cured myself and I’d never make a promise like even if I had. But I think I may be able to help with your headaches. Mine are very mild and I believe its because of the holistic methods I’ve used over the years to keep them at bay. Whether you want a massage once in awhile, or a complete program, here’s what I can offer:
1. Empathy. I’ve had migraines for about 10 years. I talk quietly and I listen. If you just want to lie down, we’ll both just be quiet.
2. My office has room-darkening shades and if it’s still too bright we’ll cover your eyes. You can choose just about any music that feels soothing, or no music at all.
3. Massage Therapy – Although muscle-tension headaches are quite different from migraine headaches, muscle tension can be a migraine trigger. Some days we’ll pay special attention to the neck and head, reducing trigger points and fascial restrictions that may be ignored in a general spa-type massage. Other days you may need a gentle, integrative Swedish massage. The key is to listen to your body.
4. Reiki – This gentle healing method can be just the thing for reducing stress, a significant contributor to migraines. People describe it as feeling light, euphoric, like they are floating. Some are surprised how quickly the time passes, whereas beforehand they couldn’t imagine lying still and relaxed for an entire hour!
5. Guided Visualization – I use this regularly when dealing with my own migraine pain, to help reduce pain and the amount of medicine I take. You can experience it with me in my office and learn it to do at home for yourself. All you have to do is relax, breathe, and listen to the sound of my voice.
6. Migraine Miracle – You’ve heard of Hot Stone Massage, right? Well, the Migraine Miracle treatment uses cold, marble stones to soothe the hot, inflamed areas of the head and face that are so familiar to those of us who get migraines. There are also specific essential oil blends used to help with known migraine triggers: stress, foods, environmental factors, hormones. This is best used when you feel a migraine coming on. You can come to my office and/or purchase a set to use at home to help fight off impending attacks.
7. Aromatherapy for Migraines – Peppermint is a go-to essential oil for headaches and migraine. I have plenty of it, but I also like using the same system I use in my 2-hour Essential Oil for Pain massage. It uses specific essential oils that your body chooses to work with the muscular, nervous, skeletal, and fascial systems. All oils I use in my practice are available to purchase online for home use.
8. Instructions for Self-Massage and Stretching – There’s nothing like coming in for a massage to deeply relax your body and mind. Few of us can manage to get a professional massage every single day. But at home you can help keep your muscles feeling loose like they do after you get a massage with a simple daily routine.
9. Handouts from professionals in the fields of acupuncture, naturopathy, and psychotherapy to help you look at other factors that may be contributing to your headaches. Julie, Weiner, ND has extensive knowledge and experience treating hormonal imbalances through nutritional counseling and herbal therapies. Christina Dea, L.Ac., also treats migraines with acupuncture and herbs, but using Traditional Chinese Medicine which balances the energetic systems of the body. Liz McAuliffe, LCMHC, is a psychotherapist who can help with Medical Detox, Opiate Addiction, and Medication Management, as well as the emotional components often related to migraine symptoms.