Migraine is a neurological disorder suffered by around two million Australians. This means that more people suffer from migraine in Australia than diabetes, asthma, or coronary heart disease!
This has an economic and social impact for all involved - a large majority of sufferers report that their lives are greatly affected by the pain and debilitation of migraine.
Migraine is categorised as severe throbbing one sided headaches lasting from a few hours to sometimes a few days and may include nausea, vomiting and/or sensitivity to light or sound.
It has been commonly agreed by the scientific and medical community that Migraine headache occurs when blood vessels to the brain dilate and release chemicals to trigger inflammation.
It is interesting to note, however, that current technology now exists to measure the dilation of vessels in brain during migraine and the finding is that no dilation is occurring.
What we currently understand to be triggers or causes vary from person to person and include:
• Lifestyle – emotional stress and diet
• Hormonal imbalance
• Environmental factors eg: Pollution/EMF’s
Diet and lifestyle are major factors in the occurrence of migraine: sensitivities to certain foods as well as nutritional deficiencies and toxicities must be considered. An example is magnesium - studies have shown low levels of magnesium can play a role in migraine occurrence.
Therefore, keeping a food diary to try and pinpoint any food triggers for migraine is essential.
A Mind Body Medicine approach to migraine looks at:
• Diet (nutritional deficiencies and their causes)
• Underlying causes - Emotional blockages and stressors
• Structural issues (posture)
• Acupressure points (see below)
• Specific essential oils and flower essences - relieves nausea, analgesic and anti inflammatory.
• Homeopathic remedies and tissue salts
The Mind Body Medicine approach is:
• suitable for Migraine sufferers wanting a natural, holistic approach
• suitable for those with contraindications to pharmaceuticals
• tailored to your individual requirements
Below I have included some common Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupressure points that may be used for migraine management. Acupressure points are like acupuncture points without the needles. Simply use your fingers to apply light pressure to specific points on the body. Hold for about 20 minutes or until pain subsides.