Having been in the “chronic pain gang” for going on 6 years now,I have tried just about everything besides boring a hole in my scalp to help alleviate the pain. Through years of trial and error I have found several treatments that actually work when used in conjunction with modern medicine.
1)Acupuncture- I was SUPER skeptical of this before I tried it. But now I’m a HUGE fan. Being as we lived on the west coast in a fairly progressive area when I first tried it, it was covered by our insurance and cost me 11 bucks a visit. Now that I live in NC, our insurance won’t touch it and most places I have found want to treat it as a “spa” like treatment charging 200 bucks an hour. I personally do not have a money tree, so I do not get to have this alternative treatment as often as I like. It helps me tremendously with active migraines and nausea. It also will calm me , so any anxiety I may be having us released thru a treatment.
The treatment themselves are relatively pain free..the actual needle they use is thinner than a stand of hair. If you have the option to try this for chronic pain management DO IT! At least once and see what you think! Be wary of acupuncturist who haven’t had the proper training, always check credentials!
My acupuncturist in Oregon ,whom I still stay in close contact with believes there is a three pronged approach to helping support migraines. These are simple supplements that have been shown to to be depleted in migraineur.
- Fish Oil/Omega 3s-can be taken orally or through eating wild salmon, sardines etc. make sure you get a good quality fish oil!
- Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids- I take about 1000mg a day
- Magnesium- I take around 500-800 mg a day, but you can also absorb magnesium through your skin, so epsom salt soaks or foot soaks are great!
2) Massage-getting a massage every few weeks has been a game change for me. i opt for short 30 min massages every 10 days that specifically focus on my neck,back and shoulders. One of my BIG triggers is my neck- trigger what the doctors call “cervogenic headaches” just like migraines but stem from your neck .
3) Yoga- I’m not taking sweaty yoga having you in all sorts of contorted poses..this is gentle and helps to keep muscles loose and body and mind centered. I often come up a mantra before I begin each practice.
4)Meditation- take 10 mins of your day and sit quietly…there are all sorts of apps and YouTube videos to get you started..yes it’s weird at first but give it some time it can help!
5)”Tapping”/Emotional Freedom Technique- if you haven’t tried this yet DO IT! One of my big triggers is stress..after several rounds of tapping I feel as good as ifI had taken a sedative. There is LOTS of info online about this..here is a simple tutorial EFT .
I hope this has been helpful in coming up with some non medical ways to control pain! I know it has helped me tremendously when coupled western medicine! Send me questions if you have them! Good luck!