Migraine Medications and Treatments

Options for Non-Medicinal Migraine Relief

Teri Robert Sep 12, 2012 (updated Oct 15, 2014)
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These options can't abort a Migraine, but they can help with some of the symptoms or, at the very least, make us more comfortable.

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Glasses
Glasses
Research on Migraine and precision tinted lenses revealed that this FL-41 tint filters the wave lenghts of light Migraineurs are most sentisitve to. Glasses like these help relieve both photphobia and the increase in Migraine pain that light can cause. The two leading companies in this area are TheraSpecs and AxonOptics.
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A dark room
A dark room
Even with tinted glasses, one of the most important Migraine relievers is a dark room. Heavy draperies can help, and darkening window shades. Another tip: avoid bright white walls, furnishings and linens because even soft light can bounce off of them and will seem brighter. Prepare this room to be your haven during a Migraine. For more on this, see Make Your Home Friendly During a Migraine.
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Cold therapy
Cold therapy
Many people find that cold gel packs help a bit with the pain of Migraine, or at least make them more comfortable. Today, there are countless options. The old-fashioned ice bag is still around in a variety of sizes and colors. There are reusable gel packs of various sizes, and even little gel packs. Some small gel packs weigh very little, so they're a great option for cold that weighs little.
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Heat therapy
Heat therapy
For some people, heat is more comfortable than cold in helping relieve Migraine pain. This seems to be especially true for the neck pain that can be associated with Migraine. Old-fashioned hot water bottles, gel packs, and a variety of other items are available. Some, such as the lavendar bag and teddy bear pictured here, also add lavendar aromatherapy to the heat.
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Hot tea
Hot tea
It's amazing how much a cup of hot tea can help. Black tea has caffeine, and although caffeine can be a trigger for some, it can help during a Migraine. Herbal teas such as chamomile can aid greatly with relaxation and perhaps get you to sleep. Peppermint tea has been used through the ages to help relieve nausea. The heat from these teas can also be helpful if we're having facial or sinus pain from our Migraines.
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Massage
Massage
Some Migraineurs find that massage is helpful during a Migraine. Shoulder massage or gentle massage of the temples seem to be the two best forms during a Migraine attack. Some people report that this can help reduce the neck or head pain a bit, and it's definitely relaxing and comforting. Massage isn't for everyone though. For some of us, that touch makes the pain worse.
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Peppermint aromatherapy
Peppermint aromatherapy
Peppermint essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, is helpful in relieving nausea for many. An easy method is to prepare it in a roller ball bottle so it doesn't spill. It can also be used in a diffuser. As a safety measure, I recommend a simple electric diffuser, such as the Aroma Stone, rather than the diffusers that use candles.
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Pets
Pets
OK. So pets can't relieve the symptoms of our Migraines, but they're so comforting! The comfort of our pets can help relieve the anxiety we may feel during a Migraine and help us relax while we wait for medications to work and for the Migraine to end.