ALTERNATIVE MIGRAINE TREATMENTS
Before we dive into specifics, we want to acknowledge that Alternative migraine treatments are the most difficult to implement. Prescription medication and Botox, for instance, are passive treatment options. Conversely, Alternative migraine therapies are active approaches that require you to love and nourish your mind, body and soul with healthy lifestyle routines - such as meditation, relaxation and mindfulness practice, regular exercise, and an extremely clean diet.
It might not be easy, but it's so worth the journey!
Clinical Evidence for Alternative Migraine Treatments
We've reviewed many clinical studies demonstrating indisputable evidence in favor of Alternative treatments for migraine prevention. But it can be challenging to find this data without access to academic medical databases and associated fees. We wanted to offer Om members access to some of these studies, free of charge. So you can download several abstracts (for free) by clicking HERE.
If you read through and have any questions we welcome you to contact us directly.
Water as an Effective Preventative Migraine Treatment
In a study published in Neurology, migraine sufferers were divided into two groups. The first group was given a placebo and the others were required to drink 1.5 liters of water (about six cups) in addition to their usual daily intake. At the end of two weeks, those in the water group experienced 21 fewer hours of pain during the study than those in the placebo group, and a decrease in the intensity of their headaches.
To stay adequately hydrated, it's recommended that women drink about 9 cups of water a day. Drinking anything with sugar, including most juices, is not a good option for people battling migraines. Sugar spikes your blood glucose level, which is one of the most common migraine triggers. Also avoid "natural flavors" and artificial sweeteners (common triggers) found in drinks like Crystal Light, Gatorade, and Vitamin Water. You really should stick to REAL water from mother nature, or herbal (no caffeine) tea.
Diet as an Effective Preventative Migraine Treatment
No two bodies are exactly the same, so the diet that works best for you may differ from the diet that works best for someone else. From what we have read and experienced firsthand, diets within Ketogenic or Paleo fit the needs of migraineurs best.
Both the Ketogenic and Paleo diets provide numerous health benefits and eliminate many common food-induced migraine triggers. Health benefits of these diets include reduced inflammation in the body, a stable blood sugar level throughout the day, consistent energy levels, reduction in post-meal fatigue, a more stable mood, improved blood pressure, weight loss, and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, many forms of cancer, arthritis and heart disease.
At Om, we recommend our clients begin within the Ketogenic diet framework (and also recommend consulting with your physician before making any drastic dietary changes like this). The Ketogenic diet's effectiveness in reducing migraines has been documented by Dr. Josh Turknett across hundreds of patients, and clinical studies led by Cherubino Di Lorenzo PhD provide supporting evidence.
We recognize that adhering to a Ketogenic diet is not easy - but we truly believe the benefits of your determination in this area far outweigh the negatives. At Om we tend to view it as less of a diet, and more of a way of life. And the longer you stick with this "diet," the more beneficial it will be. The first couple weeks are often the most challenging, with many people experiencing flu like symptoms as their body detoxes. But after the initial detox your body will begin to normalize and the health benefits manifest in various ways. Our experiences with this diet have been highly encouraging.
Migraine Triggers and Tips (Free Download)
Please note that within both the Ketogenic and Paleo diets you may still experience sensitivities to certain foods. So we recommend you keep a food journal to help identify possible triggers. You can download our list of common migraine triggers & helpful tips for free: HERE.
Lastly, we hope you are encouraged by the dietary information above. If you are curious and would like more information, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Other Alternative Treatment Options for Migraines
There are numerous Alternative Treatments that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing frequency and severity of migraines. A simple yet effective option, for example, is nighttime snacking. In a recent study nighttime snacking was associated with a 40% reduction in the odds of experiencing a headache compared to having no food. The snack must be healthy of course, but this is very encouraging data!
Alternative Treatments such as Relaxation Training, Thermal Biofeedback, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Yoga, and Meditation have all demonstrated effectiveness in reducing frequency and severity of migraines. Even keeping a routine schedule by waking up and going to sleep at the same time everyday (including weekends) has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing migraines. So there is much to be encouraged about! And we welcome you to contact us for additional guidance and support (firstname.lastname@example.org). We hope this has been helpful. - Sarah and the Om Team