For me, every day without a headache is a serious blessing.
I’ve struggled with headaches and migraines since I was in high school, over 30 years ago. I’ve lost many days of my life lying in the dark in a fetal position, vomiting, shaking and in tears (these are not the moments that make it to Instagram).
I also get “regular headaches” – the annoying kind where I can still work and go about my day, but the dull pain is a constant reminder that something isn’t quite right…
In addition to the headaches, I get muscular pain (which started after I had Lyme Disease) that typically accompanies the migraines and can last for weeks post-migraine. Most people look at me and think I am super healthy, but the truth is, I struggle quite a bit and the reason I have chosen a healthier lifestyle is to prevent and heal from chronic pain and fatigue that has plagued me ever since I was diagnosed with Lyme and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease that presented itself after Lyme).
I began to embrace that my body was trying to tell me something… That I needed to change in order to heal… But I didn’t know where to start. Maybe you can relate?
For years, I went to many neurologists and headache specialists and tried various different pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve had scans of my brain and was even told by one doc that the only treatment left to try was removing part of my skull (yikes)… and after resisting more pharmaceutical drugs, another doc said I was clearly ‘not in enough pain’.
One night, the migraine was so bad, I was vomiting, shaking and I couldn’t eat or drink anything for over 24 hours …my husband was so concerned, he forced me to the urgent care clinic. Although I barfed in the car and cried most of the way, the nurse at the clinic gave me a shot of Toradol along with nausea medicine, which to my surprise helped more than I expected.
But I wasn’t right for days afterward that episode… the “migraine hangover” is brutal in and of itself and was affecting my life on all levels. I’d have sore spots in my skull and muscular pain for 2 full weeks post-migraine.
As a health coach and yoga teacher, I was embarrased and frustrated… How can I help my clients if I can’t help myself… and how can I be there for my friends and family if I’m sick and in pain?
SELF CARE IS THE OPPOSITE OF SELFISH
We must practice self-care first and foremost… And self-care is the opposite of selfish, because the more energy, health and strength we have, the more we can give to others!
After that Urgent Care Clinic episode, I knew I had to do more to prevent and heal… The bandaid approach clearly wasn’t working.
I began to understand that chronic pain and disease is not the enemy… it is the messenger that there is an underlying imbalance in the body.
After years of living on coffee with Advil or Exedrin to survive, I realized these temporary “cures” were only making my headaches and muscle pain worse.
I started to open my mind to finding the root cause…
I began researching more natural ways to prevent and heal from migraine pain. I was willing to try pretty much anything from Botox for migraine treatments to giving up my beloved coffee, chocolate and red wine.
I started adding in more yoga, self-care, anti-inflammatory superfoods and essential oils.
Little by little, my headaches and pain did get significantly better and so the journey began to explore and experiment with more non-traditional approaches for migraine prevention.
I came across The Migraine Freedom Summit and The Association for Migraine Freedom. The summit reinforced that I was on the right path to healing and prevention and to continue the journey towards migraine freedom. See my recent interview with Erin Knight below…
Migraine, chronic pain and disease is the messenger not the enemy… that the body is communicating the need for change and healing.
I do still get migraines on occasion (mostly hormonal at this point – and at 49 years old, I’m hoping they pass after menopause – now THAT’S something to look forward to 🙂 )
In the meantime, I wanted to share a few of the techniques that have helped lessen the frequency and intensity of my migraines and pain episodes. We are all different, but in general, decreasing stress and toxic load, adding in more self-care and eating an anti-inflammatory superfood diet creates an opportunity for the body to heal…
Yoga, Self-Massage and Stress Management – one of the most inexpensive and beneficial things I did for my overall health was to incorporate more self-care into my life and reduce stress levels. 10 minutes of yoga a day, self-massage with myofasical release balls and choosing activites and relationships that reduce stress.
Anti-inflammatory Superfoods – I cut back on processed, inflammatory foods like diet soda, coffee, sugar, wheat, dairy and alcohol and adding in more nutrient-dense, healing superfoods like raw cacao, chia seeds, turmeric, maca, yerba mate, spirulina, hemp seeds and goji berries, just to name a few. Eat more fresh, organic veggies and fruits and less junk.
Essential Oils – the oils that have helped me the most are peppermint, Frankincense, Copaiba, and doTerra blends Deep Blue and Past Tense. You can order oils HERE or if you want more information about how essential oils can support your health, you can schedule a consultation.
These little changes, among many others, have helped me reduce the frequency and intensity of my migraines and pain flare-ups. If you need support on your journey to migraine freedom, I offer personalized, one-on-one Migraine Freedom consultations. You can find out more HERE and book a 20 minute consultation HERE.
Or, join me for the Spring Supercharge 14 Day Yoga, Superfood & Self Care Challenge to boost energy and immunity and reduce stress and chronic pain. CLICK HERE for more info…
Blessings to you on your journey to freedom from migraines and chronic pain…
XO & Namaste