Ultimate Guide to Conquering Migraines

Ultimate Guide to Conquering Migraines

Ultimate Guide to Conquering Migraines

The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Migraines, a special issue from the editors of Pain-Free Living magazine, aims to educate and provide unbiased insight on the latest breakthroughs and various approaches, both pharmaceutical and holistic, to conquering migraines.

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8 min
moving the needle

It seems counterintuitive. Your body is already in distress, yet you are told to lie still while sharp needles are intermittently inserted into your skin. Shouldn’t this enhance your discomfort rather than relieve the pain you are already experiencing? This is one of the most common misconceptions about acupuncture, a practice that originated in ancient China approximately 3,000 years ago. It entails pricking the skin with needles to help alleviate pain and assist in treating an array of physical, mental, and emotional conditions. “The big thing that I always hear is that acupuncture is really painful,” says Angela Noelle Martin, a licensed acupuncturist and the owner of the Acupuncture of Boston Clinic. “This is an understandable misconception because acupuncture uses small needles. The truth is that most people find little to…

6 min
diagnosis: migraine

Ana remembers her first migraine like it was yesterday. In her early 20s, she was chronically overbooked, balancing the stress of law school with an active social life. One night, she was in a hurry to get ready to meet friends but couldn’t get her eyeliner on straight. “It was the strangest thing,” she says. “I had done it literally hundreds of times without thinking. And then I realized, I couldn’t see my eye. Actually, I couldn’t see my face.” The center of her field of vision had become a blurry pool with sparkling edges that grew larger and larger as the minutes passed. “It was terrifying, I was convinced I was going blind or having a stroke.” In a panic, she dialed 911. After taking her history, she was shocked…

8 min
all headaches are not created equal

Most people have headaches at some point in their lives. Doctors have identified 200 different types of headaches, and the proper treatment depends on which type you have. Most headaches are relatively harmless, but some can be debilitating or may point to serious or even life-threatening underlying conditions. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to treat the most common headaches, and certain “red flags” can help you recognize when you need immediate medical attention. THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF HEADACHES TENSION HEADACHES. Tension headaches, also known as myogenic or muscle contraction headaches, are the result of tensing of the facial and neck muscles. Their underlying causes include stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and jaw clenching. Typically, the pain is constant and can be located anywhere throughout the head or neck.…

1 min
ginger: put a pain- relieving “snap” into your day

Ginger has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its pungent phenol compounds, gingerols and shogaols, more than make up in health benefits what the root lacks in the looks department. A study published in the Journal of Arthritis found ginger more effective in the reduction of pain and inflammation than painkillers. Ginger has possible interactions with bloodthinning, diabetes, and high blood pressure medications, so if you take any of these, ask your health-care provider about using ginger. If cooking with fresh ginger is new to you, start slowly and increase the amount as your taste buds adjust to the spiciness. The following recipes will get you started.…

9 min
can biofeedback help pain? relieve

When you are having an especially hectic day or haven’t had a lot of down time, your pain may worsen. Stress often can make arthritis pain worse. When you’re under stress, your body will show it. Blood pressure may increase, and muscles may tense. For those with pain, the added inflammation that accompanies stress can make joint pain worse. But stress, and the physiologic changes that result, often can be managed. One method for managing stress is with biofeedback. Biofeedback can help you learn to control the changes that cause pain by directly controlling muscle tension as well as physiologic responses previously thought to be outside of conscious control, including breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, and perspiration. While the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has reported that biofeedback is an…

1 min
there’s nothing fishy about omega-3 fats

It's well known that including fish in your diet can improve your health. The reason is that inflammation can result from an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. As reported by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and omega-6s are inflammatory. A healthy ratio is 2:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fats; Americans average a whopping 20:1. To start shifting the scale toward the optimal ratio, enjoy wild-caught fish two or three times per week, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables in place of processed snack foods, and use extra virgin olive oil and unrefined coconut oil instead of polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Perhaps consider a daily spoonful of cod-liver oil. Better yet, try out the grilled fish recipes featured here.…