Drug-Free Remedies

There are a lot of different medications you can take to help relieve migraines, but here are some of the things fellow migraine sufferers have tried to help relieve their headaches:

  • Avoid Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in food and drink. For 28 years, I suffered the misery of very frequent migraines. I lost jobs because of it, vacations were ruined, and life was hell. Four and 1/2 years ago, I stumbled upon the total cause: MSG in my food. I have been migraine-free, unless I end up in a restaurant where the chef doesn't know the meaning of MSG (or its hidden names); and then I'm back in the Emergency Room. But the occasional migraine, which I can avoid by never returning to that restaurant, is a small price to pay for a whole new life!

  • an ice pack on my head with an old fashioned hot water bottle on my feet and lots of blankets on me (all at the same time)

  • a "massager" by Panasonic on my forehead, top of head and back of head

  • a spritz in each nostril of Vicks Sinex (to clear my nose and make sure I can breathe), followed with an old-fashioned vicks inhaler)

  • only foods I can eat: very salty pretzels, and sometimes if I'm really hungry Beech nut baby food pureed apricots

  • a "headache" pillow--a square pillow with a soft ice gel pack so it rests exactly at the back of your head/neck (spotted in the Penny's catalogue)

  • foot massage, concentrating on tender areas (usually more so on the foot opposite the side of the head that is affected), using a steady, fairly deep, pressure

  • bands with rubber disks available (spotted at Long's Drugstore) that you put on your head to relieve pressure in the effected area.

  • I put my feet/legs in a hot water bath (as hot as I can stand), put ice packs (cold pop cans if necessary) on my head, and take 3 Tylenol and drink a can of coke (caffeine will help the meds circulate faster)

  • eating steak or other red meat

  • chiropractic manipulation

  • drinking tons of water

  • taking massive amounts of Cayenne Pepper (three tablets of 20,000 iu's three times a day)

  • drinking peppermint tea has helped settle my stomach. Usually my stomach loves a slice or two of fresh toast and butter or some chicken noodle soup.

  • headache stick--a stick in the form of a roll on, the contents of which are blended from 13 different essential oils and tinctures (Lemon , Geranium, Lavender, Real Rose (Expensive), Bergamot, Rosemary, Wild Chamomile, Real Chamomile (blue), Petit Grain, Peppermint, Myrrh, Calandula tincture (not oil), Camphor Oil, Natural Menthol Crystals), which when applied to the forehead, temple and back of the neck begin to work almost immediately

  • scent association (see below) I am currently trying a simpler version of a remedy I saw on a PBS show about the brain. There was a girl with a bad case of lupus and they needed to put her on some powerful immuno-suppressants; but it was dangerous to take these drugs for more than a short while. So everytime she got a shot, they made the room smell like roses and they made her take a spoonful of castor oil. Evidently her body started to associate the smell and the taste with the powerful medicine. When they took her off the medicine, her body reacted as though a shot had been given. So, I decided to try this myself with my headaches. Every time I use my sure-fire medicine that always works (Stadol) I eat a piece of raspberry candy and put raspberry flavored lip balm right under my nose. I hope my brain will begin to associate relief from pain with the smell of raspberries and when I can't use the medication (I only use it once a week) I might get the same results. I think I messed up the experiment because I was doing the raspberry stuff also when I took pain killers that didn't always work, so I have changed my regimen to only do the raspberry stuff when I take the Stadol and I know it's going to work (and not the iffy pain meds).

  • ice and/or heat

  • pressure/massage

  • I walk myself out of a migraine. The first time I did it was in 1980. I was dating my present wife and she lived in the country in a mobile home. I didn't know what else to do. I just walked up and down her driveway for about twenty minutes at a good pace. It was a stone driveway. At the end of that time I came in a sat in a chair with my eyes closed. My head was numb,,,,but the hurting stopped. I went home and went to bed as it was night and I was fine in the morning. Over the years I've done this several times.
    We live in a 2 story house now. On one occasion when it was winter I walked back and through the house and up and down the stairs for about the same amount of time. Over and over again. I finally got relief. I stayed inside because of the foul weather and ice. It still worked. I tell you about this as it may help someone that has tried everything. I think it might have something to the accupressure points on the bottom of the feet but that is just my theory.

DISCLAIMER: This website is intended to provide a forum for the free exchange of information only. The maintainer of this site in no way sponsors, supports or condones any of the advice given herein, nor supports the use of any medication, supplement, herb, substance or program, except pursuant to a licensed medical practitioner's care. In no way does the maintainer of this site advocate the use of any illegal medication, herb, supplement or other substance or the importation, distribution or sale thereof. Persons who have any question about the legality of any action that they are planning to take are advised to consult an attorney.

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© 1996, Ronda Solberg, ronda@migrainepage.com