If you suffer from migraines, you are all-too-familiar with the debilitating symptoms that can keep you away from work, play, and just life for days. You may worry when the next migraine will strike and force you to rearrange your life to accommodate the unwelcome headache’s intrusion.
So, let’s cut to the chase. Migraines affect about 15 percent of adults worldwide. So, we asked Fitness on the Run’s Dr. Miranda Wall, chiropractor and yoga instructor, and Megan Crozier, Nutritional Therapist Practitioner:
Keeping a migraine journal can help you manage your migraine symptoms. It’s best to rate the severity of your symptoms, their duration, and what you were doing/feeling/eating prior to the migraine. This can really help you identify your triggers.
Why is taking note of “doing and feeling” so important? Our bodies react in different ways to what we are doing and feeling, including how we handle STRESS. For some, stress is a cause of weight gain or excess body fat. For others, it causes sleep issues. And last, stress is manifested through headaches, or worse, debilitating migraines.
We consider the inability to find ways to manage stress the next health crisis in America. Breathing, exposure to sunlight (Vitamin D), practicing yoga, laughing, exercising, praying, speaking to a counselor, taking breaks from the sitting, “down” time/resting, and most importantly, getting curious about the real root of the stress, are examples of how to alleviate that stress and neck tension that can lead to a migraine.
If you feel like your migraines may be stemming from neck tension caused by stress, consider getting checked out by a chiropractor. Evidence from scientific studies suggests that spinal manipulation improves migraine headaches.
Another way to help prevent migraines is through diet and supplementation, which my friend and colleague Megan discusses below.
I, too, have a number of clients who struggle with the weekly, monthly, or quarterly migraine. Like most issues we chalk up as “normal,” there is an underlying reason for why it happens in the first place. In addition to postural misalignments, neck tension, and stress mentioned above, food, hormones, and nutrient deficiencies play a huge role in causing migraines. Common triggers are low blood sugar, allergens, exposure to strong odors (perfume and detergents), and ingredients within processed foods like MSGs and artificial sweeteners. Note what you drank in the last 12 hours, what you were doing, and what environment you were exposed to at that time.
Here are the steps I recommend to prevent migraines naturally:
Be sure to talk to your doctor about any of the changes you plan on making. With a combination of spinal manipulation, identifying triggers, and supplementing appropriately, you will be on your way to lessening the severity and frequency of your migraines.
Fitness on the Run is Fitness for Life. Combining a focus on strong bodies and strong minds with a robust wellness education program and unparalleled personalized attention, we provide fitness for health, longevity and functionality.
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210 N Lee St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314