For people who have regular or frequent migraines, it is much more than just a headache disorder. People who suffer from migraines may be sensitive to light, sound, smells, movement, foods and may note a variety of unique triggers for their migraines including those related to their hormones, sleep, wake cycles an so on. As we approach the summer months, it is important to keep in mind some helpful tips for migraine and headache relief and what to avoid for a pain free summer.
Ten tips for migraine and headache relief
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration is a common trigger for migraines and headaches. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather or when participating in outdoor activities. Always take a bottle of water with you when leaving the house. Add electrolytes to your water. Keep water in your car for you (and your pets). Have a light weight water bottle for hikes and bike rides something that fits in a back pack. Avoid caffeinated and commercial sugary hydration beverages.
- Manage stress: Stress is a known trigger for migraines. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga to help reduce stress levels.
- Sun Protection: Excessive sun exposure can lead to migraines, headaches and even heat exhaustion or heat stroke in more extreme cases. Wear a hat, use sunscreen, and seek shade during the hottest parts of the day. Sunglasses with polaroid filters are optimal eye protection be sure not to leave home without them.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Changes in sleep patterns can trigger migraines. Aim for a consistent sleep routine, including going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. If the daylight is an issue in your bedroom opt for black out curtains and set an alarm to get up daily at the same time.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake: Both caffeine and alcohol can trigger migraines and headaches in some people. Be mindful of your consumption and consider reducing or eliminating these substances if they affect you. Try one of the many non alcoholic beverages available as the beverage industry grows many more non alcoholic and caffeinated drink options. More and more people are opting to reduce their alcohol consumption for health reasons.
- Take breaks from screens/ reading : Spending long periods in front of screens, such as computers, smartphones, or tablets, can strain your eyes and lead to headaches. Take regular breaks and give your eyes a rest. Reading a book or tablet outside in bright daylight requires sunglass eye protection and sitting in the shade is advised.
- Avoid strong odors and fragrances: Certain smells and scents can trigger migraines or headaches. Try to stay away from strong perfumes, chemical fumes, or other strong odors that bother you. For some more highly sensitive individuals some skin care and hair care products used during summer may have fragrances added that can trigger a migraine.
- Eat regular, balanced meals: Skipping meals or having irregular eating patterns can trigger migraines. Maintain a balanced diet and try to eat meals at consistent times throughout the day. Opting for hydrating foods like watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumbers over ice cream and sugary foods to cool the body is a good summer habit. Did you know that Traditional Chinese Medicine believes using warm drinks even in summer is the ultimate antidote to relieve heat induced thirst and increased body temperature.
- Stay cool: High temperatures and hot weather can trigger migraines or headaches in some people. Use fans, air conditioning, or cool towels to keep yourself cool and comfortable. A cold wet towel around your neck can provide instant relief on a hot day.
- Identify and avoid triggers: Keep a headache diary to track your triggers and identify patterns. Once you identify your triggers, try to avoid or minimize exposure to them. Book a session with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner to uncover the root cause and create a treatment plan to manage & limit your migraines headaches strategically.
NB You don’t have to navigate your migraine and headaches alone: Remember, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice if you experience frequent or severe migraines or headaches. They can provide further guidance and help create a migraine or headache treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Book in with our Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine to identify key health factors contributing to your migraines and receive targeted treatment for the root cause/s. Consult RMT Roxanne Derkson for CranioSacral Therapy and stress related contributors for chronic headache pain or post concussion symptoms.
Book an appointment with Dr. Carmen Carpenter Dr. Traditional Chinese Medicine
Book an Appointment with Roxanne Derkson RMT GCFP for Craniosacral Therapy