Migraines are often triggered by muscle tension, and massage is a good way of relieving this. The type of massage can sometimes make or break your pain, so it’s important you find something gentle and relaxing rather than energizing and invigorating — aromatherapy massage is a good starting point.
A Dark Room
This isn’t always possible, but almost everyone who suffers from migraine is sensitive to light. When I have the start of a migraine one of the worst things I can do is drive at night because the bright headlights are guaranteed to make it worse.
Where possible, take yourself away from bright lights or computer screens and go into a dark room. A recent migraine on public transport made the dark room impossible, but my alternative was a warm hat that covered my eyes. It’s the next best thing and I don’t go anywhere without a warm hat.
Heat packs are my life line. When I’m having a bad migraine I need heat all over my head; it soothes the pain, helps me sleep, and has become somewhat of a security blanket over the years.
While heat works for me, others prefer the cold. There are many people who prefer an ice pack on the back of their necks, or put their hands in a sink full of cold water. Others prefer a mixture of both hot and cold, so try both and see what works for you.
Medication doesn’t work for everyone, and it didn’t work for me for a very long time.
I do believe it’s a route worth pursuing, because if you can find something that helps catch your migraine in the early stages when nothing else can, that’s a relief worth the years of trial and error.
Your body reacts to everything it experiences, so a stable routine is a way of keeping your migraines on track. Sudden changes to routine can increase your stress levels, which take you into the cycle of shortened breaths and tense muscles leading to a migraine in many cases.
Although this may seem like a predictable, mundane way to live, that is far better than being spontaneous and ill on a regular basis. My migraines leave me with no choice but to lie in a dark room and vomit until I can fall asleep — and no amount of spontaneity is worth that.