How to Combat a Migraine

You know what's really shit? Migraines. I've suffered with crippling migraines ever since I hit puberty and now at least once a month I get one that has absolutely floored me. It's clearly something linked with my monthly cycle and I've tried lots of different pills and treatments but, like a lot of the other one in five female migraine sufferers, nothing really eases the pain properly and as such we all develop our own ways to cope.

Just to clarify: a migraine is not a headache. A migraine is a severe, often debilitating headache often accompanied with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and hyper-sensitivity to light and sound. Personally mine always come in waves of extreme pain that lasts for bouts of 30-45 seconds at a time that leave me feeling nauseous and dizzy.

So there we have it. It fucking sucks but fear not, I'm here today to share with you some coping techniques I've developed that help me get through. To highlight, these are not medical recommendations, they're simply things that work for me personally that may be helpful to others!

1. Nip it in the bud. I've learned to be able to identify early on the signs of when a migraine is developing, and I find that taking two regular paracetamol as soon as I've realised what is happening does absolute wonders for taking the edge off when the beast is in full swing - sometimes it prevents them altogether.

2. Have someone give you a scalp massage. I'm lucky enough to have Conor to hand who is amazing at putting me at ease. I sit between his legs and he'll gently rub my head. This triggers the nerve-endings in my scalp, relaxes my muscles and eases away some of the tension. Here's a basic wikiHow if you're unfamiliar with how to perform one.

3. Drink green tea. Because the blood vessels in your head dilate during the onset of a migraine, the subtle dose of caffeine in a cup of green tea can help stop a migraine in its tracks as caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict. Plus, I don't know about you but I always find green tea super calming so it's great even from a stress-relieving perspective.

4. Have a Lush bath! A French Kiss bubble bar contains lavender whose aroma has been proven to have a calming and pain relieving effect, perfect for numbing a migraine! I know not everybody will have one of these of stand by, so it's maybe a good idea to pick up some lavender oil to keep in the bathroom cupboard just in case.

5. Watch an ASMR video. I first discovered this subculture last year and have sworn by them ever since. For those who don't know, ASMR videos contain content such as hair play, massage and whispering that trigger pleasurable tingling sensations all over the body. They're fantastic for winding down and I find them incredibly soothing when I'm suffering with a migraine. My fav channel by far is albinwhisperland, go check her out!

6. Sleep! When all else fails I usually give up and sleep it off. For the more aggressive migraines this isn't usually 100% effective and I can still wake up feeling slightly better off. I guess it's more a relief thing that anything, because if you're asleep you can't feel the pain anymore, and sometimes it can get so bad that that's all you crave.

They're cunts, but until they find a foolproof cure migraines are here to stay unfortunately, so next time one strikes put everything else on hold and maybe try a few of my suggestions to see if it can take the edge off.

I hope fellow migraine sufferers reading this will find these tips useful, and of course I'm always open to suggestions so please feel free to leave any remedies you may have in the comments below!