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Homeopathic Remedies to Alleviate the Pain of Migraine

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 207 - June 2013

Migraine is the most common form of a vascular headache where the pain is described as throbbing and made worse by moving the head. It is a complex condition that can affect up to 15% of the UK population; age is no barrier since it can affect people of all ages. Generally migraines become most troublesome during the ages of between 20 and 50 and can be associated with people are building a career or raising a family.

Migraine

Cluster headaches, also known as migrainous neuralgia are distinctive in that its occurrence is both intense and brief. The attack may last for 20 minutes or up to one hour; the sufferer may experience an attack more than once in a day, or for a period of weeks. After the headache has eased off there is generally a long gap before the next one occurs; this is the reason it has been given the description cluster headaches.  The type of pain associated with cluster headaches tends to be both severe and burning.  Although the pain affects the front of the head and the eye the pain can spread to the face and neck.

Attacks of migraine, as any sufferer will attest to, can leave you feeling weak and debilitated, particularly if the attack continues for a few days.  Wavy lines, white or coloured lights or spots in the field of vision are some of the symptoms of a migraine, while weakness of one side of the body or numbness of hands and the mouth might also be experienced.  Due to the effect that light has on the vision, a person suffering these symptoms might prefer to lie down in a darkened room. Other signs could include vomiting, sweating, weakness and throbbing pains.

If you are a migraine sufferer you may well have already discovered some of the triggers that can set off this debilitating condition; amongst those commonly found to be the culprits are chocolate, red wine and cheese. Avoiding these can be helpful, but if you have eliminated these foods already, you may find it helpful to have a food sensitivity test to try and identify other substances. Nutritionally there may be deficiencies of the B vitamins since these are depleted at times of stress and stress slows down the digestive process.

As well as avoiding offending foods, it is important to ensure that you are hydrated because the body needs water to maintain its normal physiological functions; constipation can be one of the effects of dehydration. Regular bowel movements assist in eliminating waste products from the body and should these not be eliminated efficiently, headaches can occur. Ensuring that you are sufficiently hydrated and undertaking regular exercise will aid the process of elimination.  Water is more beneficial to the body than tea and coffee and if you find plain water ‘boring’ liven it up by adding a slice of fresh lemon or lime or orange to make your own flavoured water.

Homeopaths are trained to identify the symptoms presented by each individual and select a homeopathic remedy that most closely matches those symptoms. Naturally underlying stress factors may be a contributory factor and with this in mind constitutional remedies tend to be much more suitable as they are more likely to have a deeper beneficial effect on the person than trying to find a remedy just specifically for the picture the person presents with.

Obviously a constitutional remedy would require a visit to a qualified homeopath and following a detailed case history a remedy is chosen to match the individuality of the person.

In the interim and to give you an idea of the remedies that can be helpful, I have selected a few to share with you.

Aconite Napellus - from the plant Monkshood or Wolfsbane

The head feels full, heavy with a pulsating, hot bursting sensation and is if the brain were moved by boiling water, or a feeling that the hair is being pulled or is standing on end.  The headache symptoms appear suddenly, particularly if the person has been in a draft, working in an environment that has air conditioning, or out and about in cold dry winds.  They feel worse from hearing any music, being in a warm room and during the evening or at night. They are better from rest.

Bryonia Alba - from wild hops

Symptoms can be brought on by the ill effects of anger or fright, constipation. Someone who is experiencing the symptoms associated with this remedy would need to keep perfectly still, since any motion aggravates the symptoms. Even the movement of the eyeballs causes distress and there is a sensation that the head is bursting or splitting open and as if the head is being hit by a hammer from inside.  Carrying out a household chore, such as ironing, can bring on the headache. The pain tends to be more over the left eye or across the forehead and the scalp is so sensitive that even using a soft brush on the hair is unbearable.

Gelsemium - from the plant Yellow jasmine

People who find this remedy helpful have described a feeling as though there is a band around the head.  The eyes feel very heavy so much so that there is a desire to close them.  The headache can be dull and accompanied by muscular soreness around the neck and shoulders.  Prior to the headache appearing the vision is impaired. The person feels weak and apathetic and mentally dull. The effects can be brought on by fear, grief, stage fright or worries about upcoming exams or events.

Ipecacuanha - from the root of the Ipecacuanha plant

The person is irritable and very hard to please.  Migraine headaches are accompanied by nausea and vomiting.  The bones of the head feel crushed, as if the brain had been compressed, or bruised and the head pain extends to the teeth and the tongue.  The nausea is constant and is unfortunately not relieved by vomiting.

Iris Versicolor - from the plant Blue Flag

Headaches associated with this particular remedy tend to be associated with gastric upsets with nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea.  The substance vomited is generally so sour that it burns the throat or it may be bitter.  Migraine headaches begin with blurred vision after relaxing from mental work such as studying or sewing.  The right temple is mostly affected and the symptoms although periodic, i.e. weekly, between 2-3am, during Spring and Autumn but can occur quite suddenly.

If you do suffer with continued migraine or cluster headaches please visit your GP who will be able to undertake tests to eliminate any other health issues

References

Macleod J, Ewards C, Bouchier I, Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine 15th Edition. Churchill Livingstone.

Murphy, Robin ND. Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd Edition.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/21/B-Vitamins-Offer-Migraine-Relief.aspx

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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol FNTP Homoeopath became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Southend on Sea, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01268 928223;  june@betterhealthnow.co.uk  www.betterhealthnow.co.uk   www.homeopathinessex.co.uk   

 

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