Welcome to Thoughty Thursday here at More Cowbell! I’ve got two very unrelated topics on my mind today.
The #1 MOST exciting thing on my mind is that our pal Kait Nolan’s latest release (Red) has been included in the prestigious DABWAHA tournament. SQUEEEE!!!! This is some March Madness I can get behind!
p.s. Kait was the only indie author included this year.
If you’d like to show your support (and of course, you do), here’s how:
- Sign up for Kait’s DABWAHA newsletter – you’ll get vote alerts…I love that!
- Voting for Red goes LIVE at 12pm Eastern, TODAY!
- The polls are open for 12 hours only, so don’t dally.
- The newsletter is the way to go but here’s the link to vote – until 11:59 EST today.
- Go to Kait’s blog for more details. She’s adding instructions as they come her way.
The #2 item on my mind (in no way related to the DABWAHA tournament) is headaches! I’ve been hearing about headaches for the last few weeks and, with going gluten-free, I had a few myself.
I’ve got to share my tricks wherever possible (IYKWIM).
What makes a migraine different than other headaches?
- Migraines are usually chronic, which means you get recurrent attacks.
- The pain usually is unilateral (on one side of the head), although about a third of the time the pain is bilateral (on both sides of the head). The pain will often change sides from one attack to the next.
- A migraine headache usually is aggravated by daily activities such as walking or bending over.
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, facial pallor, cold hands, cold feet, and sensitivity to light and sound commonly accompany migraine headaches.
- A typical attack lasts between 4 and 72 hours.
A migraine will often give a warning.
20% of migraine sufferers get an aura in advance of the headache – flashing lights or a hole in their vision. Mine looks like silver glitter that floats just above my eye level (I have to look up to see it).
When I see silver glitter, I immediately kick into headache prevention mode – ice (if I have time), stretching, relaxation breathing, very good diet for the day. And I do not leave home without my medicine on those days.
Note: A less common aura consists of pins-and-needle sensations in the hand, arm or around the mouth and the nose on the same side. Other auras include auditory hallucinations and abnormal tastes and smells. I’m happy to say I’ve never gotten these.
An estimated 40%-60% of migraine attacks are preceded by warning symptoms lasting hours to days. The symptoms may include:
- depression or euphoria,
- yawning, and
- cravings for sweet or salty foods.
I included all the information I could find about the warning (and I have info on diet at the end) because knowledge is prevention when it comes to headaches. I have “big drugs” like Imitrex and Fiorinal but I try not to use them.
Excedrin Migraine was another fave of mine but they’ve pulled it off the market for a while. That’s when I decided it was this post’s time to graduate from my Drafts folder.
Non-drug treatments for headaches
Here is the Twitter-sation I had one night with my pal, K. B. Owen:
I’ve included a video on the pressure points I talked to Kathy about. This guys covers all of them except the one on the ridge above the ear.
Note: When you’re using the point on your hands, you want to target the opposite side from the headache. For example, if you’ve got the old ice-pick-stabbing-over-the-eye feeling on the right side, you’d focus on your LEFT hand for this pressure point. Do not use this pressure point if you’re pregnant!
Plus, I told her to use some ice. Since most headaches are from inflammation and vascular issues, 15 minutes with ice is a really great way to push a headache back from intolerable to manageable. Her response:
As we talked through her headache I started comprehending how many non-drug headache treatments I use. (Though really, we were dying over the “Desktop Twister” aspect of her trying to ice, do the pressure points and tweet, all at the same time.)
Now that I’ve been coined Doc Jenny, Twitter MD…
Here are my 4 biggest non-drug headache lifesavers:
- Ice – helps cut down the inflammation and lessens the pain
- Breathing – the more Oxygen you take in the better
- Pressure points - opens the vascular pathways in the body
- Bio-feedback – as a child migraine sufferer in the 1970′s, there were no migraine treatments available, so they taught used biofeedback to teach me how to breathe through the pain. It’s in the same ballpark as Lamaze techniques or meditation.
Here is a great link explaining biofeedback, but below was how I described it to Kathy.
We have another “headache expert” in our midst who can probably tell you even more than I can. Even though we just think of August McLaughlin as our pal, she’s also a certified nutritionist and health writer.
In the comments section of her post last week on The Menstrual Magnifying Glass, she taled about two treatments that I haven’t tried – oxygen therapy and a low-tyramine diet. (In retrospect, I realized I mostly follow a low-tyramine regimen, I just didn’t know what it was called.)
Other fantastic articles by August:
- What Causes Fatigue, Headaches & Lack of Energy?
- Foods Good for Headaches
- Can Certain Foods Trigger Sinus Headaches?
Do you suffer from headaches of any type? How old were you when they started? How do you treat them? Have you found successful holistic cures? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!