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How I learned to deal with migraine from experience

4:55 pm, January 28, 2022

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Jenima Sapkota Aryal
Jenima Sapkota Aryal is a student currently doing her Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery at Patanjali Ayurveda Medical College and Research Center, Dhulikhel.

Migraine is a neurological condition that has the ability to cause multiple symptoms. Word migraine is derived from the Greek word ‘hemicrania’ meaning half of the head because the pain of migraine often occurs on one side.

It’s frequently characterized by intense, debilitating headaches, which may also include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound. The exact aetiology of migraines is not known yet.

There are specifically 2 types of migraines.

  1. Migraine without aura
  2. Migraine with aura

And there are mainly 4 phases of migraine.

  1. The Prodrome phase(Phase 1)- occurs hours or days before the headache.
  2. Aura (Phase 2)- immediately precedes the headache
  3. The Attack (phase 3)- headache phase ( sometimes lasts up to 72hrs.)
  4. Postdrome phase(Phase 4)- the effect following the end of the migraine attack.

Talking about my migraine, I have been suffering from it as long as i can remember. I always had it. It started affecting my life more and more once I started my medication for depression a while back. Painful headaches for continuously 3-4 days. These were very frequent so i was forced to start using sleeping pills so i could sleep well. I barely had 5 hours of sleep in a week. I had migraines every week for 3-4 days and a week before my periods I used to have them for a whole week.

Sometimes it is triggered by the food we eat. For those of you suffering from Migraines See and be conscious of what you eat /the environment you are in and you’ll soon realize the triggering factor to the it and can avoid that as much as possible.

Triggering Factors:

Mine are black lentils, bananas, kurkure, anything cold or things that are refrigerated, cold drinks, perfumes(any kind), sunlight, AC rooms, a crowd of people, loud noises, pubs/clubs, flights, stress, and many more.

It can take years to figure out triggers and manage them. And it isn’t something anyone can control.

What happens when I have Migraine?

  1. I am extremely sensitive to Light. I need a dark room always. Not only during my migraine attack days but other days as well. I used to read books and study under Night bulbs because the regular ones causes me headaches. 
  2. I am extremely sensitive to sounds when i have migraines. Even if you breathe near me, that’ll cause me irritation to the extremest.
  3. It might sound scary to you but while I have migraines i have blurred visions or partial vision loss. Not always. But most of the times.
  4. I feel dizzy, sometimes get panic attacks because I can’t control my migraine attacks and some of the times I even have vomiting tendencies.

What can you do to help people with migraines?

Ask them. They’ll tell you. The least you can do it create an easy environment for them. The symptoms and the solution isn’t always the same for everyone.

One of the most exhausting parts of living with chronic migraines is unpredictability. You honestly don’t know what the next 5 minutes will be for you. You can feel okay now & awful the next minute and it’s really tiring not being able to rely on your body for more than a minute at a time. I am aware it sounds so dramatic but it’s really not. A chronic migraine attack creeps up on us so quickly. A good example will be me waking up in the morning all good and while I am getting ready, I just go to a prodrome Phase. 

What did I do that eased this?

After studying Ayurveda I learned about “Sirodhara” and did it with the help of a friend. I also did “Nasya” with “Anu Taila” which helps you get rid of the “Kapha” in the head region. 

See, the treatment will totally be different for each one of you so consult an Ayurvedic physician. After doing that my migraine attacks have decreased a lot. I get a migraine every now and then but the numbers have reduced and have helped me a lot. Along with that, you can also try these:

1. Bhramari Pranayama for 3 minutes daily 

2. “Aum” Recitation 21 times daily

3. Sarwangasana once every 2 days

This post is about demystifying migraines to all of you. I took every possible pill that claimed to cure it. It’s not just a headache and it will not be okay if I pop a pill of paracetamol. I am resistant to Paracetamol as I consumed it to the extreme back in the day.

Be kind to people with this disease. This is really frustrating at times. Please try to understand what it is and listen instead of “I don’t know what it is and I don’t care”. The least you can do is be compassionate and have some empathy.

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