Migraines for Days...My Remedies to Curb Them
Romula of RHaw Creations and Sacred Willow Reiki
I was supposed to write this the day before yesterday, but the migraines returned Thursday. Yes, I said "Migraines". [No worries, I'm better now]
Now this isn't a scientific article or some case study to persuade the audience of my outcome. This is just a blog explaining a tremendous experience that basically, had me debilitated for almost 6 days. I want to share my experience, where I went wrong, how I corrected it, and what I used and did to overcome my "Migraines".
Normally, due to years of experience, I am able to stop these menaces before they even start. I have many triggers that I try to stay aware of, in order to avoid a spark (as I like to call) that will lead to a series of aches, pains, pulsating all located in the head, neck and shoulder area. I'll go more in to detail about these areas later. I've learned many "tricks" to subside the localized area where the migraine starts or to knock it out completely without using over-the-counter pain killers that one, only block the pain receptor, but do not heal or soothe the area in question. But, at times unbearably so, I tend to forget these "tricks". Especially, when I've missed my mark and am being completely consumed in what I can only explain "a burning, hot lava too thick to fit through my veins sending super-sonic shockwaves all around, leaving me incapable of a single, simple logical thought" or in short, "My Brain's Hysteria".
I did not always have migraines like this. Growing up, maybe a handful of times I can say a headache was soo bad. But nothing on the level of when migraines entered my life. [Trigger Alert: Regarding car accident injury] It wasn't until a car accident back in 2012 that required recovering from a TBI (traumatic brain injury - my injury was not as critical as others who have had a TBI) which was the result of a concussion. I won't go into detail, but I did have to do therapy and all that fun jazz. Nothing broken. Thank the Great Spirit The only thing that was a struggle was maintaining the migraines I had developed from the accident.
I was, once upon a time, prescribed medication to fight the migraines as well as other things that were in regards to being a bit emotionally out of whack from such a traumatic experience. It didn't go well for me. But, part of it was due to the medical professionals who mislabeled my prescriptions causing a whole slew of weird feelings and out of place effects. [Disclaimer: This is in no way dogging the pharmaceutical industry, although I have my own feelings towards prescription drugs. Some prescriptions work for some people, some don't work for others. To each their own.] So, that was my first experience trying to use the medicine and it going very wrong. When given a new set of medication, I found the migraine prescription was labeled "Test" drug. I never signed a disclaimer or waiver suggesting that I would want to be the next "experimental guinea pig". Did not like the experience at all and went back to my doctor from out of state (I was at University at the time). I needed something that would kick the migraines to the curb and let me sleep at night. I would wake up in so much pain, I would have to run to the bathroom and vomit because the pain was so bad. At times, I would feel like I was dying. Don't let me wake up in the middle of REM with a migraine at the same time and my body frozen solid, unable to move. (I loathed those days. That's when my body felt like it was hit by a truck and so I was in and out of sleep like nobodies business, sometimes waking up in that state of your conscious mind being awake but your body asleep.) So I told my doctor that I wanted Tylenol-3's. I had been given one on one of those desperate nights and I was able to KO, and whatever triggered that headache was gone.
With a deep understanding of what I was asking for, my doctor gave me Tylenol-3's also known at that time (I guess) as a Hydrocodone or a family member of it. Yes, it was addictive. Yes, it had to be used as needed. Yes, you should not drive or drink, etc. I was already very familiar with opioids and their effects after taking many psychology courses that, well, discussed that negatives. No, Thank You!
I knew the prescription I received would only be a temporary solution, a mask, an illusion, a deception that eased my pain. Plus, I was on a path of holistic living, using herbs, working with crystals, drinking mead, connecting with Mother Earth, and so much more. I knew I needed to talk with some of my mentors, go to my local herb shops whether in Maryland or Pennsylvania, talk to my yoga instructor at the time, read up on herbal remedies, and all that amazing jazz!
For a few years, I did that. I learned techniques. Amazing ones such as tea blends, essential oil blends, stretches, and herbal remedies into poultices to help the tensed parts of my body at bay. I even stumbled into Reiki and became a practitioner to use Reiki to help with my migraines and other aches and pains.
Let's Fast Forward to Now...Today is Saturday. The remnants of my migraines, have all but dissipated. Since last Sunday, I have suffered from these migraines with relentless force. Initially, I had thought my first migraine was triggered by heat and light sensitivity. The day before I had a Pop-Up event for RHaw Creations and it was soo windy, we were unable to put up the tent covering. Let's toss in a little dehydration as well. I started off drinking water, wearing my sunglasses to limit light exposure, took my hair down to relieve pressure. The beginning pains were around my right eye to the back of what I feel is the occipital lobe of my brain. I got home, drank more water and laid down before it really began. By the time I woke up, it was multiple migraines. I have at least three to four migraine spots, all in relation to the right side of my body. I call them the Raging Four when they get to acting up.
The first we discussed, right eye to back of occipital lobe. Second, back of right side of neck where the skull meets connected to levator scapulae. Third, right jaw line into earlobe. Lastly, right shoulder area, starting where neck and shoulder meet, traveling down the trapezius, sometimes feeling it in the rhomboid minor and rhomboid major. When the fourth part gets really bad, it leads to the front of my chest, where my sternum and ribcage meet. [Sorry to get all human bio on ya'll. I looked up the areas where I feel the pain and have localized them to general muscle areas which could mean its related to my shoulder injury and chest injury from the car accident). All of those pains were going off at the same time, when I woke. This is why I refer to them as migraines and not just one.
I was in full body hysteria and panicked. I took over-the-counter Tylenol. The Tylenol -3's were long gone in my life. The pain subsided. I fell asleep. Woke up to tension in my right eye and tension/soreness in my shoulder and neck area. There was this throbbing, ever so quiet, waiting to surge again. I took it easy. I stretched. Went outside to get air. Didn't work on my computer to avoid issues with my eyes. I kept it easy. But just like that, in a blink of the eye, I was back in that pain. This lead into Tuesday. This time it started off centrally around my nasal cavity and eyes. Sinus headache? I made this tea with local honey, hoping it would kick out my sinuses and help ease these pains. Wrong! The Roaring Four consumed me. I could barely upload my Rise & Shine Reiki Monday post on Youtube, and I definitely couldn't do Reiki TikTok Tuesdays. I couldn't open my eyes. I kept tears from developing as I knew that would add more to the problem.
While all of this is happening in my head, its hard for me to breathe. Every time I exhale from inhaling, the pulsating of the migraines would intensify for at least four to five heartbeats. Yes, that's how serious these get. I can feel every vein, artery, capillary in my head, especially on the right side, expanding each pulsating beat. Not only that, but I feel everything is so inflamed....that's all I hear when I try to silence my mind from the pain "Inflamed, inflamed, inflamed".
When things hit the fan, it does become a challenge to focus and remember. So far since Sunday, the only thing I did to help was drink tea with honey, and rely on pain killers, which completely debunks my way of life which was to be as holistic as possible. As natural a wild woman could be.
In the midst of breaking down and almost giving up to the horrendous pain, a glimmering thought came to mind through all of that rushing pain. Reiki. Essential Oils. Herbs. Soothe the Fire. Duh. I was doing nothing preventative. I was not going to the source of the pain and relieving it. I was not listening to my body, although it had been shouting at me for days. I needed to use my techniques.
Tuesday night, I used Reiki. I thanked the Great Spirit for their message and for allowing me to be a Reiki practitioner of light and love. Laying in bed, I asked Reiki to flow through me and help heal whatever was causing my migraines. My hands were laid on my body, one on my right shoulder and the other over my heart. There were three Reiki symbols I used to strengthen reiki, allow reiki to ease the mind, and to have reiki be sent after this personal session. I prayed as well, asking for release of this pressure and to be able to fall asleep so that I could have some strength to get up and do what I needed to do to get better. It was rough, it was uncomfortable to the point, I had to move the session to my Study and lay on the futon couch to get comfortable. The session was started again. After awhile, I must have dozed off as I woke up the next morning with a little bit more energy. But the Roaring Four weren't gone.
Wednesday and Thursday were the game changers of this severely long, drawn-out migraine explosion. Looking at the condition of the migraines, it was clear that it may have been triggered due to the sun and heat, but the continued pain was not. At this point, I could rule out sinus headache, and completely consider the migraines to be in relation to lack of sleep, stress, and tension. I spent those two days using Essential Oils, Herbs, and Reiki to help with the fire within. Below, I am going to explain each so that you can try!
My number 1 mentor, Olivia from WeAreStrob, years ago before this amazing business was created, had taught me how to use essential oils. I took one of her many courses and thank goodness I kept the notes from then. Grant it, I did not have the exact recipe, but I had the ingredients to create an essential oil blend that would help alleviate headaches and migraines.
Palo Santo - "Holy Wood" its anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities often is used for headaches, migraines, joint pain, and arthritis.
Frankincense - Great for cluster headaches, its anti-inflammatory qualities are effective in relieving the pain.
Peppermint - Most commonly used for headaches and migraine attacks. Its menthol, helps relax muscles and ease pain.
Lavender - Can treat migraines, has analgesic qualities. Used for acute management of migraine attacks.
*Make sure essential oils are organic and come from a good source.
Using a blend of these essential oils in the diffuser is a great way to get these oils directly into your system. Sometimes inhaling directly from the organic essential oil bottle can be too much for the olfactory system, so if you don't have a diffuser, run over to your local TJ Maxx or Ross as they have them there. Also, you can take an oil burner, add a little water, and a couple to a few drops of each oil into the burner. Place your candle underneath to warm the oils. Also, if you have any carrier oils, such as jojoba, coconut, almond, or grapeseed oil, add one drop of each oil into a palmful of carrier oil. Mix together (of course you can also use a bowl lol), and rub in the affected area, excluding the eyes and face!!! You can even just inhale, gently, the aroma mixture from your hands. Oh! Let's not forget, making it into an inhaler!
I used this blend in my diffuser, but also mixed it in oils to run on my shoulder and neck which were the main areas holding my tension and stress. Immediately, as soon as I turned on the diffuser, I could feel my migraines trying to dissipate. I mean, it took less than 10 minutes for me to realize the effects - the pulsating began to lose their intensity, my mood was lifted, I could breathe, and I felt relief in my eyes and neck . The rub eased my shoulder tension, relieving a lot of stress that was aiding to the pain. Although, I was limited to the room for sometime, it allowed me to rest and make space for Reiki.
Note: Later on, in another blog or update this one, I will have exact drops and ml for future reference.
Now I have a slew of herbs in my small cabinets, I call my "Secret Apothecary". There were all kinds of remedies I could have put together, some real potent stuff. But...I chose to keep it simple and steep a hot cup of peppermint tea. The peppermint used, was from my own garden from a late harvest I managed to store perfectly for days like these. A little local honey, and a gentle stir, the peppermints aroma added to the release. It was one additional soothing touch to help conquer the migraines.
Note: I often forget that it is suggested to use a cold compress on the forehead and neck of a person suffering from a migraine. Next time, I will try this and may even experiment by making a peppermint poultice. The only thing of concern, is to make sure the peppermint herb does not get in the eyes. We will see if I remember next time and I will share my journey.
If you are not a Reiki practitioner, you can always find one in your area that you can go to to help with any issues you may have. If you are a Reiki practitioner, then you may try this. It's all intuitive.
First, try to use Reiki before the migraine gets too bad. Catch it before it explodes. Come to Gassho. Thank and ask Reiki to flow. Use Reiji-ho to ask Reiki to show you the area that is most in need of Reiki to help alleviate the migraine. Allow your hands to be placed in that area. For me it was my right shoulder, neck, and forehead. Focus on your breathing, and allow Reiki to flow. You may feel a warming sensation or a warm liquid-like sensation come over the area you are touching. Let your hands rest there until you feel Reiki is ready to move to another area or is done. (Most of the time, I end up falling asleep!) Don't worry if you aren't a practitioner, again, there are many, including myself, that can give you a session.
Overall, this combination of holistic remedies as well as stretching my body gently, I was able to overcome the Raging Four. The key is catching them before they really get going. Its harder to stop a locomotive at top speed, than when it starts to leave the station. Knowing ones triggers such as light sensitivity, over excursion, sensitivity to smells, tight muscles, stress, anxiety, rage, lack of oxygen, etc., can really make the difference in ones day. Moving forward, I will definitely have more water, wear a cap and sunglasses, and make sure I'm not lifting too much artwork, just too avoid a trigger that can lead to the Raging Four.
It's all a learning curve. Knowing your body, listening when the first signs of trouble occur, and nipping it in the bud.
I hope this blog was fun, interesting, informative, and useful! Leave me some comments with feedback to know your thoughts and suggestions!