Migraine: The invisible Illness

Hi Naomi here, this week is Migraine Awareness Week  – an issue that doesn’t get much coverage.

For many people the frustration of a migraine can be detrimental to their overall wellbeing. I am not simply talking about the migraine itself but the misconception made by most people who do not suffer migraines. Migraines can effect every aspect of a person’s life making it difficult to conduct day to day tasks, this can impact a persons professional, family and normal life. We really want to help so here we go into a little more detail on Migraines and Holistic treatments that have been known to help.

Migraines come under invisible illness as for many suffers there are no outwardly visible physical signs, but there can sometimes be physical changes, such as a change in face and eyes.

Migraines are often seen socially as “just a type of headache” but there are so many other affects of migraines. These vary depending on the type of migraine, there are believed to be almost ten different types of migraines (for example basilar migraines have similar characteristics to a stroke, affecting movement and speech).

When talking about migraines people often discuss their different triggers, these will be very varied as triggers tend to be specific to each person. There are, of course, common trigger factors associated with migraines such as certain foods, stresses, and hormones.

Here at YOU Massage we have a great understanding of migraines and the frustration and depression they can lead to for chronic suffers. There are several treatments that we offer to aid people – even during an attack.

First of all a deep tissue or sports massage on the neck and shoulders will help remove the tension that could be causing the head muscles to tighten and contract. This will help to relax your muscles, allowing better blood and lymph flow to and from the brain.

I understand that for some people, vigorous work in this area may in fact bring on a migraine, but as I have mentioned peoples’ triggers are very different and personal.

Secondly, we can use aromatherapy oils not only to calm the mind and body but also to help balance hormones (certain oils have high levels of a property that mimics oestrogen). With menstrual related migraines it is often the drop in oestrogen that causes the migraine, and for some sufferers, controlling their oestrogen levels through diet and aromatherapy oils can be very beneficial.

Thirdly, using reflexology to balance hormones, relieve stress, and work on tension in the head, neck, and shoulder area without touching the area can help to take the edge off during and just before an attack.

Our advice for migraine suffers is to keep a diary of your attacks and try and work out your triggers. Have a monthly massage of your choice to aid with tension and stress so that you can eliminate any migraines caused by this.

Contact the Migraine Trust for further advice and treatment.

Finally don’t suffer in silence, Migraine may be an invisible illness but the more we talk about it the better everyone’s knowledge becomes.

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