Migraine & Homeopathy
Migraine affects more women than men worldwide. What distinguishes the disorder is periodic or episodic ache, or pain. Homeopathy evidences that migraine is a personality ‘disorder’ - it, therefore, needs to be treated in tune with the unique needs of the individual in question.
Twenty-nine-year-old Cheryl, a young executive, carried the label, ‘chirpy geek,’ courtesy of her friends. She’s always on the move, trying to climb several ladders at one go. A stickler, a live-wire, she’s an achiever - a tizzy bundle of kinetic energy. Till it came to her head - oh, that awful ache, or uninvited ‘spoilsport,’ in her ‘happening’ world.
Cheryl presented with frequent, distressing migraine headaches. She also reported that her migraine and accompanying nausea, dizziness, irritability and lethargy were her constant ‘companions’ for 4-5 years, notwithstanding conventional and other treatments.
On case-analysis, we found that Cheryl’s migraine and vomiting episodes tended to be typically, or characteristically, worse from warmth, or while lying down and during movement. We prescribed her homeopathic remedy based on her presenting symptoms. After eight months of homeopathic treatment, she responded favourably. Her migraine ‘attacks’ not only eased considerably, she also felt much better than ever before vis-à-vis her overall health and sense of well- being.
Migraine is a complex syndrome. It affects millions of people worldwide - most often women. By way of statistics, it affects 5-25 per cent women and 2-10 per cent men. What distinguishes the disorder, from other types of headache, is periodic or episodic ache, or pain. Migraine usually affects people in their mid-20s, or 30s, especially ‘meticulous-achievers.’ Interestingly, it is also ‘common’ in children. Have you not heard of parents complaining that their child has had ‘migraine-type’ of headaches for as long as they know?
Migraine is characterised by blazing attacks of episodic headaches. This may be preceded by emotional and visual disturbances, followed by a period of sleepiness. The disorder varies in its intensity, frequency and duration. It has a marked familial disposition too, although it tends to be more common in women than men. It can affect its chosen ‘victim,’ right from puberty, childbirth to menopause. In addition, it is suggested that migraine has a bias - it tends to affect certain people having a fastidious zeal towards ‘perfectionism.’
Migraine attacks have an abrupt to gradual, or accentuated, elevation - it affects people more towards the early hours of the morning, especially during weekends. It can interfere with one’s work, productivity and also leisure. It can ‘blight’ a holiday, or vacation, just as much as it ‘wobbles’ the fair sex before, or during, menses. Just think of it - even a minor, unintentional thud on the head, or exposure to cold, dietetic excess, missing a meal, or increased emotional conflicts, for instance, can cause migraine - aside from stress, tension, frustration and unresolved emotions to feelings of guilt.
This is not all. Migraine may be precipitated by allergies too, or by just the thought or anticipation of a social event, a presentation on the job, or a business meeting.
The typical migraine pain usually starts in the blood vessels of the scalp and face, as also the arteries of the brain. While the blood vessels closer to the surface of the skin may sometimes appear dilated at the peak of a migraine attack, with swelling and local sensitivity in the area, some pressure over the painful area may temporarily relieve the ache.
Some of the common symptoms of migraine are a hurting headache, with vertigo and loss of ‘sensation’ in one’s hands. There may also be mood swings - from excitement to depression and vice versa, along with aversion to light and copious watery eyes. Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting may be followed by flatus (gas), distension of the abdomen, diarrhoea and excess urination.
Many migraine sufferers do not experience all the classical symptoms of migraine. Besides, it would always be appropriate to rule out or confirm epilepsy (fits), high blood pressure and certain tumours in the brain, not to speak of cluster or tension headache, for one’s migraine ‘attacks’ - to establish diagnosis.
Other Types Of Headache
Tension headache is one form of headache. It occurs when a person experiences an unusual amount of stress, on a regular basis. The pain may be mild-to-moderate, lasting for a day or two. Some people who experience tension headaches may feel they have migraine, although in reality their pain is clearly related to stress. The most common symptoms of tension headache are dizziness, sleeplessness and lack of concentration.
Cluster headache is the most severe form. Symptoms are fear, restlessness, pain in the eye and sleeplessness. This form of headache affects people in the 20-40 age groups. The ache tends to occur 3-4 times a day and may last for 3-4 months. Cluster headaches are also most likely to occur during a specific time, every day.
Mixed headache is a ‘mishmash’ of tension and migraine headache. The aches are sudden; they do not extend for long periods. For most part, the pain is felt when the individual is under extreme stress; it stops when the individual is free of stress, or relaxed.
Healing With Homeopathy
Homeopathy evidences that migraine is a personality ‘disorder’ - it, therefore, needs to be treated in tune with the unique needs of the individual in question. There are dozens of homeopathic remedies that are useful; they provide enduring relief from migraine, depending upon one’s symptoms, the individual’s temperament, emotional and other factors.
In a randomised, placebo (dummy pill) - controlled double-blind study, a group of people suffering from migraine were treated using individualised homeopathy over a period of four months. While patients in the control group experienced a reduction in migraine frequency from 9.9 attacks per month to 7.9 per month, those in the homeopathic treatment group reduced their monthly migraine attack rate from 10 to between 1.8 and 3 per month.
In another observational study conducted at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, UK, included 6,500 consecutive patients with over 23,000 attendances in a six-year period. 70 per cent of follow-up patients reported improved health, most of them referring to major improvement. The best treatment responses were reported in migraine, childhood eczema, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and menopausal problems. Similar patient-reported outcomes were elicited from other homeopathic hospitals in the UK.
It needs to be emphasised that migraine is far too complex a disorder for self-treatment, or ‘self-healing.’ It is best treated at the clinic by a professional homeopath.
1. Get good sleep for 6-8 hours every day. Studies have shown that people who sleep well - in a dark, quiet room - are better equipped to prevent migraine ‘attacks’
2. Eat regular meals; skipping meals or irregular snacking can trigger migraine
3. Exercise regularly; exercises and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, go a long way in easing migraine
4. Avoid foods that may trigger migraine ‘attacks’ - like old cheese, chocolate, yeast, stale meats, monosodium glutamate (MSG), red wine, soybean and also coffee.