My migraine lifesaver 

While the standard advice to isolate yourself in a dark room and basically cease to exist for however long is lovely, I was never a fan. I cannot do that, I will not live my life like that, nothing can have such control over my life and take so many days out of my life. I would spend most of my life in a dark room, alone. But I have nothing against it, if it works for you, that is great. My mother has done it for years, but she had one migraine a month.
In terms of non-drug help that works wonders for me is deep breathing, the type you would do during meditation. I was introduced to it when I started doing yoga some 10-12 years ago. Then I realized how shallowly we breathe, we rarely take that deep, cleansing breath our bodies so desperately need. If we would take just 3-5 deep belly breaths every hour, I can guarantee you not only our lives would be different, I think the world would be different, as people would be calmer, more peaceful. 
Eventually, when I have realized how helpful and important deep breathing is in dealing with my migraines I started looking on the internet for a biofeedback device. I have found EmWave ( (note: I am in no way associated with this company, do not receive any money from them, I just really like the product). I have used it for a year or so and it really helped to teach my how to properly breathe. I mostly used it in the evening, or during a headache (usually not during a migraine, because at that time it was too much to focus on something) .
It is, apparently, great for dealing with sleep problems as well. When people in my family used it, everyone pretty much just fell asleep. I rarely did, but did sometimes, which was shocking to me (as I have mentioned previously, I have big problems with sleep). After a year, when I felt like I don’t need it anymore I have sold it to a lovely lady, who was very happy with it as well. 
As I have mentioned, another big thing that has helped me was yoga. Deep breathing and breathing during meditation part of yoga was incredible in teaching me how to properly breathe. If you have ever tried either yoga or meditation you know. If not, give it a try. 
Meditation was very difficult for me, because my mind is not the best at cooperating with switching off as I tend to think about everything and basically regurgitate everything that has happened to me that day, week, month…. It took me years to quiet it, but eventually it worked. And the breathing went with it, marvellously to be honest.
So now, when I when I have a migraine (or any type of pain, discomfort, anxiety or any physical or emotional issue) I just start my deep breathing and go into this state of mind where I switch into focusing on just the breath. And when I do this the pain just sort of moves into the background. It does not stop, it does not go away, but the mind stops focusing on it. I would never believe it until I actually experienced it. I do not have to be lying down (but it does help, but I don’t have to be in a quiet dark room), I can do this in a crowded shopping mall in the middle of Christmas shopping and it still helps. 
How about you? Have you tried focused, deeb breathing when you have a migraine? Do you meditate? Have you tried biofeedback for your migraines? 


Ketogenic diet

Little background on ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diet is, to put in simply (although not really), a paleo diet. It is basically just protein and fat, no carbs and I mean NO carbs. It is used by people suffering from epilepsy and it is really helpful as last resort. It is considered a last resort because it is very difficult to stick to and also puts a lot of strain on the body, especially the kidneys.

Ok, so why am I talking about this? For years I have noticed a connection between sugar and my migraines. Whenever I am about to have a really bad migraine I get this insane sugar craving where I feel like eating anything sugary, which is unusual for me, because I am not that type of person normally. I have always wondered if it is the sugar craving that causes the migraine or the migraine that causes the sugar craving… Most likely it is part of the prodrome and the rise in the blood sugar just pushes the migraine over the edge. Many times I have tried to resist, it never helps. Because of this (and many other reasons) I have tried to watch mu sugar intake and when I came across the Ketogenic diet it just kind of clicked, especially with the epilepsy connection.

I was able to stick to it for few weeks and it made a huge difference. I think you know where this goes…. Why oh why can’t I do this? Why can’t I kick the stupid sugar habit when it is destroying my life and causing me so much pain? I silently ‘laugh’ at people who are overweight and always judge them for not being able to change their diet to save their lives… for choosing food over their health. And here I am, doing the same thing. Reaching for the honey to put on my Greek yogurt, even though I love the taste of the plain one.

As I have said previously, I am not crazy for sugar. I never drink anything other than water or unsweetened tea.I hate sugar in my coffee, I don’t have to¬† have cake or chocolate bars, yet I still buy these little temptations for my husband and eat them with him and reach for these healthy sugars, such as honey and no sugar added fruit spreads.

Anyway, my rant on my inability to stick to this is over. I will try, again and again, until it sticks. I just wanted to mention this, maybe it will help someone. I don’t think it is necessary to go Keto, Paleo is enough. But it is magical what cutting sugar does to a person suffering from migraines.

And maybe if you have some tips to help me or your own stories, please, do share….