5 Tips for Migraine Relief

Migraines can be extremely debilitating and interfere with daily life. Here are 5 tips that may help provide relief from migraine pain and symptoms.


Migraines affect about 1 in 7 people globally, with women being three times more likely to experience them than men. They are characterized by severe throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head as well as other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

While there are medications that can help stop a migraine attack or prevent them from occurring, many people are looking for non-pharmaceutical approaches for migraine relief. Lifestyle changes and natural remedies may help reduce migraine frequency and provide relief during acute attacks.

Here are 5 tips to try for natural migraine relief:

1. Identify and Avoid Triggers

Paying attention to potential triggers is key for both treating and preventing migraines. Triggers vary from person to person but some common ones include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hormonal changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dehydration
  • Certain foods like aged cheeses, processed meats, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol
  • Weather changes

Keep a migraine journal to track symptoms and activities before an attack. This can help pinpoint your unique triggers so you can try to avoid them. Reduce stress through meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Stay hydrated and stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.

2. Apply Cold Therapy

Applying something cold to your head and neck can offer relief when a migraine strikes. This helps constrict blood vessels and reduces inflammation.

  • Use a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel and apply to the back of the neck or temples
  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Massage the head and neck with an ice cube

Aim for 15-20 minutes of cold therapy at a time. The reduction in blood flow to the head combined with numbness from the cold can temporarily relieve migraine pain.

3. Consume Natural Anti-inflammatories

Certain vitamins, minerals, and compounds in foods have anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate migraine symptoms. Try incorporating more of these into your diet:

  • Ginger – Contains active compounds like gingerol that inhibit prostaglandins which cause inflammation and pain. Drink ginger tea or use ginger essential oil.
  • Turmeric – The active component curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Add to meals or take as a supplement.
  • Magnesium – Helps relax blood vessels and muscles. Food sources include dark leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and avocado. May also take daily supplement.
  • Riboflavin (B2) – This mineral helps regulate neurotransmitter activity and blood flow in the brain. Find it in eggs, milk, mushrooms, and meat.
  • CoQ10 – This powerful antioxidant benefits mitochondrial function. Present in seafood, organ meats, and whole grains.

4. Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine technique that may be effective for migraine relief. Fine needles are inserted into specific pressure points around the head, neck, and back with the aim of restoring proper energy flow and blood circulation.

According to research, acupuncture can reduce migraine frequency, intensity, and duration. It may also help prevent headaches when used prophylactically. Make sure to see an experienced, licensed acupuncturist. Relief often continues between sessions.

5. Exercise Regularly

Making time for exercise can benefit migraine sufferers in various ways. It helps reduce inflammation, stimulates endorphins (natural pain relievers), relieves stress, and improves sleep.

Aim for at least 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or cycling. Yoga can also be beneficial for increasing circulation and reducing headache triggers like anxiety and muscle tightness.

Just be sure to stay hydrated and avoid overheating which can worsen headaches. Start slowly if new to exercising and ask your doctor for any restrictions.


Migraines can disrupt day-to-day activities and cause significant pain. While there is no definitive cure, lifestyle measures and natural therapies may help provide relief from symptoms. Paying attention to your personal triggers, applying cold therapy, consuming anti-inflammatory foods, trying acupuncture, and exercising regularly are some approaches to try.

Implementing just a few of these tips can make a big difference in effectively managing migraines. However, consult your doctor as well, especially if headache pain and frequency persist. With some patience and perseverance, you should be able to find an integrative treatment plan that provides more migraine-free days.

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