My Experience With Migraines
Eight years ago, at the age of 25 I started to experience chronic headaches. They were not your average type of headache. They always started in the same spot, along the bottom of my skull on the left hand side. Advil was usually able to make the pain subside, but f I didn’t take it in time, the pain could last for about 2 hours or more. I felt a throbbing sensation all along the back of my head and behind my left eyes. Sometimes I felt like stabbing myself in the eye just to make the pain stop. I couldn’t be around loud noises or really bright lights. I was diagnosed as having migraine headaches, known as cluster headaches. The doctor put me on a seizure medication proven to be effective in reducing migraines known as topomax. I stayed on that drug for more then seven years. I took 100 mg twice a day, quite a large dosage. The headaches went away.
When I bean to take a more holistic approach to my health I decided that I no longer wanted to be on medication. I became concerned about the side effects of being on prescription drugs for an extended period of time. I told my doctor that I wanted him to wean me off of my medication. We started a plan and I slowly decreased myself of my my medication within three months. Now, a year later, I learned that I probably didn’t need to be on medication at all.
How I Became Migraine Free
Tuning In With Myself
Cultivating awareness about oneself is the biggest and most important process to achieving wellness. I became most aware that my migraines were not a weakness, but a strength. I started to understand that my headaches were a way of my body sending me a message. I wanted to learn what the message was. What was my body trying to tell me? I began to ask myself: What time of day was it? What had I eaten? What had I not eaten? Did I get enough sleep? Was I expecting my period? After several months I was able to understand that I received headaches during periods of extreme stress, or when I was expecting my period.
After being aware of what was causing my headaches I knew that I had to listen to what my body was telling me. I began to sleep more when I got a really severe migraine. Sometimes that meant taking a nap in the middle of a busy day. I began to practice meditation after realizing that my headaches were a reaction to extreme anxiety and stress. I began to go with the flow more in my daily life. Life is too precious to sweat the small stuff. I learned the importance of letting go and surrendering to what my body was telling me.
Eliminating Gluten, Dairy, & Sugar
In my previous post I briefly talked about all of the reasons why being gluten free can help us achieve wellness. Although I am not allergic to gluten I still strongly believe that eliminating gluten along with dairy & sugar has helped me reduce my headaches. Most of the products that contain gluten and sugar are highly processed foods. Processed foods reek havoc on our bodies. Since our bodies literally don’t know how to process these foods we are unable to digest them. This causes a build up of toxins, which can cause bloating, inflammation, headaches, and other diseases that develop in our systems.
If you have read any of my previous blogs you know how much I value the importance of exercise. Not only does it help us loose weight and feel more confident, but it also helps reduce stress. The more often I began to exercise the less stress I experienced. By incorporating movement into my daily life I discovered how much better I began to feel.
The importance of the mind body connection should not be under-estimated. When I began to allow my body to tell me what I needed in order to Cultivate Nourishment that was when I truly began to understand how to heal myself completely. Even become migraine free.