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10 All Natural Migraine Remedies

10 All Natural Migraine Remedies

Migraines are different for everyone. Sometimes they come on slowly, and you can take preemptive action to ward off the worst of the pain. Other times, they come out of nowhere, especially if you don’t know what signs to look for.

They can be completely disabling, with some people getting sick to the point of vomiting. Others suffer from severe pain, made worse by lights and sounds. Still others may have the pain while also experiencing a kind of underwater effect, where sounds seem muted and lights dance around the top of their vision.

Whatever kind affects you, it’s always best to talk to your doctor. However, if you’re on the verge of getting one or know they is a possibility, there are things you can do. Read on to learn about 10 options to help make it through another migraine.

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1. Avoid Triggers

Sometimes you can figure out what causes a migraine. You may find you’re sensitive to certain foods, long exposure to intense stimuli like a loud music concert, medications or even hormonal changes. If you are careful and keep track of what you do and eat on a regular basis, you may be able to pinpoint ways to head off a migraine.

2. Massage

If you have a migraine already or can feel it setting in, a massage may be able to help. Prolonged tension, especially when coupled with stress, can be strongly related to the onset of migraines. Self-massage can help relieve that. There are several ways to do so, but you should focus the massage on the neck, temples and forehead. However, you can extend this down your back and to your jaw, should you find tightness there.

3. Herbs

Certain herbs or herbal teas can help with migraine pain. Studies done on butterbur and feverfew showed a decrease in the number of migraines people suffered when taking the herbs.[1] They have been used for centuries, but a concentrated extract, especially of butterbur, may have some safety concerns. Proper processing can take care of that, but it’s important to be careful where you purchase it from.

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4. Essential Oils

Certain oils can speed the recovery and ease the pain from severe headaches and migraines. Peppermint, lavender and basil are all popular options that are said to help relieve the pain of a migraine. These oils help with relaxation and inflammation, so they can be doubly effective. However, if you become sensitive to smells while suffering, then don’t try to force it. It may not work for you.

5. Medical Marijuana

This could be a tricky one, depending on where you live. If you live somewhere that has sanctioned the use of medical marijuana, it could be extremely helpful for migraines. It acts as both a remedy to one that has already started, and as a preventative. However, with so many states ratifying the use of medical marijuana, it’s more likely than not you can make use of it. Florida made headlines when it voted to allow medical marijuana late last year. It can’t hurt to investigate and talk to a doctor.

6. Magnesium

One of the things you learn when engaging in something strenuous, like running a marathon or growing a baby, is that you need the right amounts of vitamins to be comfortable. Two of the more important ones for muscle health are magnesium and potassium. Low magnesium levels have been found to be associated with a migraine attack, so it’s been theorized that a supplement could help ward them off or shorten their duration. This only works in some people, however, so try it with an open mind.

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7. Stretching and Posture

Sometimes the biggest issue is how you’re sitting. Certain positions can put a lot of pressure in the wrong areas. If you get migraines after sitting at a desk or doing some kind of repetitive task, it could be related to posture. Tingling or numbness in the hands, jaw clenching and tingles in the temples can all be symptoms of poor posture. If it’s bad enough, this can easily contribute to migraines. Working on posture with stretching exercises can be helpful.

8. Relaxation Techniques

Massage is a great tool, but if you can’t get one there are plenty of other things you can do to help with a migraine. Sometimes during a migraine, all you can manage is to lie down in a cool, dark place with no noise. That’s fine, if that’s what you need. However, a bath could also help. Typically heat isn’t the best option, but much of that depends on you. Meditation can also be helpful, especially if stress is one of your triggers. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, sometimes as effectively as medicine.

9. Proper Hydration

Sometimes the worst migraines you get are simply caused by not taking proper care of your body. Diet can occasionally be the cause, but it’s more likely related to dehydration. If you work outside in warm weather or are very active, it can be easy to fall behind in drinking enough. Keep track of the water you consume, and you can prevent some migraines before they even begin.

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10. Ice

Headaches of all kinds are often caused by inflammation. In such a case, ice is a better option than heat. A cold pack settled over your forehead in a dark, quiet room will often provide a surprising amount of relief. Ice works best if your migraines are due to inflammation. If they aren’t, the ice can still provide relief, even if it doesn’t necessarily shorten the process.

The biggest thing you can do to avoid a migraine in the first place is take proper care of yourself. A good diet, enough sleep, plenty of water and avoiding triggers are all important aspects. Sometimes it won’t work though. When that happens, being prepared can help you manage your migraines.

Reference

[1] University of Maryland Medical Center: Migraine headache

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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