I don’t really remember a time without migraine. When I was little I used to complain about headaches as I got older doctors took it more seriously. Now it’s a considered a chronic condition.
I’ve traced them back as early as age 5, though I wasn’t diagnosed until I was at least 12 and I don’t think we found migraine-specific medications that actually worked until much later.
Unless you’ve had a migraine, it’s hard to explain how severe they are, how they impact daily life. As a child I’d get the pounding and painful, relentless headaches after an extra-long day at school.
I remember extracurricular activities would spur them on – leading my mother to think I was just trying to get out of another catechism class. But that wasn’t the case.
Changes in my schedule, eating or changing my sleep patterns are still my triggers. I’ve drastically altered my diet and restricted so many things in my life to help cope.
Ultimately I still need medication to deal with the pain when an attack comes on. Migraines are associated with sensitivity to light, which often sends sufferers to a dark, cool room. Sensitivity to sound is another characteristic. And the pain is so intense – often relagated to one side of the head or, in my case, around one eye – it can even cause vomiting. Some sufferers see an aura, a flashing light or blind spot in your visual field.
There is really no comparison to a regular headache. When you have a headache, it’s still possible to go along with your daily routine and work through the pain. With a migraine, it’s sometimes impossible to get out of bed. While medications can help, mine have become so severe that sometimes even medication doesn’t work. On the worst ocassions, I’ve suffered from a migraine for up to six days.
That’s when I call Dr. Rhonda Sousley at Innovative Medicine in Troy. Acupuncture is the only option I’ve found truly helps. If I could switch to acupuncture and forego medication completely, I would do so. Dr. Sousley uses a combination of techniques to address any pains and problems I may be having. From acupuncture to a cupping technique that breaks up tight muscle tissue in my neck to a biofeedback method called scenar, I have always left her office feeling relaxed and on my way to healing.
I would recommend acupuncture to anyone who suffers from chronic migraines or pain. I had never really considered it until I traveled to visit friends in China. I was concerned that even the trip itself would send my body into a tailspin but while in Shanghai I was able to afford daily massages at a nearby spa. I was healthy and felt amazing. Upon returning home a co-worker recommended Dr. Sousley. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Have you tried acupuncture? What ways do you seek solace from migraine pain?
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