Keeping Your Gut Happy And Healthy

Bacteria is not always bad. In fact, our human body is home to billions of microbial cells also known as bacterial organisms both good and bad. A majority of the good, beneficial bacterial organisms called microbiome is located in our gut.

It is essential to keep the microbiome balanced and healthy not only for good digestive and hormonal functions, but also for the overall wellbeing of the brain; the immune system, and the skin which is the largest organ in our body.

Some of the things and ways the microbiome is harshly affected making us susceptible to disease and illness are through activities and lifestyles that are unhealthy:

– Consumption of processed foods, added sugars, hydrogenated fats
– Excessive consumption of alcohol
– Lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits and stress
– Over medicating, specifically with antibiotics and pain relievers
– Environmental pollution and added chemicals in food and water

Autoimmune diseases, some cancers, heart disease, dementia, arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis, infertility, inflammation and digestive disorders can all be traced back to the unhealthy state of the microbiome in the gut.

Lifestyle modification, and adaptation of healthy habits can reshape the condition of the microbiome thereby improving the overall health, possibly reversing certain illnesses and conditions, and fostering happiness and longevity.

Diet plays an important role in establishing and restoring your gut health, just as your gut health is essential in breaking down food and absorption of nutrients, storing fat and the elimination of toxins.

Many natural and high antioxidant foods help maintain and increase good bacteria in the gut. It lowers cholesterol, prevents some cancers and improves brain health. A well balanced healthy diet typically should include the following:

Fruits such as apples, all berries, cherries, citrus including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, nectarines, plums, peaches and apricots, pears, pomegranates, bananas and avocados contain high levels of antioxidants which are essential for brain health, repairing and reducing cell damage and in cancer prevention.

Dark leafy greens vegetables – kale, collard greens, spinach; cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, bokchoy, brussel sprouts, broccoli; artichokes, and beans  lowers cholesterol and reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system and lowers cancer risk.

Herbs and spices (also in teas) such as peppermint, fennel, coriander, ginger, garlic, turmeric and cumin encourage a healthy gut flora. These natural soothing digestive aids are helpful in balancing stomach acid, eliminates bloating and gas, cures nausea and queasiness, relieves constipation and prevents diarrhea.

Taking a probiotic supplement is a great way to add more probiotics in your system to naturally boost the good probiotics in your gut. Different probiotic strains may provide or support completely different benefits from other strains. It is therefore important to know what you need it for: immunity health, digestive issues, hormonal balance or weight loss to name a few; and to choose the right supplement for the right condition.

Proteins high in omega-3 fatty acids such as wild-caught salmon, free range chicken and eggs, grass-fed and pasture-raised meat are great sources of essential nutrients like zinc, selenium and B vitamins.

Magnesium rich foods such as dark chocolate, avocados, nuts and seeds, legumes and red wine in moderation are helpful in regulating chemical reactions in the body.

Probiotic foods contain good-for-you bacteria which fights off and eliminates the unhealthy bacterial strains in your gut. Good bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria thrive in the fermentation process of food, and continues on with its essential benefits in the gut. Gradually incorporating probiotic foods in your diet (in moderation) will improve the digestive system in the absorption of nutrients and your overall health including immune function, liver detoxification, decreased levels of blood pressure and cholesterol, increased energy and weight loss.

Some of the more commonly known probiotic foods are: fermented or cultured vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut; dairy products yogurt and kefir; kombucha which is an effervescent fermented black tea; non-dairy coconut kefir, kvass is a fermented beverage made from rye or barley; tempeh, miso and natto which are fermented soybean products.

Probiotics are considered safe, and are well tolerated by most people. You may experience some abdominal discomfort in the first few days of adding on probiotic foods or supplements to your daily regimen. As with everything else, always start gradually and in moderation. It is always recommended that you consult with your health practitioner before taking any new supplements or if initial discomfort and symptoms do not subside.

Maintaining and keeping your gut happy and healthy goes beyond implementing a diet rich in antioxidants and probiotics. Your daily activities, habits and lifestyles are key factors that greatly influence and affect your gut bacteria.

Microbiome Plus

Why Switching To Natural Skincare Is Best For You

With the wide array of skincare and personal care products from different brands and labels, choosing the right one can be a bit of a challenge. It is not uncommon to try and test out several products at the department store cosmetics counter, or even at your local drug store.

Cosmetics and skincare products are packaged attractively so it just makes sense that you are drawn to these products, even if you are not able to read or pronounce most of the ingredients, or what usually are listed after water. Sometimes we rely too much on advertising that we do not even bother to read the ingredients list. It looked great on the television commercial and in magazine ads, so we assume the product is good. But are these products actually good, or even safe for your use?

Most commonly found in cosmetics and skincare are phthalates, parabens, benzoyl peroxide, sulfates, formaldehyde. These are just a few of the chemicals and toxins used as main ingredients, stabilizers and preservatives in skincare products. These are absorbed in the body through the skin which is the largest organ, directly into the bloodstream upsetting the endocrine system which in turn causes hormonal imbalance, thyroid disorders, reproductive issues and cancer to name a few.

Note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the beauty and skincare industry products to be honestly and accurately labeled. It does not however regulate the use of chemical ingredients, or require safety tests before the products reach the market, the consumers. Therefore it is our choice and our responsibility as consumers to make sure we are doing the body right by using products that are not loaded with harmful chemicals and toxins. Afterall, we at best eat only what is good and safe for a healthy well-being.

Why make the switch?  Natural skincare products use plant based ingredients made to nourish, heal, soothe and repair your skin, your body. It does not contain chemical preservatives and stabilizers, which eliminates the need for animal testing of the products. Using plant based natural products will drastically reduce the toxins we absorb in our bodies on a daily basis.

Natural skincare products are made from plants, fruit pulps, peels, seeds, herbs and spices which make these very rich in nutrients and vitamins. The plants are farmed naturally and organically using alternatives to pesticides such as honey traps and herbal teas as natural insect repellents. Fortunately there are great companies who produce only the highest quality natural and organic skin care products made from hand-picked farm fresh ingredients loaded with healing and regenerative properties.

If you are looking into a healthy alternative to chemically loaded cosmetics, lotions, creams, hair products, try a natural or organic product or two. You’ll notice these products are simplified containing only a few ingredients that you already know or heard of – the same fruits and plants we eat to stay healthy. Made from the best ingredients only nature can produce, using natural and organic skincare is a healthy choice reflected not only in your radiant skin and luscious hair but on your improved and healthier body and soul.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Health Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is one of the Ayurvedic approaches to natural healing. This holistic practice is not only for oral health and hygiene, but it is also widely known for its detoxification benefits. Sesame oil has been used traditionally but coconut oil use is gaining popularity due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.

The simple and effective process of oil pulling is one of the best ways to promote healthy teeth, and prevent gum disease. It even strengthens jaws which helps with overcoming TMJ symptoms. Swishing a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes daily cleans and removes the toxins in the mouth.

The 7 health benefits of this ancient Ayurveda holistic approach are:

  • Oral health – prevents cavities, treats tooth decay, destroys bad breath and whitens teeth
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents migraine headaches
  • Restores hormonal balance
  • Clears and improves skin conditions
  • Strengthens the immune system

Start your oil pulling regimen by doing this first thing upon waking, before brushing your teeth.

Rinse your mouth with plain water, and scrape the tongue.

Using one to two tablespoons of coconut or sesame oil, gently swish and suck through your teeth for 5 to 10 minutes. (You can gradually increase the swishing time to 10 to 20 minutes as you get used to the process.) Do not swallow any of the oil, as this in some people may cause diarrhea or upset stomach. Adding ¼ tsp of Turmeric powder is optional.

Spit out the oil and the toxins you just pulled from your body. Rinse with warm water, and brush your teeth.

The powerful detoxifying technique is also known to prevent chronic illnesses. In Ayurvedic natural medicine, oil pulling is known to purify the whole body, with each section of the tongue being connected to a different organ in the body. The use of oil, swished in the mouth for 10 to 20 minutes 3 to 5 times a week has a pulling effect on the toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals, drawing these harmful substances away from the fatty tissues of the body.

Note that you may develop symptoms of congestion, mild acne or breakouts, even headaches as your body is getting rid of the toxins. These symptoms will go away as you continue with the process of oil pulling to eliminate the toxins in your body.

To get the most health benefits from oil pulling, make it a part of your daily routine. Most people experience the benefits of having a cleaner mouth, fresher breath, dental issues lessened or even eliminated, healthier gums and stronger jaws, and an overall sense of wellness within a week of starting this natural health regimen.

 

Ayurveda And A Healthier You

Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine originated in India more than 5000 years ago. It is the world’s oldest system of natural medicine which to this day combined with modernized practices is more commonly known as alternative medicine. Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words Ayur which means life, and Veda which means science or knowledge.

Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic tradition which encompasses physical health, prevention of illness and disease, and healing to create harmony and balance of the body, mind and spirit. Achieving the quality of life through Ayurveda, combined with other wellness practices such as yoga and meditation is the way to reclaim optimal health, mindfulness and longevity.

Our day to day stress is one of the disruptions we constantly face which creates the physical, mental and spiritual imbalance in life making us more susceptible to illness and disease. The holistic approach of Ayurveda helps regain the balance to promote harmony and wellness.

The treatment is focused on the individual as it is believed that no two human beings are exactly alike. What might be effective on one could potentially be harmful to another. Ayurvedic products are made from herbs or a combination of herbs, metals and minerals. Some products may cause harm if used improperly or without the direction of a practitioner. Side effects and interaction of the herbal supplements with conventional medicines and the toxins from metals such as lead, and minerals are causes for concern.

Herbal Ayurvedic products are regulated as dietary supplements and are therefore not required to meet or pass rigorous safety standards as conventional medicines. To ensure a coordinated and safe care, it is important to let your healthcare practitioner know if you are using any alternative medicinal practices and products.

Other Ayurvedic approaches such as massage, special diets, cleansing, meditation and lifestyle recommendations can be easily adapted into your daily life. It is used to supplement or complement conventional treatments, often as a way to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. People who suffer from chronic illness use its rejuvenation benefits while some practice its non-medical benefits to regain and maintain balance in their physical, mental, spiritual and overall well-being.

A trained Ayurvedic practitioner will not only do a thorough physical examination at your first visit, but will also take an extensive personal and medical history gathering information about your daily diet and activities, relationships, and mental health. This helps the practitioner identify symptoms and causes of imbalance as well as determine techniques that will strengthen the body’s healthy elements which will help an individual to recover by calling upon its own energy to heal.

Ayurveda is more than just a system of treating illness. It is a science of life designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential, maintaining a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit.

 

Yoga Meditation Cushion (by Seat Of Your Soul) Product Review

 

If you have back issues and have to sit cross-legged on a mat on the floor, it is not a pleasant experience if even possible at all. With a huge selection and availability of support cushions and pillows, it has helped tremendously with support and comfort and made yoga meditation relaxing as it should be.

The buckwheat hull filled yoga meditation cushion is one of the best of its kind in the market today. I prefer this cushion to others of same or similar style due to its ergonomic design which provides the support necessary for proper posture and customizable comfort by adjusting the amount of buckwheat hull to your personal preference. The durable outer cover made from organic cotton is removable and washable.

The cushion/pillow is available in a crescent shape or zafu which is circular. It comes in a wide selection of colors. The portability is another plus. It is easy to lug around from your home, to the car, to the yoga center, or wherever you want to take it to.

I have not found any cons with this cushion purchase. Overall, it is an excellent product and it serves its purpose well.

I hope you find this review helpful in deciding which yoga meditation cushion to purchase. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave one and I will certainly address it and get back to you with an answer.

Finding Peace and Happiness Through Yoga Meditation

Meditation is a holistic approach of looking into your physical, mental and spiritual self to find peace, contentment and infinite bliss. Yoga is a practice that not only includes the physical postures that we commonly know of, but it is in itself a lifestyle and is the main technique of meditation. It is this comprehensive system and combination that will give you the full experience of peace and infinite bliss.

The best times to meditate are in the morning, and in the evening before meals.

You can practice meditation anywhere in your home where it is quiet, clutter-free and without disruption – a corner of your bedroom, on the balcony, or a peaceful spot outdoors. It is important to not have electronic, and computer devices within your reach as these are distractions that will not allow you to focus. Once you’ve found a quiet and comfortable area in your home or outdoors, let this be your meditation spot.

Wear non-restrictive clothing such as a kaftan or yoga wear. On the floor, sit cross-legged on a yoga mat or a blanket that you’d only use for meditation. If unable to stay in this position, use cushions or a meditation pillow to prop yourself up to relieve the pressure on the legs and to keep the back straight.

With your eyes closed and your hands on crossed legs in open palm position, focus on your breathing as you start to relax, concentrating on your mantra. The sound of a mantra (a phrase which liberates the mind) is a very powerful way of focusing the mind on the feeling of bliss. The mantra must be something meaningful to you and your mind can focus on; with a particular vibration or rhythm (om), and a positive belief or uplifting positive thoughts.

Imagine that you’re sitting at a very calm and serene place surrounded by infinite peace and happiness. Repeat within your mind your mantra, thinking of the meaning in rhythm with your breathing. Concentrate and continue for as long as you like. Through the rhythmic concentration on the mantra, the mind gradually frees the body of pain and negativity, stress and tension as it opens up to peace, contentment and happiness.

Finish off your session with deep relaxation. Lie on your back on the same mat or blanket, and starting from the feet to the top of your head, make sure every inch of your whole body is relaxed and free from any tension. Your breathing should be calm and relaxed. Focus and imagine being in a very soothing and peaceful place and enjoy this quiet moment. Stay in this position for a few minutes before slowly getting up and moving on to your daily activities.

As you get to meditate on a regular basis (two times a day is ideal), you will find it gets easier to concentrate and stay focused. It is very helpful and a great habit to repeat your mantra throughout the rest of the day. This will give you a continued feeling of calm, contentment and happiness.

 

 

Health Benefits of Flotation Therapy

Flotation or floating therapy was once known as isolation or sensory deprivation treatments. Unappealing as it sounds, it was not well received until these recent years when it was appropriately renamed as flotation or floating therapy. It has since become so popular and is currently widely acclaimed as the most effective de-stressing relaxation technique to benefit both mind and body.

The single person session is experienced in a spa setting, with an oversized tub-like tank or chamber resembling a mini spaceship or in a more spacious suite suitable for the claustrophobic. The chambers and suites have private showers and each one locks from the inside. The session starts with a shower to cleanse the body from scents, oils and lotions, and ends with a shower to remove the Epsom salt bath residue. Most float centers provide basic toiletries for your shower and moisturizing needs, towels and robes as well as light snacks and teas.

The chamber or tank is filled with a foot deep of body temperature water and 1000 to 1300 pounds of medical grade Epsom salt. This combination results in effortless floating, a feeling of being suspended in air. No one sinks in a float tank. As you float, your mind and body starts to relax. The background piped-in music eventually fades and stops, the chamber is completely quiet. The light can be completely off or can be dimmed to your preference. You are in full control of the whole experience, which makes this unthreatening for the novice and claustrophobic.

With the removal of sight and sound (sensory deprivation), your breathing slows down and your body reaches a deeper state of relaxation, deeper than sleep. The floating itself allows the body to rebalance and regenerate itself, reducing elevated levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone. It recharges the brain fast, with an hour of floating compared to 4 hours of sleep. The Epsom salt in the water detoxifies your body as it helps in the recovery and healing process. Some of the more common benefits from the therapy include:

  • increased mental clarity and creativity
  • increased blood flow which lowers blood pressure
  • promotes healing and provides relief of chronic pain and inflammation greatly benefiting arthritis, rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions
  • speeds recovery from athletic activity and injury
  • reduces anxiety, stress and depression resulting in better sleep
  • improves the overall health of the immune system
  • helps with behavior modification, addictive and self-destructive behavior.

It is important to contact your float center or spa prior to your float session for specific preparation requirements. Pregnant women must consult with their medical practitioner before starting floating therapy.

The practice of floating therapy has made a positive impact on our everyday health and wellness, promoting mindfulness and a positive outlook in life. The effortless way to relax and recharge will leave you rejuvenated for days, or even weeks. Continued floating therapy sessions will only greatly enhance your quality of life providing you with the ultimate deep relaxation that is much needed in this stressful reality of life that we’re in.

 

 

 

 

Effective Natural Health Supplements

Having to figure out and choose which health supplements are right for you have become overwhelming as there is an endless number of these in the market today. Deciding on the right ones should be given careful thought and consideration so you don’t end up with the supplements that are not suitable for your body.

As a consumer you should examine the details of the label, and or packaging. It should clearly list all the ingredients including additives and preservatives, dosage/directions and state what the supplement is for. It is important to know that natural health and diet supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it is up to you to be careful of what you add to your health regimen.

If you are looking to achieve a new level of wellness and vibrancy, adding the right natural supplements to your daily intake can improve your health and well-being significantly. Expect to overcome chronic health issues such as allergies, common colds, anxiety and depression, headaches and muscle pain – naturally with regular use. Always let your health practitioner know if you are taking any natural supplements to avoid the possibility of any drug interactions.

A few of the very best effective natural supplements available in the market today are listed below to help you choose the ones suitable for your health.
Moringa Oleifera is native to North India, and can be found in most of Asia. Also known as the drumstick tree, ben oil tree, or horseradish tree. The leaves as well as the pods of the Moringa tree can be eaten fresh or added to delicious soups and stews, and as ingredients in natural herbal supplements. The leaves and the seeds are dried and processed into capsules, or powder form. The powder can be conveniently added to smoothies, tea, any cold or hot drink, or sprinkled directly on food or salads.

Moringa oleifera is widely known as a superfood because of its high nutritional value, it is an excellent source of vitamins A, B2 and B6, C, D and E and minerals calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and copper along with protein and healthy fat. It also contains flavonoids and saponins, natural plant chemicals that fight and prevent disease. Recommended serving is1/2 teaspoon or 3 capsules daily.

Turmeric Curcumin from the Curcuma Longa plant is also native to India and most Asian countries. It is a very powerful herb widely known for its healing properties. The root of the curcuma plant is dried and processed into powder form, which is commonly known as Turmeric powder, the spice used in the very delicious Indian curry dish.

A number of research studies have reported that using turmeric curcumin is found to fight, heal and reverse several diseases when used in place of prescription drugs for pain and inflammation, arthritis, depression, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol and abdominal diseases. Recommended serving is 2 capsules daily.

Ashwagandha an adaptogenic herb native to India promotes general mental and physical wellness. It restores and improves thyroid functions, and treats adrenal fatigue. Ashwagandha is often compared to ginseng due to its ability to increase endurance and stamina, and it has highly effective stress relieving capabilities. The root of the Ashwagandha is processed into powder, capsules and tea. A daily recommended dose of 1-2 capsules or a half teaspoon of powder is found effective in maintaining overall wellness by combating stress, reducing anxiety and depression, fighting and treating cancer, stabilizing blood sugar, deterring brain degeneration, and boosting immunity.

Feverfew is a short, bushy perennial herb with yellow green leaves and flowers, a close resemblance to daisies and chamomiles. It is used as a natural remedy for preventing and treating migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatitis, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus, dizziness, stomach ache, tooth ache, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, cough and colds.

Feverfew should not be used by those who have allergies to daisies, and related plants such as chamomile, chrysanthemum, ragweed, and sunflower. Typical allergic reactions may include swelling of the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth, as well as mouth ulceration. Recommended dosage is 1 capsule daily or 2 fresh or dried leaves taken with food.

Ginseng has been around for many centuries. It is an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps the body adjust to and withstand mental and physical stress. The root of this plant has been used as a stimulant known to improve concentration, focus and mental clarity, and memory. It will increase your energy levels and stamina. Ginseng alleviates anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue and is widely used as a treatment for headaches, and infections. It is also known to help men with erectile dysfunction. Ginseng has natural appetite suppressant properties effective for weight loss. It is available in capsules, tea or liquid form as well as raw or dried.

Comfrey is an herb that has been used for many centuries for its powerful pain relieving properties and to treat inflammatory diseases. Due to its toxic effect on the liver if taken internally, it is currently only used for the external treatment of muscle and joint inflammation as well as for cuts and bruises. The use of topical comfrey ointment or salve can significantly decrease the pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia. The ointment is available at natural health food stores in the vitamins/natural supplements department, as well as online.

Whether you are an expert, or new to the world of natural supplements and remedies, always treat herbal and natural supplements as you do medications by reading about the product, and following dosage directions and instructions. To avoid complications, always consult with your healthcare professional if you are on prescription medication, are pregnant or nursing before starting taking any natural health supplements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally

Stress is and will always be a part of our daily existence, affecting the general population physically, emotionally, and mentally. Many doctor office visits are due to illnesses such as anxiety, migraine headaches, digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, obesity, diabetes which have been traced to be stress related or brought on by chronic stress. We may not have the solution to getting rid of stress, but we can certainly look at ways to lessen its negative effects on us naturally.

Learning to identify the onset of stress and practicing the following natural stress relief techniques listed below will greatly improve your well being and quality of life.

  • Exercise – whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, running, dancing, or yoga – all of these activities significantly improve your physical and psychological balance regulating your hormones and sleep patterns.
  • Eat – nutrient rich foods loaded with vitamins and minerals. These are much needed  by your body and brain to combat stress. Dairy, dark leafy vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, fruit and nuts are just  a few excellent energy and antioxidant sources for your brain and body. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and excessive sugar as these only give you a temporary boost, followed by fatigue and a depressive state of mind.
  • Drink – teas and take herbal remedies such as chamomile, ginkgo biloba, kava kava, st. johns’ wort. These improve mental clarity,  have calming, relaxing, and mood boosting  effects and are highly effective in reducing the stress hormones.
  • Meditate – and practice deep breathing exercises to relax your body, increase mental alertness and bring yourself inner peace. Meditation is known to help manage medical conditions, including stress by restoring your calm and enhancing your physical and emotional well being.
  • Massage – by a therapist or with your own hands relieves muscle tension, improves circulation, boosts energy, and enhances concentration. It promotes better sleep patterns, as well as increase the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Essential oils from healing plants and herbs such as ginseng, holy basil and ashwagandha regulate hormones and the physiological functions of the body.

  •  Sleep – 6 to 8 hours every night to improve how you think and feel during the day.  A good nights’ sleep will restore and improve your mental and physical health, making you feel mentally sharp, emotionally fit and energetic throughout the day.

Stress is our natural response to challenge. So as long as we face challenges in our everyday lives, stress is here to stay. How we handle it differs from person to person as what is too much for one may not be to another. Your ability to deal with stress can increase your tolerance and how you bounce back from life’s challenges. Recognize the symptoms, and be willing to step back so you can relax, take a deep breath and be armed with the stress busters on your personal journey to wellness. Know that this is just another challenge thrown at you and you can  handle it.

 

What Triggers Your Migraine Headache?

 

What Triggers Your Migraine Headache?           

It really can be just about anything, and what precedes your migraine episode may not be the same for other migraine sufferers. Some common triggers include a variety of foods with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, nitrates and food additives like monosodium glutamate (msg), aged cheese, various scents, chemicals and fumes from cleansers and gas, medication, emotional ups and downs, physical activity/exercise, hormonal changes, stress and lack of sleep.

Many migraine sufferers get some type of warning in what is commonly known as an aura. Auras may include visual changes like flickering lights, blurriness, temporary blindness, heightened sense of smell and hearing. The warning from auras is sometimes good when you are aware enough to actually pay attention to the symptoms.

Research indicates a chemical imbalance of the mood regulating serotonin and hormonal changes cause migraine attacks. Some people are also believed to be predisposed to getting this neurological illness, meaning the migraine gene runs in the family, passed on down from one generation to another affecting mostly women family members than men.

A lot of people still at this time do not understand how disabling and debilitating a migraine attack can be, and may casually dismiss your symptoms as just a headache assuming the pain is just about the same level or a little bit worse than they experience. The reality is the pain which is probably 20 times worse than a headache is just one of the symptoms. The nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light, sound and smell are not understood or not thought of as possible because these do not come with a regular headache.

If you are a migraine sufferer, I can imagine your tolerance to pain is extremely high, having to function in society as if things were normal because sometimes you just have to. But with more recent awareness efforts, and advanced research on this illness, more and more people have become sensitive and more acceptable of the reality of migraine and its disabling effects on the sufferer.

Coping With Migraine Headaches

Doing the following things at the very first sign of an oncoming attack is often enough to thwart a full blown episode.

  • Massage the back of your neck and work your way up around your head, and all the way to your temples with natural oils like peppermint, marjoram, lavender and feverfew . The oil with its healing properties gives a soothing, calming and numbing sensation for a very effective relief.
  • Get under the covers in a dark room and close your eyes or better yet get some sleep to relax your nerves and blood vessels. Caffeine taken in moderation helps to relieve the pressure and dilate the blood vessels.
  • Take your natural migraine remedy or prescribed medication immediately and drink plenty of fluids. Do not be second guessing if it is a regular headache versus a migraine headache. Note that the aura is a clear indication that you are experiencing a migraine. If the steps above do not stop your migraine attack then you’re now most likely experiencing a throbbing, intense pain on your head, accompanied by vertigo, nausea, vomiting and a heightened sensitivity to bright lights, sounds and smells. Although the duration of the episode differs for migraine sufferers, the headache typically lasts from one to three days. Depending on the severity, some people experience the headache for much longer than that.

Being open and honest about your illness, and not having to carry all the load when you have a migraine headache will make the people around you, the ones you love and the ones you work and live with to be more understanding and empathetic to your suffering. Do not be afraid to step back, and get a shut-eye if you need to, because you have to if you at least try to prevent a full blown episode. Accept help if someone offers you a hand with house chores and work duties, as it may just be the way to prevent the next excruciating and debilitating migraine attack.