This is what a migraine feels like


"It's just a headache. Can't you just take some ibuprofen and get back to work?

People who get migraine headaches—or migraine attacks, which is even more accurate since they don't always come with headaches—are all too familiar with this kind of misperception.

Migraines, which affect some 38 million Americans, consist of a web of symptoms that can make day-to-day functioning nearly impossible, including headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to sound, light, smell, or touch, tingling or numbness, and vision changes. So no, it's not just a headache.

For about 2% of people, migraines are chronic, meaning they rear their ugly heads on 15 or more days each month, says Elizabeth Seng, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and assistant professor at Yeshiva University in New York who specializes in the study and treatment of headache and chronic pain.

For the lucky folks who have never experienced one, it can be hard to put all of that suffering into perspective. Around 88% of people with migraines say they feel misunderstood, Seng says. Which is why she's been working with headache medication manufacturer Excedrin on their launch of a neat little tool to help. Recently, the company launched The Migraine Experience, a virtual reality app you can download on your phone and project using Google Cardboard to simulate migraine symptoms (pain not included!), in hopes of fostering more empathy and compassion for people who do get migraine attacks. "I have had patients in tears in my office because their spouses don't understand what they're going through," Seng says. "Or there can be a negative toll at work, because people can't commit with absolute certainty to being somewhere if they're having frequent migraines. That inflexibility can be really isolating socially, too." (Discover how to heal 95+ health conditions naturally with Rodale's Eat for Extraordinary Health & Healing.)

To help shed some light on what migraine sufferers—technically called migraineurs—are going through, we asked real women to tell us what it's really like. Here, they describe the attacks....."
The food trigger was something I experienced when I would try to eat lentils.
(Mar 26, 2018 06:27 PM)elte Wrote: The food trigger was something I experienced when I would try to eat lentils.

I never made the connection between lentils and headaches until I read about it online. No more lentils for me, although I do love them.
It made a really great difference for me to stop with them. Split peas were good for me to switch over to.
I use to have regular migraines with nausea and vomiting, but I've learned an exercise to avoid them. Haven't had one in probably about a decade.
Syne Wrote:...but I've learned an exercise to avoid them [migraines].
- can you share that exercise?
It basically just simulates what people do naturally when entering a new environment. When entering a new environment, people tend to look around a lot to assess any dangers or info they may need. They don't just dart their eyes around. They focus on each thing they see long enough to categorize its danger/usefulness. The best way to simulate this is to find points in the room/area to focus on. Say, a spot on the wall, a door knob, the corner of a picture frame or the room, the tip of leaf, etc.. Anything that you can sharply focus on (the smaller likely the better). You don't need to focus on each object any longer than a second. The more important thing is to move from one to the next quickly and do enough of them, preferably spaced out around the room/area all around you and at a variety of distances. Just spend enough time on each to really focus on it, but that shouldn't take more than a second. Less than 20 points of focus usually seem to work for me, but that could vary quite a bit.

It helps to do this exercise at the first hint of headache/migraine, and you should start to feel some relief once you've found enough sharp focus points in quick succession. And if it works for you, it seems it works better the more you practice it.

I suppose the theory behind why it works would be the same as why faking a mood or posture will eventually invoke a genuine feeling of the emotion. So faking heightened situational awareness eventually brings the brain into a real state of alertness, perhaps engaging a gearing up toward fight or flight and its adrenal/endorphin precursors.

This also helps sober you up or get over a hangover. Of course, your mileage may vary.
Syne Wrote:It helps to do this exercise at the first hint of headache/migraine,
Excellent. Just having a way to fight back as the symptoms develop is a thing in itself. Probably no bad thing for older car drivers to adopt it as a routine exercise to increase the chances of spotting the unexpected. Nice one.
Hope it helps you. Let me know if it does.
Syne Wrote:Hope it helps you. Let me know if it does.
I think it helped. I don't often get attacks so this is one of one. Normally I lose peripheral vision to start with sometimes followed by total loss - I simply can't see what I'm looking at. Although I lost peripheral vision I retained enough central vision to continue working. Not conclusive but certainly good enough to be my go to strategy at the first signs of a problem. Thanks for sharing that.

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