A study published last year in the medical journal Headache found that nearly half of all people with migraine used complementary therapies. A number of experts from the American Academy of Neurologists believe that traditional medications should only be one piece of the migraine puzzle. These can include some of the following:
Lifestyle modifications can help lessen triggers (processed foods, caffeine, soft drinks, artificial ingredients and dehydration). Lack of water is not the only trigger. Water can be missing many of the electrolyte trace-minerals if we drink filtered (including tap) or bottled water. Broad-spectrum ionic trace-minerals are needed rather than chelated or colloidal. The latter are molecules that must be digested and therefore need a carbohydrate in the solution to facilitate that process. Ionic minerals can be absorbed right in the mouth. Adding ionic trace-minerals back to the water can restore neural function and hopefully reduce the dehydration more quickly. Visit the website www.supplementcharge.net for more info. Getting enough sleep also reduces the chance for a headache and although exercise can sometimes trigger migraines, studies have shown a reduction if the exercise program targeted at least three sessions per week.
Vitamins and supplements that have been considered as adjunct therapy for migraines include Butterbur Extract. This needs to have proper extraction methods by the manufacturer to avoid releasing its toxic chemicals. One company that the AAN recommends is a German brand by Weber & Weber. Vitamin B2 found in milk, cheese and leafy green veggies has been shown to be effective. Magnesium also helps to stabilize the brain by reducing the transmissions of the nerve cells. Feverfew has been studied and is considered secondary behind butterbur. Coenzyme Q10 has been considered as a preventive for migraines and like vitamin B2, they work in a similar fashion to stimulate the energy of the cell powerhouses called mitochondria (deficiencies which have been linked to the development of migraines). Other complementary techniques include acupuncture and biofeedback.
-excerpted in part from Heading off Migraine by Gina Shaw, Neurology Now Jun/Jul 2012