Homeopathic Medicine For Treating Migraine HeadachesTamara Der-Ohanian May 1, 2012
Use of alcohol and ‘recreational’ drugs, overeating, outbursts of anger, avoidance of social situations, quick judgements of others’ inadequacies – these are all ways in which people avoid feeling their pain. Taking painkillers for headaches and migraines is another. While painkillers can provide much needed relief from extreme pain, its benefits are temporary, and its use tantamount to avoidance of our pain.
Migraine headaches are physical symptoms that reflect an imbalance and are intended to direct our attention to the underlying cause. Rather than suppressing and avoiding the pain, homeopathic treatment aims to express it, confront it, and resolve it once and for all.
Defining Migraine Headaches
Sometimes people use the word “migraine” to des-cribe a severe headache, but it is more than the severity of pain that defines a migraine. Migraines are a central nervous system disorder where the blood vessels in the brain become abnormally constricted and dilated alternately. The beginning of the constriction is associated with the “aura” or warning signals some people experience just before the headache. These signals include visual disturbances, nausea, tiredness, and a variety of other symptoms. The dilation of vessels corresponds with the onset of the actual pain.
Head pain can be a symptom of many different conditions, so it is important to rule out serious causes, such as high blood pressure, meningitis, or brain tumour.
While each person experiences a migraine headache a little differently from the next, many migraines begin during the morning hours and last from a few hours to several days. It can also be the result of vision problems, temporomandibular joint pain, or sinus infection.
Migraine headaches can be accompanied by a number of symptoms, the more common ones being nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to lights and sounds. Others include fatigue, dizziness, tingling, numbness, weakness, and loss of appetite.
Migraine attacks may be triggered by, but not limited to:
• Physical and emotional stress
• Changes in temperature and barometric pressure
• Consumption of alcohol or caffeine
• Allergic reactions to foods or food additives
• Environmental allergens
• Bright lights, loud noises and sensitivity to certain odours
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Extreme dehydration
• Fluctuation in hormone levels, due to menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
• Medication side effects
• Skipping meals
Migraine headaches can be one-sided or affect the entire head. The moderate to severe pain can be throbbing, stabbing or similarly excruciating. Attacks typically begin during the morning hours and last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Women are afflicted more than men, and it is believed that hormones combined with genetics play a major role.
Some people have migraines because it is genetic and runs in their family, while others get migraines because they are predisposed to them due to having another illness. Then there are those who have migraines with no clear triggers or reasons. Such was the case of Linda, a young woman who sought homeopathic treatment.
A Case of Perfectionism
Linda, a conscientious accountant, had been suffering with migraine headaches for five years. The initial sporadic episodes had escalated to occurring almost weekly when I met her. Linda’s migraine would start suddenly, often during the afternoon, and without warning. Linda preferred to suffer through the pain rather than take time off work. On occasion, when the pain was unbearable, she would spend time in the washroom doing deep breathing and meditation. She never complained to co-workers or her boss, and was proud of never having to leave work because of a migraine headache.
The pain would start in the left side of the occipital region, then rise up and settle over her left eye. The pain was intense and throbbing, and would last the rest of the evening until she went to sleep.
Linda described herself as passionate, friendly, and giving. She also complained about difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety and worry. What struck me most about her personality was her need for perfection and avoiding criticism at any cost. Homeopathic Carcinosinum was the remedy I prescribed, corresponding to her physical symptoms and personality.
One month later Linda reported having had only one migraine headache. She was even more thrilled about feeling calmer and falling asleep quicker. Over the following months Linda came to realize how her need for perfectionism was creating tension in her body and giving rise to the migraine headaches. She learned to let go more easily, and felt happier and more balanced overall.
The Healing Power of Nature
All illnesses, including migraine headaches, serve as barometric indicators of our physical and emotional well-being. They communicate messages from our soul and remind us that we have deviated from our life purpose. Homeopathy views symptoms of illness as the organism’s best effort to heal itself and restore balance. As such, a migraine headache is an indication to look within for the clues to cure, rather than suppress it to avoid the pain.
The human organism has an immense healing capacity and a great example is the fever. When viruses invade our body, the body’s reaction is to create fever and increase the white blood cells to fight the infection. So the body starts the healing process, and in some cases it is able to complete the process and recover fully without medical intervention.
In conventional treatment, the patient is given medication to reduce the fever, thus disabling the body’s own healing mechanism. In homeopathic treatment, the patient is given a remedy that will accelerate the expression of the fever and help the body recover quicker.
In more complex cases the body starts the healing process but is unable to complete it, giving rise to symptoms and discomforts. As such, a migraine headache demonstrates the body’s best effort to defend itself, to adapt and recover. The role of the homeopathic remedy is to mimic the body’s own healing mechanism; to get on the same energetic wavelength and push the body to get over the hurdles and complete the curative process it had begun.
A Case of Sunshine-Induced Migraine
With only a few exceptions, migraine headaches had preceded Betty’s menstrual cycle ever since she was fourteen years of age. Slight nausea and flashes of lights were the warning signals, or aura, of her impending migraine. Then came the debilitating pain when Betty had to go home and lie still in a dark quiet room to sleep it off.
Betty felt severe throbbing pain in her temples. She felt great pressure in her head, and described it as her brain exploding out of her skull. One major trigger for Betty’s migraines was exposure to the sun or any form of heat for more than 10-15 minutes.
Based on Betty’s physical symptoms and personality combined, I gave her the homeopathic remedy Glonoinum. The remedy not only diminished the frequency and severity of Betty’s migraines, it was instrumental in helping her make huge changes in her personal life. When I last saw Betty, she was planning to quit her job and move to Vancouver to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist.
Homeopathy Can Heal Your Life
If we choose to tune in and listen, our physical symptoms, such as pain, are great indicators of what is out of balance and needs healing in our lives. Homeopathic remedies can bring such awareness.
Homeopathy is a powerful healing modality that deals with the direct root cause of our ill health. A trained homeopath takes the time to inquire about every detail of the migraine headache; its triggers, the type of pain, and other accompanying symptoms. A homeopath also explores other aspects of health, such as sleep, appetite, digestion, and skin problems. Finally, a homeopath looks at your life events and your reactions to these events to determine where your energy or life-force has stagnated.
A carefully prescribed homeopathic remedy can unblock the stagnant energy and advance you on your path to becoming whole.
Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHomMed, HOM, was a registered homeopath practising in North York, Ont. She also taught at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. Tamara passed away in 2019. For those who are seeking homeopathic approaches to illness, Kerry Walker is a colleague of Tamara's and a graduate of The Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. She can be reached at 647-781-4861 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org