Migraines are an actual pain in the head. The constant throbbing, dizziness and fatigue that accompany migraines is very debilitating.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation roughly 39 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide get migraines. Just imagine how many of them have been prescribed powerful medications like triptans and antidepressants that often come with unwanted side effects.
A Series of Stressful Events
Like many of you, I went through a tough time after what I call the "plandemic" started. I lost my job and with it health coverage (which is a nightmare to access in the United States), and experienced a winter storm which left me without power for several days. Not only that, the borders were closed, separating me from my loved ones in Canada and England. I felt isolated, broke, and extremely stressed.
Living in a Bouncy House
On February 22nd, 2021, I was talking to a friend when I suddenly felt off balance. I placed a hand against the nearby wall to steady myself.
As the days went on, the dizziness worsened. I felt like I was on a ship floating on extremely rough seas, bouncing and bobbing up and down and side to side. I had no control over my body or mind.
To make matters worse, the next day I was starting a new job. Although I tried to hide how miserable I felt inside, eventually I could no longer ignore my body's boat-like feeling. The dizziness got so bad, that I was let go from my job.
Even something so simple as lying in bed or brushing my teeth, encouraged the dizziness to get worse.
Unsure of why this was happening, I headed to the hospital for a shot of steroids in hopes that alleviate the rough seas inhabiting my head. The medicine did nothing but keep me wide awake at night.
For several days I lay flat in the bed yearning for a time when the world felt steady. I cried (a lot), I felt sad. I felt like my body had let me down.
I found my natural healing journey after so many unsuccessful doctor visits. "Maybe you're just anxious," said one doctor. "I think this is just something you're going through." She handed me a prescription for vertigo. It didn't work. She said I'd be fine, but I didn't feel reassured.
An ear, nose and throat doctor looked briefly in my ears stating everything was fine with a smile and said there was nothing else he could do.
Discouraged, I went online searching for other people who may share the same symptoms. To my suprise, there were forums with other vestibular migraine sufferers.
Finally after about one year of trying to just live with this constant sense of motion, I attended vestibular rehabilitation to retrain my brain without medication. The only reason I even got this appointment was because a friend saw my suffering and suggested that this treatment could work. Around the same time, Dr. Shin Beh diagnosed me with vestibular migraines.
Vestibular migraines cause dizziness and sometimes you don't even feel like you have a migraine, but you often feel some head pressure and in my case the constant sense of movement triggered by laying flat or even just bending down to pull a plate out of the dishwasher. Getting a diagnosis gave me some kind of strange relief. Now that I knew what was causing my problems, I could go in search of natural remedies.
Here's What Helped me Feel Better
- Daily Walk: To reset the pathways in my brain, I needed to walk as much as possible even if I felt I was swaying from side to side.
- Diet Change: I eliminated caffeine from my life and that alone helped me feel significantly better and far less anxious. Living with constant dizziness is stressful, so anything that causes extra jitters needs to go.
- Natural Medicines: Magnesium, CoQ10, Niacin, SAMe and even probiotics to keep my body in balance.
- Drinking Away the Pain: No not alcohol which actually makes migraines worse. Everyday I drink tulsi and warm milk with ghee (a healthy fat) and sometimes celery juice to abort a series of migraines. The celery juice cut the painful migraines out almost entirely. Dr. Beh says its because migraines are caused by inflammation so the plants helped to remedy this.
- Yoga: Stretching and getting some gentle exercises helped me feel like I was part of the world. Go hardcore at the gym actually made me feel worse some days.
- Beauty Sleep: Getting consistent sleep and not staying up too late ensured my body felt rested and relaxed. That means that sometimes I have to forgo social committments, but it was worth it if it meant feeling better.
If a potential remedy was from mother earth, I was willing to try it. As my Dad said, it took my body time to actually become dizzy, so patience was needed to heal again.
Experiencing vestibular migraines is a difficult condition, but it led me to digging deeper into plant medicines to discover that nature will always provide a solution instead of the doctor's next quick fix pill.