8 Therapies for Migraine Headaches

Migraines can be debilitating. Close to 12% of Americans suffer from migraines in America. Although they are most commonly associated with headaches, migraines are a neurological condition that causes other symptoms from sensitivity to sound and light to visual changes and from nausea and vomiting to tingling or numbing of the hands, face, and feet. If you suffer from migraine headaches, these 8 therapies might help. (1)

1. Acupressure

Acupressure therapy applies pressure to the body providing stimulation that can reduce pain and release muscle tension. One study for example showed acutherapy applied to the wrists for migraines without “aura” helped alleviate nausea and vomiting. (2)

2. Avoid Migraine Triggering Foods

According to the American Migraine Foundation, some foods have been shown as possible migraine headache triggers for many people including: (3)

  • Alcohol (especially red wine and beer)
  • Chocolate
  • Aged cheese
  • Cured meats
  • Smoked fish
  • Yeast extract
  • Food preservatives that contain nitrates and nitrites
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

You can consider avoiding these foods to see if it helps prevent migraines.

3. Inhale Lavender Oil

A small study showed that inhaling natural lavender essential oils can reduce the severity of migraine headaches. (4)

4. Ginger

A study showed that ginger offered the same relief found from the migraine drug sumatriptan. Since it is all-natural, it is something you can try without worry, unless you have an allergy to ginger. (5)

5. Yoga And Stretching

Researchers studied the effects of practicing yoga to assist in managing migraines. The group that used yoga in tandem with conventional migraine treatment saw improved relief compared to those who used conventional treatment alone. (6)

6. Acupuncture

In 2012 researchers performed a systematic review of acupuncture studies as a treatment for migraines. Their research showed acupuncture could be an effective choice. However, it was unclear if it was acupuncture alone, or if other factors were also contributing to results. (7)

7. Dietary Supplements For Migraine Prevention

According to a review of nutraceuticals as a possible treatment to help prevent migraines, the following dietary supplements can help prevent migraines: (8,3)

  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): Taking 400 mg of riboflavin daily was shown to help prevent migraines in adults, but was ineffective in children. Use is recommended by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the Canadian Headache Society. 
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): 100mg of CoQ10 three times a day to help prevent migraines. However, while it is recommended by AAN and the Canadian Headache Society, evidence from studies is of lower quality. 
  • Magnesium: If you suffer from menstrual-related migraines, consider eating more magnesium-rich foods, or 400 to 600 mg of oral magnesium citrate daily.

Before trying any of these supplements speak to your doctor to learn more about possible side effects. Nutriceuticals are also not recommended during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant.

8. Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Relaxation, And Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy

According to researchers, a review of several randomized clinical studies showed that therapies such as massage, physio, relaxation, and chiropractic spinal manipulation could be as effective as conventional medical treatments propranolol and topiramate in managing migraines. (9)

Trying these therapies might help make living with migraines more manageable. 


  1. https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362706/
  3. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/migraine-and-diet/ 

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