Part II: It Takes These Two Things to Defeat Migraines

Defeat Migraine Pain Secret Weapon

The Super Hero Guide To Vanquishing Migraine Pain, Pt. II

One of Super Woman’s greatest super powers is, well, her power. Wonder Woman is one strong lady—and we’re not just talking about her Amazonian strength.  Wonder Woman has mental fortitude, courage in the face of fear, and endurance.

In part 1 we said you can’t stop migraines from attacking, nor can you always control the pain that comes with you. The one thing you can do: keep them from destroying you. They’re powerful, but you are more powerful. Even the unconquerable, seemingly undefeatable intractable migraines can be beat.

Tapping your inner power starts with accepting help and support from other people.

All Great Super Heroes Have People

No matter a superhero’s natural (or mutant) abilities, one thing always makes them more powerful: their team.Wonder Woman comes from a tribe of women who raised her to be graceful, strong and resilient. Batman is a pretty solitary figure (he lives in a cave, after all) but he has Alfred to care for him. Superman was raised by loving parents and had the support of Lois Lane (though she may not have known it). 

There’s always an assistant, a sidekick, a butler, a league. No one operates alone.

I. Find and Hire a Research and Development Director (=Physician/Other Provider)

Batman and Ironman are as successful as they are because they put their money into the best people and minds. They’re busy fighting villains—they don’t have the time to do all the research themselves, and they would surely forget to eat if someone weren’t looking out for them. You need someone looking out for your health, too, especially if you suffer from intractable migraines.

Your person—your Alfred, Pepper, or Antiope—needs to be someone who understands your strengths, weaknesses, and foes. They must understand migraines as well as your unique physiology so that they prescribe a treatment plan that works for you. Because what works for one person may not work for you.

Wonder Woman doesn’t use a gun, a cape, or a Batmobile. If you gave her any of these, would she be as effective? Surely not. She was trained to fight using certain tools and techniques, and she excels with them.

In the same way, you can’t rely on a doctor who prescribes you any old pain medication. Resolving your migraines is a little about them, and a lot about you—how your body responds, what your body needs, how a unique combination of factors inside of you contribute to and counter migraines.

It’s going to take some time and some mistakes. Not everyone you go to will have good ideas or be able to help. Not all treatments will be effective.

You’re on your own hero’s journey to find a solution so that you can give your best self to the world. Migraines are tough but you’re tougher. Time is going to pass and you need an effective, lasting solution to your intractable migraines.

Here are some resources to help you on your way.

Migraine Specialists

Most major cities have one or more hospitals with headache clinics and/or neurology departments. Specialists can do testing and diagnosis, as well as (in some cases) surgery.

Learn about Acute, Preventive and Non-pharmacologic Treatments, Then Find a Provider from the American Migraine Foundation 

Find a Headache Medicine Specialist f rom Migraine Research Foundation

Functional Medicine

Basics of Functional Medicine 

The 5 Principles of Functional Medicine by MindBodyGreen

How End Migraines (with Functional Medicine) Article by Dr. Mark Hyman

Find a Practitioner


Acupuncture Therapy from Migraine Relief Blog

Acupuncture: In Depth from National Institutes of Health

How Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain and Improve Sleep, Digestion and Emotional Well-being from University of California, San Diego

Acupuncture May Be Effective for Migraines from WebMD

Find a Physician Acupuncturist from the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture


Non-pharmacologic Treatments from American Migraine Foundation

Osteopathic Treatment for Migraine Relief (articles) from Osteopathic Healing Hands

Find a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Find a Chiropractor

II. Join Forces and Multiply Your Power

You know migraines can be beat. You’re working with a specialist to find a treatment. You’re practicing realizing your inner strength. Now, you team up with other migraineurs to defeat migraines for everyone, and support each other through what is often a really difficult battle.

Just like the Avengers and Justice League, you, too, need people who understand exactly what you’re going through. They’ll help support you, keep you strong through the hardest times and give you advice. When you’re about to surrender to the belief that your intractable migraine really is intractable and will never be beat, they’ll carry you through.

Tons of great communities are out there. We recommend three in particular.

  1. We have a Migraine Relief forum right here on our page, as well as an active Facebook community. We also welcome your personal stories.
  2. #SpeakYourMigraine highlights the impact of migraines on individuals with the aim of turning “private pain into collective change”.
  3. Migraine Research Foundation shares stories from migraine sufferers, some of whom have found solutions to their pain.


Image Credit: Hermitosis

How to Beat Mommy Migraine Guilt

It’s time to go back to school which means more headaches for kids and parents. Dealing with headaches is hard. Dealing with migraines as a mom is even harder. You want to be there for your kid and when you’re knocked on your back with a migraine, the guilt nearly eats you alive. How do you bear these two unbearable conditions? Follow our prescription for mommy migraine guilt. It is simple, though likely difficult, and 100% necessary to your family’s happiness. 

I. Accept

You will miss things. It’s not your fault.

You will feel like an inadequate hunk of meat. You are not.

You do not have the time/energy/capacity to do all you would like. It’s okay.

Accepting both 1) that you will not live up to your own expectations and 2) that that’s okay is key. WIthout planning this from the beginning, you are setting yourself up for emotional and psychological stress, which may induce more (and more painful) migraines and bring more tension in your family. And if you wanted more stress and tension, you wouldn’t be reading this prescription for mommy migraine guilt. So go ahead and accept it now: you will fail. You are not a failure. Remind yourself of this often.

II. Commit

Parenting school-aged children brings a jungle of commitments. Bake sales and parent organizations and carpools and field trips. You want to say yes. You often, against your better judgment, sign up anyway and inevitably wind up not meeting your own expectations and feel lousy as a result. Or, you’ve learned by now not sign up for the volunteer opportunities, but you still beat yourself up for not being able to do it/be like other moms/live a “normal” life.

The trick to defeating migraine guilt is to reframe commitment. Instead of appointments, commit to quality time and keep track of it with tallies. Maybe the most challenging part of this is it has to be spontaneous. In the car or at dinner or betime, it’s just you and your kid. Don’t worry about what you’re not doing or who you’re not with. Take the interactions one at a time and give yourself a tally for each. Watch those tallies grow. Remember them when you have to say no to an afternoon at the playground.

III. Relax

The impulse to work after you’ve been down a few days is normal. Add on that a heaping dose of mommy migraine guilt and you’ve got a recipe for burnoutor, probably, another terrible migraine.

We’re not telling you to relax to be kind. We’re telling you to relax because it’s an effective strategy. You’ll be more productive, less stressed, more able to give to your family, and better able to sleep

You can try the usual recommendations: yoga, meditation, massage. But relaxation just means removing tension. You may feel that your shoulders (for example) are tense or tight, but it’s basically any kind of stress you feel. Some people release it through painting, others through music, through reading or cleaning or getting outside (when the sun isn’t too bright).  Do what it is that makes you feel a little lighter and brighter.


Accepting, committing, and relaxing is your new life mantra and your cure for migraine guilt. These things aren’t too small, and they do count. You give people credit when you know they’re trying. They do the same for you. Think about any time that a friend or relative has been so burdened by their own guilt or pain that you two couldn’t even enjoy your time together. Think about how busy you get running the family that you forget to even enjoy it. Think about how good it feels when you connect with your loved ones.  It feels good for them, too.

Don’t say “Well this is what I should be able to do every night.” Or, “Other parents [anything].” You have the painful, debilitating condition, and migraine guilt on top of it. What works for you and your family, what is fun and high quality for you all, is the only metric that counts. You count it as often as possible.

This Month In Migraine News: Behavioral Therapy and Chewing Gum

From new sudies to debating the power of suggestion when using migraine drugs, January proved to be an eventful time for migraine related news. Take a look at our top five stories from January and catch up on what you missed. Join in on the conversation by sharing your thoguhts and perspective in the comment section below. 

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Baby Blues: Migraines, Pregnancy and Motherhood

pregnancy mom migraines infantsIf you’re a chronic migraine sufferer and become pregnant, you might be surprised to learn that pregnancy can actually ease migraine symptoms in some women. However, this is definitely not the case for everyone. Some pregnant women experience even more chronic migraine pain and symptoms during their term. If you fall into this category, don’t despair; migraine relief is possible. Pain and symptoms caused by migraines can be managed, and there are ways for pregnant women to mitigate and reduce their symptoms substantially.

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The Migraine Book Review: 10 Great Reads For Migraine Sufferers

The journey of migraine sufferers is unique and challenging. Most of the time, sufferers feel alone, misunderstood, and even confused about what they are experiencing. Books can be a great source of comfort for migraine sufferers. Reading about the journey of other migraine sufferers can help you understand what you are going through and keep you from feeling alone and isolated. There are many books about migraines — books about migraine sufferers, books about the science behind migraines, self-help books with plenty of advice, and even books that feature the genius and creativity of migraine sufferers.

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Stellar Migraines: The Journey of Celebrities with Migraines

The popular public perspective is that all celebrities are rich, famous and living the good life. While there is some truth in this, the reality is that celebrities are just like everyone else, most especially when it comes to health concerns. Subjected to long hours, often without breaks and with multi-faceted career obligations, chronic migraine is a difficult hurdle many well-known celebrities face.

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Living with Migraine Pain: 6 Things to Keep in Mind

Life with migrainesMigraines are difficult to manage. Attacks not only cause discomfort but also debilitating headaches, vertigo and auras. Trying to cope with severe migraines is a daunting task. Faced with pain, confusion, and discomfort with no immediate relief, a migraine sufferer may feel depressed and in despair. Staying focused and positive during these trying times can be an enormous challenge. Despite the difficulties, migraine sufferers can develop their own routines to avoid and ease attacks, and keep spirits afloat during one.

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