For us to get the right answers, we need to ask the right questions.
And for us to have the right questions, we need to understand how to ask questions.
In this article we will cover 3 astonishing answers for the question “can vestibular migraines be cured?”
The 3 answers are: technically no, practically yes, and what you should really be focusing on.
Lets get started with technically no as it will provide the basis for understanding the rest.
1. Technically no
When we ask if something can be cured we have to start with the technical understanding since we are surrounded by the western method of medicine.
This method understands migraines as being something that is a life long chronic neurological disease that doesn’t have an objective measure of if it is gone forever or not.
In essence, because there is no test that shows a lab measurement has dropped or risen to a given area creating a state of “cure” then it can not be called that.
Technically because of this it is always in a type of remission and may come out of it any time.
In contrast, if we get an infection, there is an objective laboratory value and a range. If our numbers are within that range, we are infected and if we go below that range, we are cured.
This is easy to do and say with some issues but migraines are not so because of their lack of objective measurement by which we can gauge if we are free of it or not.
This leaves us with one factor that we can use to interpret our health. Active attacks or “remission.”
Because migraine is usually an all or nothing disease, this is hard to do as well. Just because we have not triggered a migraine today doesn’t mean that our trigger levels aren’t so high that we won’t trigger one tomorrow.
It is largely up to us to feel our bodies and often one of the biggest reasons we got into the mess we did is because at some point in our lives we had to compensate for pain or stress and became disconnected from our body. In this disconnect we forgot how to feel an accurate gauge of what will serve our body and what will push it too far.
This is all too common in the 21st century world of electronics, constant distraction and separation from all of the things we evolved with, especially our tribe.
We need to feel the gauge of remission.
How are we feeling, how are we functioning and how is our lifestyle doing in supporting us in the pursuit of our dream.
There’s a lot to it and with the way medicine is defined, we cannot say this disease is “cured.”
2. Practically yes
But that doesn’t mean that we cannot practically become free of migraine attacks forever.
Practically, it is possible for an individual to do this.
As a basis, we would do this by addressing the root cause that is pushing our body out of homeostasis as well as addressing the three main pieces of trigger mode:
- Trigger level
- Threshold level
I’ve been free from migraines for over 5 years now, simply because I removed the main factors that were causing a huge strain on my body… The root cause.
But migraines are not so simple in this sense and it is not because our brain hates us or usually not because we have an inherited gene we can do nothing about.
Thinking in that way simply limits us in finding an answer.
Medicine advances every day. Don’t put yourself into a box. Unless you want to be in one, then by all means.
The root cause can be such a large strain on the body that we have to do everything absolutely perfect to be able to maintain low enough trigger levels to stay under our threshold.
We need to address the three areas that determine our tendency to be inside or outside of “trigger mode.”
Our trigger level is the sum total of all of the stress our body is taking on or perceiving. This is the load our body is under.
Our nervous system uses a sense called nociception where it totals all of the stress on the nervous system and responds to it accordingly.
But our nervous system connects us from head to toe, from mental, to emotional, to physical, environmental and even spiritual.
We need to lower the load on all of the different areas of our body and this will bring down the nociceptive response our nervous system has.
Lots of load will be interpreted as a lot of stress and a stressful environment.
If you are in a stressed environment, then you cannot sleep, digest, heal or learn properly. You are simply fighting for your life and trying to survive but this is counter productive to your desire to heal your brain.
Threshold level is the combination of the inherited tolerance as well as the accumulation of resources you have to cope with stresses in your environment.
Some people are much more resilient to triggering migraines and some are much less. This is usually because of their threshold level and how much tolerance their body has. This is a fairly steady marker but if we go through a healing period this can heighten and if we go through trauma, stress, toxicity, infection etc, this may lower and we will be less tolerant.
Then we have our foundations.
Our body is naturally equipped with systems to detoxify, repair and release stress.
These systems like sleep, breathing, drinking, eating, movement, thinking and detoxification are always working, 24/7 to try and lower the total stress on your body.
But in many people and especially many migraine sufferers, some of these systems get overburdened, forgotten and compromised, leaving us with what can be understood as a three legged stool.
If our body cannot release stress faster than it can enter our body and mind, we will eventually start experiencing symptoms.
This will happen through our weak links first.
In migraine sufferers, this is our brains.
We want to keep trigger levels low, threshold high and always support our foundations.
See the picture below to understand where the cerebellum is and how it connects to coordination and balance:
3. What you should really be focusing on
We have been taught to naturally think that if we have a problem, we need a solution to that problem.
This is fine, but we have lapsed on learning how our body works.
It is completely interconnected and that place where we have symptoms is often not the place we need to focus our energy.
For example, a large majority of back pain is idiopathic, meaning it is spontaneous and has no known causes.
We go to massage therapists and physical therapists to strengthen the back, stretch it out and focus all of our effort on the back.
But this can easily be an abdominal problem, shoulder problem, knee problem, foot problem, neck problem and even jaw problem.
Systems of the body will take priority over others, the body has a system of prioritizing what it thinks are more important systems over others.
If our core is not activating because we have liver inflammation and the liver needs a high blood flow, then our core will not be taking strain off of the back.
This will easily lead to an unstable back and a back that has to take all of the weight.
Can you see how easy it is to get back pain that actually isn’t caused by the back?
Same thing can happen with the brain and headaches.
If we have a problem going on somewhere else, the head and the nerves around the head can easily become sensitized and start triggering.
We need to focus on overall health first, especially if we have chronic pain and daily migraines.
With such a large load of stress on the body, we need to support the fundamental systems first and make sure they are working properly.
This will often take off half the pain burden.
Sometimes, vestibular migraines can be caused by ear issues. Things like BPPV and ear infections that are mistaken for vestibular migraines.
But if it isn’t and it is a brain problem, we need to take a very different approach.
We need to support the foundational systems first and start checking off possible deeper causes.
Do we have:
- Heavy metal toxicity?
- Parasitic infections?
- Nutrient deficiencies?
- Emotional trauma?
- Primary pain with secondary gain?
- Physical trauma?
- Structural imbalances?
- A life we don’t want to live?
- Blood sugar handling problems?
- Neurodegeneration from dysfunctional mitochondria?
Our brain starts to lose endurance long before in its weak areas and fatigue long before migraines become a common thing.
The brain is showing that it is not producing energy efficiently and effectively enough to run normally and with stamina.
We need to heal this by addressing all of the factors that lower the brain cells or neurons ability to produce energy, the above factors and sources of inflammation or oxidation.
Remember the one common connection behind all migraine triggers is oxidation.
So we need to stop the source of the neurodegeneration. this is often caused by chronic inflammation from somewhere and a lack of ability to produce energy in the brain cells which is usually from nutritional deficiencies.
If it has the building blocks for energy, it can make it, if not, it will create a number of byproducts along the way that will create even more stress on the brain.
But we also want to create more neuroplasticity in the brain. Neuroplasticity is the linking together of brain cells, the creation of pathways and what makes learning possible.
And to make more connections between brain cells, we have to stimulate our brain enough.
Often if we are highly creative, we need to stimulate the logical side of our brain and bring it up.
If we are very numbers oriented and analytical, we need to stimulate the creative side and bring it up.
Through stimulating the brain, new experiences, complex movements and exercise, using things like cold showers that strengthen our vagal nerve and more, we can force the brain to create new, pain free connections instead of reinforcing the pain sensitive ones.
For example, in vestibular migraines we need to understand that the cerebellum controls our orientation and balance, if the cerebellum is affected by inflammation, nutrient deficiencies and neurodegeneration, we need to stop whatever is stressing our body out like the above factors and then use exercises that will force our cerebellum to make new connections.
See the two videos below on exercises for the cerebellum.
The harder we can make the exercises we use, the more the brain has to try to build new connections.
As we develop more neuroplasticity in the brain, remove the maintaining factors through a good holistic assessment and add in the crucial nutrients our brain needs to produce enough energy to function without becoming hypersensitive to stimulus, we can see amazing changes.
By taking the initiative we can do what nobody else will do for us, heal our brains.
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Do you experience vestibular migraines?
When did they start? Did they start with any other symptoms? Do you have other cognitive issues as well?
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Holistic Health Practitioner
Mark Canadic is a writer, speaker, holistic health practitioner and migraine community leader. Read Mark’s inspiring comeback story, “My Burnout and Brain Fires that Lead me to the Root.” Feel free to send Mark a message here.