A complex migraine can be incredibly hard for you to treat and even worse when complicated with things like trauma, comorbidities and physical changes.
It’s usually the more difficult patients that come to me so I’ve dealt with many of these cases.
It’s always most important to address the biggest stressors and focus on the root causes for long term relief.
In this article I’m going to cover 7 great tips for complex and complicated migraines.
Before I start, here’s a great video on complex migraines:
Here is a statistic on some common symptoms reported by people with complex migraine:
1. Get a full physical assessment from a skilled physical therapist like a CHEK practitioner, NUCCA chiropractor or osteopath
Physical issues can be a massive source of stress on the neck, shoulders and head that won’t be fixable through medication alone.
Having a medical doctor give you a physical assessment is never enough because their specialty is not in structural assessments.
There can be a number of physical relationships between muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone that affect the body non stop and create tension on the head.
These therapists can give you manual therapy and take home exercises to help undo years of physical stress on the body and fix common contributors to complex migraine headaches like posture and subluxations of vertebrae.
You can find a NUCCA Chiropractor near you here: http://www.nucca.org/directory/
A CHEK practitioner near you here:
An Osteopath near you here:
2. Have a functional medicine practitioner hear your case and send the appropriate functional lab tests to you
Functional medicine practitioners and naturopaths are the all stars of the medical chronic disease care world.
If you are experiencing chronic, constant, complex and complicated migraine headaches then you need to have the right laboratory tests done.
But a regular GP will likely not do this for you.
These tests can include:
A full hormonal panel not just the standard hormonal tests run by GPs
A GI map that tells you about dysbiosis, parasites, infections and so much more
A micronutrient analysis to see if your nutrient levels are low which can easily make you susceptible to a whole host of problems(magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, B vitamins)
You can find a functional medicine practitioner near you here:
You can find a naturopath near you here:
3. Make sure your MD has given you an assessment, taken blood work and sent you for an MRI to rule out anything more serious
It’s absolutely essential your primary care physician(PCP) has gone through your case, heard your story, sent you for the routine testing and you have a baseline in case anything changes.
This will also rule out a few things they can find that may be underlying the migraines because as we know, migraines are often a symptom of something deeper.
Because I do things holistically I often run into migraine sufferers who have been completely mistreated by their doctors and not listened to at all.
Do not stand for this, fire them just like you would with anyone working on your house.
If they don’t want to listen, ignore you, talk down to you or aren’t giving you satisfactory results, give them the boot.
You’ll be happy you did because a good doc can make all the difference.
4. Have a holistic health coach go through your entire life with you
Holistic health coaches are the new GPs of the chronic disease care world.
They are like the functional medicine practitioners and naturopaths except they have much more time to talk with you and go through the nitty gritty.
Do not ignore the nitty gritty.
The nitty gritty is all those things that contribute to the body’s stress load that raises our trigger levels and lowers our threshold level.
This can include:
– Environmental toxicity coming from:
Makeup and care products
Offgassing caused by house, clothing and vehicles
– Dietary toxicity and absence of nutrients
– Physical stress and lack of or excess
– Emotional overwhelm
– Mental excess
– Improper breathing patterns
– Sleep insufficiency
– Circadian dysregulation
and so much more.
In a world that has become increasingly synthetic, these are specific reasons we are experiencing more headaches than ever before.
Our genes evolved to be really good at how nature functions and the last 100 years have flipped it on its head.
A holistic health coach can help you figure out what caused so much stress on your physiology, long before the straw broke the camel’s back.
5. Get your foundations solid
They are essential for everything your body has to do at all times to function properly.
Just one of them being severely out of balance is enough to create more headaches than you can deal with.
It’s super simple but extremely powerful once you understand them.
They are critical for your body to clean up waste and bring in nutrients.
The problem is that most people are not doing them correctly and this is leading to the massive amount of chronic disease we see today.
Not only that but they directly contribute to headaches.
If you want your body to love you and give you pain free days you need to learn how to:
– Think right
– Drink right
– Eat right
– Breath right
– Sleep right
– Move right
There’s a lot more to them than:
– Think positive
– Drink enough so you’re not thirsty
– Eat vegetables
– Remember to breathe
– Sleep 8 hours a night
– Get exercise
Those are just scratching the surface so I encourage you to check out the 10 stepsand get started on a journey where you’ll learn more about health than your doctors ever taught you.
6. Create a detox program
There are well over 30,000 synthetic chemicals circulating in our food, air, water and soil.
Most of these are not regulated and not tested for safety.
Our body only has a few systems to detoxify an almost infinite number of stressors.
The problem is that when we get too many of these piling up in our body, our body starts to go haywire.
It starts creating dysfunction, our brain cells metabolism gets impaired and we develop sensitivities and intolerances.
We get things like chemical sensitivity, food allergies, hives, eczema and more that all aggravate our body and push our trigger levels up.
Everything that contributes to the body getting stressed, contributes to headaches becoming easier and easier to trigger.
There are 5 main detoxification organs:
But you also need mental and emotional detoxification.
A detox program will support you in a few key areas:
– Detox foods like specific fruits and vegetables that support the organs(carrots for GI, grapes for kidneys, cauliflower for liver etc)
– Supplements that support detox (ie dandelion for liver, celery root for kidneys, chamomile for skin etc)
– Movements that help your body fine tune itself (working in, working out, tai chi, qigong, stretching, massage)
– Breathing exercises
– Sleep optimization since the brain detoxes during sleep
– Emotional detox
– Mental freedom
You can create your own detox program through the guide provided in the 10 steps program.
Every migraine sufferer I talk to has mental and emotional stress and overwhelm as one of their main problems.
The issue here is that not only can we be influenced by mental and emotional stress during the events and when we think about them…
But unless we learn how to let go and get them out of our bodies, we will hold onto them.
Strong experiences like trauma and things like overcare can eat us alive from the inside out.
We can become obsessed about things that continue to degrade our health.
This is my message to you telling you to stop.
You deserve better and require a lot more love than you allow yourself because of these situations.
Get into the feelings and let them go, shake them out and give yourself a break every few hours to focus on giving yourself love.
It’s one of the biggest causes of degrading health and there’s no lab tests for it.
When we don’t acknowledge that we are worth it and act like it…
Our body can start to attack itself and lead to things like autoimmune disease, which migraine is starting to look a lot like.
If you can’t do anything else, just repeat “i love myself” and “I complete me” every chance you get.
Drive how you feel into your subconscious to reprogram how you see the world.
7. Eliminate every food trigger/sensitivity and stressor
There is something absolutely profound about finding that just by removing a single food, you can cut your headaches in half.
But it sounds too good to be true, nobody believes it until they try it.
Often times it’s this one simple technique that can change a migraineurs life.
I’ve helped patients experience it over and over again, food matters.
Not only does it matter, but for some people it’s the entire reason they are experiencing migraines.
There’s a simple formula but it takes some preparation.
It goes like this:
– Remove the most common trigger foods
– Create a simple system for finding personal triggers
– Heal the gut so that you can stop creating sensitive foods and even recover some already sensitive foods
– Slowly challenge and eliminate them
It’s really easy if you know what you’re doing so I created a guide that’s currently in its pre-release here.
When we are dealing with complex and complicated migraine headaches it’s important to understand that there are many different factors that go into developing disease.
Most of them are not necessarily related to the brain so we need to take a step back and look at the whole picture.
We need to look at our entire life, the stresses in it, our traumas, accidents, surgeries, medications, physical body and how all of our systems are functioning.
If a system isn’t working right, let’s say we are experiencing diarrhea every day, then we need to look deeper at what is going on in the gut because it is directly connected to the brain through millions of neurons.
When we can address the whole body and all of its systems, not only can we find what’s creating the pain, but we can also make our body much much stronger to developing issues next time life gets the best of us.
If you’d like to get help figuring out the migraine puzzle click here to get a free 20 minute strategy call to work through it together.
Holistic Health PractitionerMark 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.