I’ve been around several people that use the word Migraine when they talk about having a headache. Do these people actually have migraines? What is a migraine, and are there ways to relieve them? These are some questions I will answer.

The word “migraine” comes from the Greek word “hemikranion” which translates to “pain affecting one side of the head”. A Migraine is a headache in a form, that is usually very strong and can almost be disabling, when intense. Unlike common headaches which everyone is prone to, migraines are a neurologic disease and the most common type of vascular headache.

Although everyone individual affected by migraines will characterize the symptoms differently, the book says severe pain on one or more sides of the head, an upset stomach, and at times disturbed vision. The difference between a headache and migraine is summed up in the word “Aura”, which refers to the migraine features that are non-headache like. Migraines have been present throughout history, and it is known that family history and genetic factors are important in the likelihood of migraines.

Many doctors deal with migraines and will have several recommended treatments for migraines. It is in my experience that over the counter painkillers, and other drugs have their part in reducing the pain migraines cause, but are never actually able to cure them. Along with these drugs come several unfriendly side effects, which are not enjoyable, to say the least. Of course, these side effects and the effectiveness of the drugs are different on an individual basis. The treatment that I have seen to be the most effective is the use of Chinese medicine, in particular acupuncture. Acupuncture is a natural medicine in that you are not injecting any drugs or anything inside your body. You are simply just working with what is already there. Talk to your physician and others that have experienced migraines, to find out what steps might be right for you.

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