Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Migraine - Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Aspects

Well, I missed my Tuesday blog, partly due to having a migraine and needing to conserve my energy to stay focused on my work for the day. I've had migraines since my late adolescence and have learned much about the physical and emotional triggers that can cause these miserable headaches. I've searched the food sensitivity theories, lack of magnesium, hormones, too little sleep, stress, alcohol, perfumes, light etc. It seems that just as I think I have it figured out, I realize that I have more to learn or to catch on more quickly. Being in the health science arena, I usually begin looking there first, but I also have my feet in the "other world" as well - that which is unseen, but is just as real. I met with my colleague a few years ago, Susan, whose specialty is spiritual counseling. She has a doctorate in divinity and can speak to any spiritual affiliation or to those with no spiritual identity. As Susan carefully listened to my story, she not only acknowledged my hormonal abnormalities, but she also observed that I had some unresolved feelings that I did not express - feeling angry yet unworthy to express any negative feelings. All of s sudden, the light bulb went on. I had been conditioned as a child to never show angry feelings. I grew up during the era when "good girls are to be seen and not heard." As a result, I learned to avoid conflict as much as possible, even when I felt upset by something. It has been a few months since my last migraine which is such a great improvement. I had had monthly migraines, sometimes every few weeks, for years and the duration is generally five days of feeling pretty lousy. I decided to look at not only my hormonal relationship, food triggers and other environmental triggers, but at the emotions that I have been experiencing. Sure enough, I found some areas where I had suppressed my feelings. I decided this time to use my voice, speaking my truth, with kindness and compassion. To digress just a bit, but tie this to the theme of this blog, I usually use reiki energy on my throat chakra on a daily basis. Reiki is an ancient tool used to focus energy to particular areas of the body that need healing and clearing. I chose the throat and heart chakras as part of my daily preparation in order to be at my best when working with my patients. Now, I needed to clear the throat chakra for me - to feel worthy of expressing my feelings, whether positive or negative, in a loving and compassionate manner. For me, as for many, I also find an increase in magnesium makes a big difference in my headaches. Magnesium is known as nature's calming mineral. Magnesium citrate, taurate and glycinate are the best forms for supplements used in treating headaches, muscle tightness and digestive issues that can accompany migraines, but there are many foods that are also wonderful sources of this nutrient. See the following list of foods rich in magnesium and remember that migraines are multidimensional, crossing into physical, emotional and spiritual areas. Foods that are good sources of magnesium are avocados, bananas, blackberries, guava, kiwi, pomegranate, raspberries, watermelon, artichokes, okra, peas, almonds, cashews, oats, wheat, beef, cheddar cheese and tuna.