Treating Migraines Holistically

Migraines are the most common neurological condition affecting 1 in 7 people – two thirds of which are women but it can occur at any age and to any part of the population. The causes of migraines are not as yet fully understood, as no diagnostic test exists to study it. It is generally believed, however, that they are caused by changing chemicals in the brain – namely Serotonin (known as the happy chemical), levels of which greatly decrease during a migraine. As serotonin goes down, the blood vessels suddenly contract and become narrower which causes aura (this is the name given to the range of ‘warning signs’ that some people can get before an onset) and then widen, causing the headache.


Another cause is believed to be fluctuating levels of hormones – Migraines seem to occur frequently in women around the time of their period, just before the start of which levels of estrogen fall. Not all women are affected by this, however, and some of those who are suffer solely from menstrual migraines, whereas others can get them at other times also.

There are a number of things that can trigger this condition, however, such as emotional; environmental; dietary; and physical factors. There are a whole range of different Alternative and Complementary therapies that can be taken to help treat and ease the symptoms of Migraines, and as each patient is different, and some migraines have different causes, certain treatments may be more or less suitable and effective. The best way to do this, then, in order to understand how Migraines can be treated is by listing the different triggers and their own suitable holistic therapies and methods.

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Hello Autumn!

Hello Autumn!

Your colours are looking particularly fabulous this year.  Apparently this has something to do with the wet summer (yep, not many days when it was safe to leave that umbrella at home) and then a sudden drop in temperature.  I’d be lying if I said I was any kind of expert on this but I am enjoying the vibrant display that’s on show.  It’s nice to have this slow transition to gently ease us into winter.  The odd warm day is throw into the mix, but in general there is a feeling of winding down after the heady excess of summer.

However, it can be a time when we feel a little melancholy as we get to grips with the shorter days and start to feel the pinch of the cold in the air.  This season is all about preparation for the winter.  So how can we make the most of this time of year and feel more in tune with the season?  And how can we hold on to that energy and sunlight that we gained during the summer months so it can see us through the winter?


My yoga teacher Gabrielle recently taught me a lovely version of a “sun salutation”.  A sun salutation is a flowing sequence of yoga movements designed to literally salute the sun. This one emphasised the opening up of the body to the sky and sun in order to draw in as much of this energy as possible.  I had a feeling of grasping those last summer rays before they faded away!  It was nice to think about adapting my yoga practice to the season.  Slowing it down, but also realising the importance of keeping the body active at a time when things are naturally drawing inwards.


In nature Autumn is a time of harvest and also of cutting back that which is no longer necessary.  Of storing that which is precious and valuable and that which will keep everything healthy and nourished over the coming months.  We don’t have so much energy during the winter for rushing around so we can become a little more focussed and turn to those things that are most important to us.  Booking a treatment that you love is nice at this time of year.  It can be a good opportunity to gather some energy and feel balanced in the midst of all the changes going on around us.  A massage can bring some much needed relaxation into the body.  During my treatments at the moment am using a lovely oil that contains lemongrass, ginger and clove.  It is great for warming the muscles but the smell is so delicious that it warms the heart too!

So look after yourselves during this season of change.  It can be difficult to leave those summer days behind, but we can try to embrace the change and look forward to those cosy nights ahead.  And we can watch and enjoy this lovely Autumn display in the process!