man with migraine headacheA migraine headache is a moderate to severe throbbing sensation that lasts a few hours to sometimes days at a time. Things that trigger a migraine is not always easy to pinpoint. It can be triggered by stress, hormonal imbalance, too much sun, lack of breathing, and even food allergies. A migraine headache is an enlargement of the blood vessels in the brain. As these vessels enlarge it causes nerves to release chemicals. These chemicals result in inflammation, pain, and possible further enlargement of the artery.

These migraine attacks commonly activate the sympathetic nervous system in our body. The sympathetic nervous system is explained as the part of the nervous system that controls primitive responses to stress and pain. Thus the increased sympathetic nervous activity in the intestine causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also delays the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine which prevents oral medications from entering the intestine and being absorbed. Which is why many basic pain killer medications do not work for migraines. Also the extra activity of the sympathetic system also decreases blood circulation. This leads to cold hands and feet. Also you can become more sensitive to light and sound.

Some people that suffer from migraines say they have experienced warning signs that a migraine headache is coming on. These signs are described as a tingling “num” feeling in a muscle, light flashes, slow or lack of breathing, and nausea.

A trigger to a migraine may include one or more of the following: stress, sleep disturbance, fasting, food allergies, dehydration, dietary changes, hormone changes, bright or flashing lights, allergies, chocolate, wine, certain odors, cigarette smoke, and caffeine. It is important to try to try to treat a migraine by first finding its source. Essential oils can help calm the migraine or even prevent it also.

Suggested Oils to Use

Frankincense, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Wintergreen

Also consider: Basil, Birch, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary

Suggested Ways to use

Start as soon as any warning signs appear that a migraine headache is coming on:

Put 1 – 2 drops of Frankincense oil on your finger and rub on the roof of your mouth.

Put 1 – 2 drops of Wintergreen or peppermint on the back of your neck.

Put 1 – 2 drops of Frankincense on your finger and rub it on the temples of your head.

A variety of recommended oils can be placed in the palm of your hand throughout the day, breath in the aroma of the oils from your hand to help calm the headache.

Keep in mind your skin can be sensitive to stronger oils and these oils should be diluted first with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.