I have been living with migraine for 11 years and I have tried numerous products to reduce the burden of my pain and other symptoms. Here is a list of my migraine toolkit must-haves (15 items in total!). I hope you find something that helps you!
- Neuromodulation Devices: Nerivio, gammaCore, Relivion and Cefaly
- Light sensitivity tools: Avulux migraine glasses & Allay Lamp
- CBD rub
- Migraine Ice Hat
- Nausea relief: Sea-Band & Ginger Drops
- Peppermint Oil
- Other essential items (7 items)
There are a few neurostimulation devices on the market. Looking at acute treatment, you can try Nerivio, gammaCore, Relivion, and *Cefaly. These devices are great for pain relief and gammaCore also helps with nausea!
Neurostimulation is incredibly safe and effective. It avoids your GI system and does not put you at risk for rebound attacks or medication overuse headache. Speaking from personal experience, gammaCore has enabled me to go from 15+ attack days per month to fewer than three attack days per month. It has been life changing.
*Cefaly is the only device that you do NOT need a prescription for!
Light Sensitivity Tools
Up to 90% of people living with migraine struggle with light sensitivity. The good news is that there are not multiple items available to help you live in a brightly lit world and manage your eye strain.
(1) Avulux migraine glasses. I have been wearing them at work and they have reduced my eye strain by 80%, which has allowed me to be more productive and stay focused throughout my day. Also, one of my favorite things about them is that they are ‘color neutral’ so they don’t distort the colors you see! You can try them risk free for 60 days! Take $18 off your order with code ‘lifewithmigraine’; click here.
(2) Allay Lamp. Another tool in my light sensitivity toolkit is the patented, soothing narrow-band green light, Allay Lamp. I use Allay for at least 30 minutes before bed and it lessens my eye sensitivity and improves sleep quality. Take 10% off your oder with code ‘LWM‘; click here.
I have significant muscle tension in my neck, shoulders and jaw. All of which are a symptom of my migraine attacks. I massage CBD salve into my face, temples, neck, and shoulders when I notice my pain starting to creep up. It is not greasy or smelly, and it works in roughly 30 min.
My favorite brand: Spruce CBD – order here. One little jar is 40 U.S. dollars, but a little goes a long way and it lasts me anywhere from six to eight months depending on how frequently I am using it (once per-day vs. multiple times per-day).
Migraine Ice Hat
Migraine Relief Ice Pack Hat. I highly recommending having at least two sets of ice packs so you can swap them out without waiting for one to re-freeze!
There is also a company called Koldtec that just recently engineered a cold-therapy head wrap specifically with migraine patients in mind. I personally have not had the chance to try their new ice HALO, but I have heard good things. You can check out the Koldtec HALO here.
(1) Sea-Band: One of my most frequent migraine symptoms is low-mid grade nausea. I was skeptical of the power of acupressure, but my acupressure wrist bands quickly and painlessly reduce my queasiness. The wrist bands have a plastic ball about the size of a small marble that sits on the inside of your forearm. You can find Sea Band on Amazon: Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristband, but there are also multiple companies that make anti-nausea acupressure wrist bands (some of them are really cute).
(2) Ginger drops. I was searching for a low-sugar ginger flavored drop and these are the best that I could find. They have 2 grams of sugar, which is remarkably lower than most of their competitors. Whenever I am leaving the house, I like to stash a few of these candies in my pockets, their portability is a huge bonus. Tummydrops come in four flavors: ginger, enhanced ginger, peppermint and sweet blackberry. I personally find the classic ginger ones to be plenty strong (a bit spicy even), you can find them here: Natural Ginger Tummydrops.
Essential oils will not cure migraine, it’s genetic, sorry. However, essential oils may help reduce the discomfort you are experiencing or help enhance relaxation. When I have the classic migraine pain, the ‘ice-pick’ on the side of my head, I rub pure peppermint oil directly on the spot that is throbbing.
*Pro tip: if you ever get essential oils in your eyes, use baby oil to stop the burning!*
I have tried over a dozen essential oil companies and the one I have stuck with is doTERRA – Peppermint Essential Oil. However, if you really want an intense cooling sensation, then Healing Solutions’ Peppermint Essential Oil is a good one.
- Ear plugs / headphones so I can turn down the volume on my environment when I am out and about. I will often wear headphones with nothing playing in them because they often block the sound better than ear plugs!
- Sleep mask to give my eyes a complete break from the light whenever I feel an attack coming on
- Dark sunglasses for the really bright days when my Avulux glasses aren’t enough.
- Snacks and more snacks. Intense hunger is a guaranteed trigger for me.
- Electrolytes + caffeine. I find that the combination of salt and caffeine can sometimes abort and oncoming attack.
- Meditation. I use several phone apps including Calm, Headspace, InsightTimer and Curable.
- Gentle movement. When I feel an attack coming on I try to take a walk around the block or do some gently yoga to try and get the endorphins flowing, which can reduce the severity of an attack or even stop an attack all together.