A migraine is an intense, incapacitating headache, accompanied by other symptoms, that occurs repeatedly in some persons, occurring in episodes or ‘attacks’. It can affect both sexes but is more common in females. The nature of attacks varies between persons and from time to time in the same person. Attacks may last from 4 hours to 72 hours in some individuals.

Symptoms of a classic migraine attack may appear as follows:
Some sufferers have a warning ‘aura’, which is often visual in nature, flashing lights, zig-zag lines etc. Some people may get other warning symptoms like tingling of the side of the head or face, etc. The pain may be throbbing or pulsating, often affecting one side of the head. It may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

It is believed that constriction, then dilatation and inflammation of blood vessels that go to the scalp and brain result in migraine headaches. Vision disturbances occur when blood vessels narrow. Headache begins when they widen again.

Attacks may be triggered by:
· Tension or stress. Emotional problems are probably the most common reason for migraine attacks, but headaches don’t necessarily coincide with emotional upset. They often occur on weekends when stress is decreased.
· Menstruation.
· Use of oral contraceptives.
· Consumption of alcohol or certain foods.
· Bright lights or flickering lights.
· Lack of sleep or too much sleep.

The risk of developing migraines increases with a stressful life style, be it at the home or at the office, a family history of migraines, smoking or excess alcohol consumption.

Hence it is important to cut down the stress in your life. Practicing relaxing techniques, Yoga, meditation are of benefit. During a severe attack, rest is essential but in between attacks, exercise is essential to maintain a general level of fitness. Exercise (including deep breathing exercises) also works as a stress reliever. Two key points for reducing pain with acupressure are the web between the forefinger and thumb (squeeze there until you feel pain) and under the bony ridges at the back of the neck (use both thumbs to apply pressure there). Foods like nuts, chocolates, cheese, excess salt may trigger headaches. No particular dietary restrictions are necessary unless you find that a certain item of food triggers your headaches.

Homoeopathy has a holistic approach to a human being and hence is well suited to curing a person who suffers from migraines. The Homoeopath will take a detailed history of the individual that will encompass his mental, physical and emotional profile along with the main problem. Treatment will then be instituted, aiming at bringing in greater balance at all levels, thus making the person better adapted to life’s stresses and strains. Immune levels are improved, and the person is put on the road to cure.