Migraines can be complex. Often patients are trying to figure out what triggers their migraine. This can be very confusing and frustrating process. Let’s look at an example with chocolate as a potential trigger. You may think chocolate is a trigger as you had chocolate just before the last two migraines. Then, because you love chocolate, you brave it and have chocolate again, and no migraine. So, you think you are in the clear with chocolate and have some again and – boom – a migraine. So, is chocolate a trigger or not???
This confusing aspect of migraines was best explained to me by Dr. David Buchholz, a neurologist from The John Hopkins School of Medicine in his book “Heal Your Headache”. He describes what he calls a threshold, under which there is no migraine, and over which there is migraine.
Each patient often has several triggers. Examples of triggers include certain foods, barometric pressure, stress, tension, sleep status, chemicals such a fragrance, light, hormonal shifts, the list goes on. So, when you are exposed to a trigger, you may still be under your migraine threshold, and you don’t experience any symptoms. But say you are exposed to two or more of your triggers all at once. For this example, let’s assume your triggers are chocolate, and sleep deprivation. If you have both of those at the same time, you may then go over your threshold and end up with migraine. If you only eat chocolate, you may stay under your threshold, and no migraine. I suggest reading Dr. Buchholz’s book if you want to learn more about triggers and thresholds.
What is the point of all of this? Well, a very common migraine trigger is stress and anxiety, which results in muscle tension with subsequent migraine. The Chinese Herbal Formula, Calm is fantastic for reducing tension, stress, anxiety and associated muscle tension. Calm is available in capsule form, it is easy to take, and has no side effects. Taking Calm, in conjunction with acupuncture will get you on your way to being migraine free.