Managing my migraine naturally in my permaculture garden

For those who know me, you know it takes a lot to slow me down, but migraine headaches can. I don't get them a lot, but they seem to come in batches, and they knock me out. I've got one right now. It's been here for a few days. My head hurts a lot, my mind feels like mush and I become very grumpy (me? no!!).

Over the years I have found many ways to naturally manage my migraines until they pass. Here's how I do it. (Please note: I am not doctor - natural or otherwise. This is simply what I have found to work for me).

My garden plays a key role in soothing my throbbing skull. Resting in my a shady place in my garden, sipping soothing garden tea and slowing down are the key and listening to the gentle sounds of nature.


Firstly let me explain what's with the headscarf.  I have always found, ever since I was a teenager that strapping my head was a good way to manage the pain of migraine headaches. The pressure that this places on points around my head from the base of my skull, around my ears and across my forehead helps me continue to function, (even if it does look like I'm trying to be a Ninja - which my kids think is hilarious)

Rest and Sleep

Not always the easiest path for me when there's so many interesting things to be doing - but at times like this I need to reassure myself that it's OK to have a little lie down and ask for help. The kids actually love doing extra cooking and cleaning at times like this (why not other times!?)

Fresh air (not much bright light)

Lying down outside and breathing the fresh air deeply is soothing, but not where there is bright light . The light intensifies the pain (covering them helps). The kids have gone out for the morning rockclimbing so I have the hammock to myself (usually I get jumped on). I managed to lie down for a few moments this morning and enjoy the newly cool breeze and the gentle sound of birdsong.

Sip soothing tea

I regularly sip a soothing tea of peppermint, lemon myrtle, ginger and lemon.

Inhale aromatic steam

As well as sipping the hot tea, I make the most of the rising steam from the hot cup of lemon myrtle and peppermint.  This is especially helpful if there is some sinus blockage too.

Drink lots of water

I drink as much as I can to make sure I get fully re-hydrated - particularly if my headache is related to being outside in the heat too much. I like to let some of my tea cool down and add this to my water bottle. A couple of times a day I also add a dose of vitamin C and magnesium powder to a glass of water.


Accidentally head-butting the wall a couple of days ago  could not have helped my situation!! I was looking for a torch in the blackout caused by the recent cyclone. Typically though, a migraine like this indicates I do need some re-aligning.

Get a new garden hat

I am definitely composting the hat I have been wearing. It's a straw hat with the top cut out.  The top had been damaged and I was trying to keep it going because it had a really nice big brim that didn't flop, and I could poke my hair out the top to keep if off my neck on those hot days.  I realise now though I need a cover over the top of my head in this climate. After last weekend out in the garden teaching permaculture, I felt like I had a crispy layer of brain at the top. 


What were the migraine triggers this time? Thinking about how I have been working in the past few weeks is helpful for me to re-asses my patterns of behaviour and make changes I need. It is also useful thinking about where I have been - there has lots of car travel getting to workshops recently, that contributes.

Mostly this time, I'm pretty sure it was a lot of late night writing and film-making sessions, a couple of full weekends out in the intense heat running workshops - and possibly a new pattern of quarrelling that the kids have started (Holidays? But they homeshool! I need to sit down with them and explore what's at the bottom of that.) Mmm - that's right I also lost my reading glasses.

Head and Hand Massage

Regular head massage is very comforting - my children love doing this - even little Monty. I also gently massage those points in between my thumb and forefinger which are quite tender to touch right now.

Hopefully my head will clear today and I can come out of the fog that I feel has enveloped me.

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