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Light at the end of the tunnel!

I hope the following story brings some relief for fellow migraine sufferers.

I started having migraines in my teens and they continued for the next 30 years disrupting my life usually on a monthly frequency.

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By trying to avoid the triggers I learned over the years, helped me to handle the amount of migraines. However I found no drug could relieve the pain and had to resort to suffering until it finally took its course.

For some reason about 4 years ago the frequency increased to weekly attacks and I had to ask my doctor for help. I was put on a prescription of triptans. These worked for me in the short term and gave relief but unfortunately my migraines increased to occur every few days. Life was becoming a nightmare and I felt as though the drugs had put me in an awful cycle.

After investigating lots of alternative remedies, changes to my diet and avoiding certain physical exercise and lifestyle things were still no better.

I visited my doctor at the end of my tether and spoke about my worries taking the triptans. My doctor now told me that the frequent use of the drug could cause rebound headaches and we decided that I should try to refrain from them. She also discussed with me an exercise that could help with future migraines. This is the practice of slow deep breathing using the stomach not the chest. My doctor had found it helpful for cluster headaches.

I had always been a shallow breather and never breathed using my stomach. I looked on the internet and found some good sites which had information about deep natural breathing using the stomach.

Well, the good news is it worked for me, I have got into the practice of changing the way I breathe and my migraines have ceased and I have not taken any triptans in the last 6 months.

Talking with friend who is also a migraine sufferer, I explained my good fortune, she has tried it for the last 2 months and her migraines have decreased as well.

I recommend trying the natural deep breathing on a regular basis and I hope it helps you as well.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Lynne Lee Bennett-Cassaro
    7 years ago

    I’ve done Hatha yoga since my teens. Alternative options are great. However, a danger I see is some MD’s, therapists & even patients for whom these interventions are helpful sometimes use them against those of us they they prove ineffective. Positive thinking affirmations would fall into this category. I’ve had a chronic mixed headache for over six years, among a host of other diseases originally misdx’d as depression or IBS or FMS. I finally find a local headache neurologist who after a detailed history (&apparently watching the Dr Oz episode on natural remedies for headache) sends me away with all Dr Oz’s suggestions like meditation, Feverfew, Butterbur, riboflavin, CoQ10…(already on). The next morning I was awakened by a full blown migraine…my husband snarkily asked me if I was doing my meditation. Through my tears I said yeah, sure and switched up the OHM to OW, OW…funny…then I went and barfed. My point is sometimes easy things do not work. This doctor wasted my time and did not care to help a lost cause like me and is still probably patting herself on the back for her open-mindedness & suggesting these remedies. Some of us are stuck with opiates as last resort and maybe surgical neuromodulation. As long as patients are not looked down upon or only blown off with these options, they are fine. I am very happy for you! Thanks for sharing.

  • Linda Barham Nabors
    7 years ago

    Please post some of the links to the deep breathing sites that you referenced. Thank you.

  • Molly Sweeny
    7 years ago

    wow! it sounds too good to be true – but I’m game for anything… and god knows I’ve tried crazier stuff than deep breathing. any tips for keeping the breathing going during sleep? thanks a ton for sharing!

  • Katie MacDonald
    7 years ago

    Can you share some of the sites that you referenced online? I know I am a ‘bad breather’ too – tend to be a shallow chest breather.

  • April Pierce McGaha
    7 years ago

    I have found that exercise at least four days per week has helped. It could be related to the aerobic state during exercise. I also use supplements like omega 3 and CLA which have also improved my migraine condition.

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