Aromatherapy is better used as a preventive measure than as an attempted treatment for migraine. Once a migraine attack has begun many sufferers are unable to tolerate the smell of essential oils or anybody touching their heads.

If the person can bear to be touched, and is not troubled by smells it is sometimes possible to avert a full-blown migraine by using the following measures at the first onset of an attack:

Cold compresses made with equal proportions of Lavender and Peppermint oils should be placed across the forehead and temples and changed frequently as soon as they begin to warm up. Extremely light massage of the temples with Lavender oil might be helpful if touching the head does not make the pain worse. Many migraines seem to be due to restricted blood supply to the brain and hot or at least warm compresses with oil of Marjoram on the back of the neck will increase the flow of blood to the head. Marjoram is a vasodilator (it causes the blood vessels to expand slightly), and the warmth itself also helps.

As migraine is often associated with stress, regular massage with emphasis on any muscular tension in the shoulders and neck is the best preventive measure. Self-massage, including light tapping on the scalp (obviously at times when there is no pain) is advisable.

Most people with migraine will have had any links with trigger-foods investigated, but if they have not, this should be an urgent priority. Cheese, chocolate and red wine are among the most common triggers but all sorts of foods may be involved. It is also worth looking at other, non-food factors which may trigger an attack, such as bad lighting, industrial and household chemicals etc.

The top 5 oils recommended for migraine or other headache:

Peppermint, Sandlewood, Lavender, Marjoram, and Rosemary.

Top 5 ways to use essential oils:

Make your own recipe using two or more of the oils listed above. Here are some ways to use them:

In a diffuser - Burn for 15 to 20 min., 2 to 3 times a day.

Baths - Add 8 to 10 drops to your bath, blended with 1 tbsp of unscented bath oil.

Facial Massage blend 6 drops of oils with 1 tbsp face oil base. Massage over face and neck using circular movements.

Massage blend 12 drops of essential oils with 1 tbsp of unscented massage oil.

Inhalation Add 3 - 5 drops of essential oils to a large bowl of boiling water. Close your eyes and cover your head and the bowl with a towel while leaning about a foot above the bowl. Use for about 5 minutes. (Not recommended for persons with asthma)

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