Alternative title: Is it just me who gets not only a visual aura (personal light show all up in my eyeballs!) but an olfactory one too (the rather pleasant scent of white chocolate!)?
As part of my ‘Ruebi attempts alternative therapies because Migraines make her want to remove her brain with a spork‘ series I decided to try a hand therapy called Moxibustion … Or rather my Therapist (yep, the same one who tried out Cupping Therapy on me) insisted on giving it a go and me being me, just shrugged and went with the flow!
In my defense I’d started to experience aura en route to her office so she could have said she was going to stick pins in my eyes and I would probably have gone with it.
So, what is Moxibustion Therapy I hear you ask? Well, in a nutshell, Moxa (dried mugwort) is placed on to certain Acupuncture points or Meridian lines and burned, the heat produced is thought to stimulate blood flow and Qi (Chi). Moxibution can be direct (placed onto the skin – this can result in scarring) or indirect (using a medium – which doesn’t produce scarring but may cause a little bit of temporary redness) … We went with indirect using a form of stick-on Moxa.
Moxibustion can be used for a variety of conditions including digestive issues, colds/flu (so a bit of an immune booster), Arthritis, headaches and Migraine … And is even used to try turn breech babies (have to say I had my ‘what the heck’ bemused face on when she said that one)!
We followed this with a bout of Acupuncture (which I’ve talked about previously here).
So if you’ve got this far you’re probably wondering how it actually felt? Well, the warmth was actually quite calming for my nervous system which given the fact my Anxiety has been flaring recently is positive thing. It seemed to shift my focus onto watching the Moxa burn down, rather than listening to the demons in my head telling me that something really bad is going to happen any minute, resulting in my body relaxing a bit. Another advantage is that the Moxa doesn’t burn brightly nor did it give off much of a scent so the light and smell sensitivity I get with an impending Migraine weren’t aggravated.
BUT, I have to say it didn’t work with stopping the progress of my Migraine as about four hours afterwards it was very much painkillers, a dark room, a cold compress on the back of the neck and as much sleep as I could manage to get with my head wrapped in a pillow (for some reason applying pressure seems to help? Weird huh?)! Though maybe it’s more of a prevention thing (more than one session?) or maybe it could be a placebo thing (quite frankly, if something is a placebo and it works I don’t care what it is) … Or maybe it’s not fast acting enough to halt a Migraine in it’s tracks (if painkillers can’t touch it then short of magic there ain’t anything touching it!).
So my fellow Migraineurs – have you got any tricks for halting a Migraine in it’s prodrome phase? Usually when aura strikes I just have to prepare to lose the remainder of the day in an abyss of sickness, dizziness and excruciating pain.
PS – I’m not entirely sure why but I’ve had “All That Glitters Ain’t Gold” stuck in my head all day … So figured I’d share it with you lovely lot.