By Sabrina Lundquist, RAc at Cardinal Point Health.

It is warm and bright out and the urge to get out and do things with the longer days is here! But if you, or someone you love, gets migraines there are some pitfalls to summer. Are any of these suggestions are new to you?

Brightness and squinting.  Consider large or wrap around sunglasses and sun hats. Not only will you protect your eyes and skin from UV damage but the muscles around your eyes will be more relaxed too.

Heat and dehydration. Dehydration can trigger several types of headaches. If you are exercising or just out for a while bring non caffeinated beverages and fruits and soups. Check out this chia ‘tea’ recipe for slow release moisture and some essential fatty acids.

Change in routine late nights, diets, eating schedule… Car trips, summer classes, visiting friends and relatives, parties… All of these can mess with your normal routine.  Here are some strategies for helping to prevent the new summer adventures from triggering headaches:

– bring snacks because blood sugar dips are not your friend
-minimize high salt food (chips, hot dogs, dips, processed foods generally)
-ask for what you might need, like a quiet place to unwind or a patio table that isn’t in full sunshine
-offer to bring your favorite item to potlucks
-tight muscles from travel can be helped if we set reminders to do our homecare stretches/ exercises

Thunderstorms.  On coming summerstorms change the barometric pressure and this is trigger for a lot of migraine sufferers. While you can’t change the pressure you can do your best to stay on top of your sleep, avoiding your food triggers, minimize loud activities (ear plugs?) and bright lights.

Birds at dawn and sunlight at bedtime– light blocking curtains and ear plugs might help with the long days contributing to less sleep.

Did you know…one of the most common diagnoses for migraines in TCM is failure to anchor the Yang (brightness, heat, energy, excitement, upward moving energy)? Then we wind up with throbbing in the head. Acupuncture is proven to reduce frequency and intensity of migraines.

Sabrina works until 8 Mondays and Thursdays if you need some relief at the end of a long day.