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Complementary Therapies for Headache

If traditional therapies aren’t doing the trick when it comes to relieving your migraine and headache pain, it might be time to try something different. Complementary treatments can be used alongside or in addition to traditional medications or other therapies provided by your headache specialist. Here are a few of the complementary techniques that might help you relieve migraine and headache pain.


What it is: Hypnosis is the process of being sent into a state of deep relaxation.

Why it may work for you: Hypnosis can help you relieve stress triggers by putting you into a deep state of relaxation. While in that trance, a hypnotist can also work with you to send messages to your subconscious mind (e.g., “When I awaken, avoid this headache trigger”) that you can accept and follow when you are awake.

Crystal Therapy

What it is: Crystal healing involves the use of amethyst crystals to relieve pain. To treat headaches, two crystals are typically placed on the throat and one on the forehead while you lie down. A variety of other crystals also may be useful for headache, depending on the sufferer.

Why it may work for you: Crystals have geometric patterns, which are thought to send vibrations through the body that help align displaced energy (imbalanced during a headache). According to traditional Chinese medicine, balancing energy relieves pain.


What it is: Cupping is generally performed by acupuncturists, either in conjunction with or separate from traditional acupuncture techniques. Acupuncturists create suction in a small glass cup or jar. Traditional methods also involve heating the cups by  applying flames to alcohol-soaked cotton balls, which are then dropped inside the cups. They are then placed on the back or neck to increase circulation and decrease pain. Multiple cups can be used at the same time and are in place for anywhere from five to 15 minutes.

Why it may work for you: Cupping brings stagnant and congested blood to the surface. This helps stimulate the flow of blood, breaks up obstructisons and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. Improving your circulation could decrease your pain and leave you feeling more relaxed.


Learn about seven more complementary therapies in the winter issue of Head Wise magazine, coming to subscribers’ mailboxes soon (click here to learn how you can subscribe). Plus, watch for an article on acupuncture on in December.


What alternative therapies have you tried? Did they relieve your headache pain?

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