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We do not know of any treatment, medication or otherwise, that consistently and effectively relieves the migraine attack once it has begun. Many of our patients tell us that an attack will end only after it has run its course. If you develop a migraine headache, you may want to try one of a number of nonmedical remedies. We have accumulated a short list of home-style treatments that have been suggested to us by our patients and friends. Some are reasonable and may have a scientific basis. A few defy any logic, but those who have given us these ideas claim that they work. Here they are. Use your own judgment in their application, and certainly avoid anything that seems unpleasant.
1. Apply cold compresses (moist or dry) to the head and neck. Most migraine sufferers, prefer cold to heat, but you might try heat to the back of the neck and cold to the top of the head. The heat usually relieves the muscle contraction in the neck region that can be a response to the pain in your head.
2. Apply pressure to your temples with your palms or a firm object such as a cold washcloth that has been tightly folded. (The technique of acupressure can be learned from available literature.)
3. Retreat to a quiet, darkened room; place your head higher than the rest of your body; try to relax and sleep.
4. If you are nauseated, try to vomit. This reduces the headache in a few patients. (Avoid this if you have any disorder of your digestive system.)
5. Try crying vigorously. Several patients claim that this helps considerably, but others claim that it intensifies their pain.
6. Fill a basin with ice cubes and cold water and thrust your arms or the top of your head into the basin (see below).
7. Immerse your entire body in cold water. Then before drying, stand in front of a fan or an air conditioner for a short time. A friend who uses a variation of this told us she throws on her clothes and runs outside into the cold with her hair dripping wet.
These are only examples of therapeutic anecdotes, efforts devised by individuals to treat their own headaches, and do not imply any endorsement by us. Indeed, some, such as the cold water techniques, may be downright dangerous especially in patients with high blood pressure or heart disease.

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