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Best Magazine

Best Magazine

(published 30 July 2002 - Issues 30/02)

 Good life   All the latest health to boost your well being
Can this pyramid beat
your migraines?

Here, we look at natural cures for migraines, including how Botox - the wrinkle-beating injections loved by the star - can help cure these hellish headaches

Envisage a knife inside your head, stabbing at your skull. Because that's how Pennie Woodhead describes the pain of her migraines - and when one migraine ends, another begins.
  Pennie has suffered with migraines for 12 years, since she was 40, and now has an attack every five to eight days. As they can last for up to eight days, relief is hard to find. They are triggered by her period, which can occur up to twice a month.
The migraines have caused the mother of three, from Dunstable in Bedfordshire, to give up her jobs; and because they are so debilitating that she is unable to plan ahead, she has lost touch with most of her friends and hasn't considered booking a holiday for 10 years. "They really are agony - sometimes 
death seems preferable," she says. 
  Pennie sometimes takes the drug Maxalt, but hates the side-effects, as they leave her disoriented for days. She's tried massage, hypnotherapy, reflexology, acupuncture and herbs - all with no success. But finally, she struck lucky - with spiritual healing.
 "A group of healers from an organisation called Gentle Touch give me a session every week and they don't charge," says Pennie. "I lie down and then one of them places their hands over me - sometimes touching wherever it hurts - and I can feel a lovely soothing warmth. It's very nice to have a break from the pain, and I feel much calmer afterwards.
  "They say they're channelling energy - and certainly something happens!

Healing pyramid 4 sided

I'll also spend 10-20 minutes be spend 10-20 minutes before or after the healing sitting in a pyramid made from copper and fibreglass, which is apparently good for conducting energy. It makes me feel very serene. I know it sounds strange, but it certainly helps me! Now I can start looking forward to beating migraines for good."

Contact Gentle Touch on tel: 01582 663900 or

Botox cure hope Doctors recently found that Botox can cure migraine and persistent headaches. Botox works by partially paralysing muscles with injections of the Botulinum toxin A bacterium. Headache sufferers have been shown to benefit from injections around the eyes, forehead and sometimes the jaw, upper back and shoulders. An American study reported a 92 per cent success rate. A trail of 1000 patients is underway in Britain.

 More natural cures for migraines
The Magnetic Therapy headband contains 10 magnets, which you move to the site of any pain. The theory is that the magnetic field produced will improve circulation and encourage the body to heal itself. Cost £8.95, visit

The Lightmask works by shining a gently pulsating light into the eyes for 15 minutes a day. The theory is that this helps to re-establish the normal brain function that a migraine disrupts. Said to be good for prevention as well as cure. Cost £39.99 from Argos.

5-HTP is a herbal extract. It's supposed to correct the hormonal imbalance that occurs during an attack. 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan) costs £14.99 for 60 tablets from Holland & Barrett.

HEADACHE HELL - the facts 
* 1 in 4 women get migraines

* Migraines can cause visual disturbances, nausea, diarrhoes, a stiff neck and shoulders, tingling or stiffness in the limbs, and an inability to concentrate.
* Migraine are caused by the arteries in the scalp and brain going into spasm, and then widening. This disrupts the brain's function.
* Many find relief with over the counter pain killers, like aspirin.
* Many find information, call the Migraine Trust on tel: 020 - 7831 4818 or Or The Migraine Action Association on tel: 01536 461333, or
I've had four migraines over the past month, so it has been of no help whatsoever. But I wasn't sure which way the magnets should be facing to be most effective, so I varied them. I did like the pressure of the band - it was like tying a scarf around my head, which I sometimes do when I get a migraine.     3/10 
Aged 29, Nisha has had migraines since she was 12. "I've had two migraines in the month since trying it, and once the mask made it worse. As lights flashing can set off my migraines, a flashing red light is the last thing I want! You're supposed to use the mask for 15 minutes a day. I think I'd have been better off closing my eyes for 15 minutes."     3/10
Aged 27, Claire has suffered all her like, now having two migraines a month. "I was hopeful but this didn't stop my migraines, and I had my usual one around my period. Plus it made me feel very drowsy. However, I don't think the migraine was as severe as usual. I'll stick with it to see if it can help next month."             5/10 


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