Treatment resistant migraines affect millions of people worldwide. I myself started experiencing the effects of these headaches back in 2020 after contracting the COVID-19 virus. Since then, I’ve found ways to manage treatment resistant migraines using fascial maneuvers.
I was a junior in college when I began having regular episodes- you know, the kind that make you lie in a dark room for days. I later learned that the timing coincided with my coronavirus illness.
The migraines continued sporadically until August of 2021, when they spiked in intensity. I ended up in the ER several times with all the symptoms of a stroke: blurry vision, slurred speech, numb limbs, and weakness of the left side of my body. I was diagnosed with “acute atypical migraines”, given multiple steroid shots in each butt cheek, and sent to the neurologist, who prescribed me Rizatriptan.
The drug worked some of the time. It didn’t prevent the migraines from starting, and I was essentially benched in the game of life 3-4 times a month.
There were several other health issues that plagued me. The only solutions Western medicine provided were yet more diagnoses and prescription bottles full of questionable side effects. I struggled to make it through my senior year of college, fearful of what my life might look like after I graduated, until February of 2022. That’s when I came across Human Garage.
I was scrolling on TikTok one afternoon and saw their video about releasing the trapezius. Garry was on the screen explaining how this one movement could calm the nervous system and improve tight, painful shoulders. I had been on my own healing journey for quite some time and was well versed in the importance of regulating the nervous system. At that point, I had read cult classics like The Body Keeps the Score and Breath, which opened my mind to the possibility that I could fix all my physical ailments by balancing the autonomic and parasympathetic systems.
I was intrigued by the video and immediately tried it for myself. Something shifted in my body as I pinned the skin of my shoulder and twisted my body around- there was a lessening of the constant tension. I felt calmer afterwards.
The trapezius maneuver was my go-to over the next several days. I felt a little relief each time I did it.
I searched for more from HG and found their YouTube channel. My first time trying the Full Body Reset was a transformation all its own- I felt no pain in my body for the first time in seven years. I remember I sat down and cried tears of joy right afterwards. Reprieve had been out of reach for so long! That was the moment I knew in my heart I could really get better.
I committed myself to the 28-Day Reset, doing all the maneuvers at least once a day. The results were noticeable. My face looked different, my body felt different, and I didn’t get a single migraine. I’ve been an advocate for fascial maneuvers ever since then.
The migraines still come on, but I’ve only experienced four in the past year, and before I was having four each month.
I had one last week, and during that time my perspective completely shifted. I realized that the headaches typically follow a 3-day cycle- the same as a perception cycle! That makes me think that a migraine is actually an integration period of sorts, where the brain is rewiring itself according to all of the physical and emotional efforts I’ve made to improve my health.
You may be familiar with the phrase, “trauma changes the brain.” Well, so does healing. It makes sense to me that because I work everyday to unwind my brain and my body’s old patterns, my brain will go through periods of inflammation. That’s a natural symptom of detoxification, and it can happen anywhere in the body as fascial layers open up. I choose to hold the belief that migraines are a part of the body’s healing process. It makes them a lot less scary!
I feel hopeful that one day I will not experience these headaches at all. In the meantime, I rely on fascial maneuvers for pain relief. Here are some of my favorites maneuvers for treatment resistant migraines:
You may be wondering why I would choose this maneuver- it’s because each finger connects to a specific organ (or multiple organs!) When we unwind the fascia in our fingers, all layers of fascia are addressed at once. This lowers tension throughout the body.
Now we’re getting right to the scene of the crime! Pinning fascia at our temples will release all of Zone 1: the entire head.
This is another great maneuver for redistributing pressure throughout Zone 1.
C1 and C2 Self Adjustment
If C1 or 2 is misaligned, it can exacerbate migraine symptoms and cause nausea. Reset the top of your spine with this maneuver.
To perform: Grab your upper row of teeth with your right hand and pull it to the right. Grab your forehead with your left hand and pull it to the left. You will feel a stretch. Now move around in a circle in both directions while breathing deeply through your mouth and nose, three breaths each.
Misaligned cranial plates are another likely suspect during a headache. Pulling the hair at the top of your head will help adjust those plates to a more comfortable position.
It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s not! If the pressure distribution is off in Zone 1, It will also be off in Zone 3. Use this maneuver to lessen internal pressure throughout your hips and legs.
Inner Jaw Release
OUCH! This maneuver hurts… but only for a second, and then the relief is well worth it. If you’ve been clenching your jaw (likely, if you’ve developed a full-blown migraine) this will help you relax.