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Compass H e alt h BRAIN THROB Migraines affect 9% of the U.S. population, that’s more than 47 million Americans, at a cost of $1 billion in medical expenses per year. Here are some tried-and-true approaches to dealing with debilitating headaches. T E X T BY F R A N CE S C A C R UZ 1. 2. 3. With fewer adverse side-effects, acupuncture has been proven to combat migraines. Thin needles are inserted under the skin to realign the flow of the body. Routine massages of the neck, back and head help with circulation, and to release tension. Once or twice a week for 6 weeks is recommended. Stretching combined with silent meditation brings the mind and body to a zen state. Try stretching twice a day for 20 minutes per session. 32 4. 6. Practicing yoga is a remedy for migraines. According to the National Center For Complementary & Alternative Medicine, yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation to boost relaxation and balance every corner of your being. Cold presses soaked in water with drops of lavender relieve migraines. Lavender is an analgesic and an anti- inflammatory; placing cold presses soaked in water to the forehead helps to alleviate stubborn headaches. 5. 7. Setting aside 15 minutes in your day to sit quietly and listen to your favorite relaxing music has proven benefits when it comes to migraine relief. Getting in a routine of listening to relaxing melodies builds a healthy routine that helps quell migraines. Avoid eating foods high in caffeine (found in cheese and chocolate). These ingredients are headache triggers. Instead, incorporate riboflavin and magnesium as part of an anti-migraine strategy.