Migraines - Child of London, 2010



Dr. Thomas Marshall-Manifold from the Wimbledon Clinic of Natural Medicine shared with us some of the causes and treatment of this painful condition


Studies indicate that about 10% of men and more than 20% of women experience migraines. Migraines are more intense and longer-lasting than normal headaches. The pain is persistent and throbbing and typically affects one side of the head. It builds up over a period of 1-2 hours, and lasts from several hours to several days. The first attack comes often in childhood, incidence increases in adolescence and persists during adulthood.

What happens during a migraine attack?

During a migraine attack, the temporal artery enlarges and this stretches the nerves that coil around the artery and causes them to release chemicals. The chemicals cause inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery. The increasing enlargement of the artery magnifies the pain.

Migraine attacks commonly activate the sympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that controls primitive responses to stress and pain. The increased sympathetic nervous activity can contribute to development of other symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, light sensitivity, and visual disturbances. Occasionally, symptoms can be more severe and include partial paralysis, difficulty in speaking, confusion, or fainting.


What causes migraine?

Although the precise cause of migraines has not been established, there are many known factors which can trigger migraines in susceptible people, including:


  • Hormonal fluctuations - changes in the level of oestrogen during the menstrual cycle have been linked to the onset of migraines. Headaches greatly decrease after menopause. Women who suffer from hormonal changes may benefit from the use of a natural progesterone cream.
  • Low blood sugar – studies show that the sugar levels are low during a migraine attack, and the lower the blood sugar level, the more severe the headache.
  • Food sensitivities - may contribute to migraines. Early studies have suggested that about 30-40% of migraine sufferers benefit markedly by avoiding certain foods. The offensive food items can be identified by simple testing.
  • Other dietary factors – it is recommended to increase consumption of essential fatty acids, fibre and complex carbohydrates and decrease the fat consumption.
  • Genetic factors - a tendency to develop migraines can runs in families.
  • Stress and your reactions to stress can over-activate your brain.

New options for migraine sufferers

For many years, medicine couldn’t offer help with migraines, except of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and advising to avoid the triggers. However, advances in the understanding of how our brains work and the development of technological equipment that can measure brain activity brought new methods for treatment and control of migraines, including:


  • Passive infrared heamoencephelography (pIR HEG) – treatment of migraine through changing your brain activity with infrared light. A harmless and painless headband sends signals via infrared light to the pIR HEG and this shows activity in the prefrontal cortex. It is possible to increase energy levels in this part of the brain and correct faulty brain signals by focusing on a video that requires you to undertake certain cognitive activities.
  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) – a safe and non-invasive method which uses the near infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum to monitor oxygen and blood levels in biological tissue.

With these new options for migraine prevention and treatment you don’t have to wait until your next migraine appears. Changes in life style in combination with treatment can help you to take control into your own hands. The above described methods are offered as a part of individualised treatment programme.

Dr. Thomas Marshall-Manifold has over 30 years experience helping people with variety of health problems, including Migraines. He developed a unique system of biomedical testing and uses natural therapies including Acupuncture, Herbalism, Nutrition, Complex Homoeopathy and Chiropractic Technique. He also uses the above described systems to manage Migraines. 

You can find out more HERE (link to allergy page) or by calling 0208 540 3389

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London SW19 8NJ

Wimbledon Clinic Ltd
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