Weird Letter: Aryuveda & Migraines

some letters aren’t weird at all – they’re informative and could lead to gifts. this is one such letter to a friend in need of a migraine remedy. I found two great ones in first Thailand and then India – and I’m happy to say at this point that I don’t seem to get migraines anymore. Yoga, vitamins, …? dunno.


I have two medicines that I want to give you. The first is an over-the-counter that I picked up in Thailand when I got a migraine in the middle of the revolution. Shit works. FAST. And it doesn’t make you drowsy which is a big plus when you’re dodging tanks.

The other is a homeopathic from the Aryuvedic school of medicine, something I would urge you to look into finding a preventative approach to migraine. Aryuveda sorta works on the notion that everyone has a different “dosha” which is a like a personality type. I will say this: I tried to self-diagnose with this stuff about fifteen years ago and couldn’t make head or tail of it, but in my experience nothing beats a good Aryuvedic practitioner. Dr. Vasant Lad is based out of Albuquerque and his reputation is global – my doctor in Dharamsala knew who he was and spoke highly of him.

It will mean dietary changes. And yes, the Starbuck’s won’t cut it. I really did totally quit coffee in India and I learned a lot about what a destabilizing substance it is, not just for irritability/hyper-activity, but terms of the way it shifts your whole perspective around and makes you internally unstable. Dairy probably isn’t any good either and sugar certainly isn’t. If it makes you feel better, I will reveal to you a little secret – if you can quit all that kind of stuff for six months, you can take it back on later with a much more critical awareness of how it affects you. I am back with coffee because it is so prevalent in my life right now (Dee Dee works at Starbuck’s) but there are internal ways to counter-act its negative effects and still enjoy it…

Meditation, Sallyn. If you can learn it, it can be life-changing. I’m just not kidding. The method I would suggest is “mindfulness” and it involves breathing through the nose and into the belly with the rise and fall of the navel as the “object of attention.” You “practice” (and it really is a practice) 15 minutes a day and it can lower your stress levels which is part of what drives a migraine.

I will let you know – I had migraines enough in the past to need migraine medication twice while I was in Asia – once in Thailand and once in India. I think its safe now for me to pass both of these medications onto you because I think it’s entirely possible I won’t need them again.

{It just so happened that as I was planning to send these, a new present arrived from Amazon: Dr. Vasant Lad’s book “The Complete Book of Aryuvedic Home Remedies.” In it, Lad’s advice on migraines includes a banana and cinnamon concoction that sounds just lovely, plus…performance of the Moon Salutation. has your MD asked you to do a yoga pose lately? Didn’t think so.}

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