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What feels best during the debilitating pain that often comes with a migraine? It’s different for everyone, but for me, it’s cold packs, pressure, dark, and quiet. This week’s Bristol Box is loaded with tools to help your favorite sufferer. Set them up in a dark, quiet room with a bottle of water, help them procure any prescription migraine meds they may have, and hopefully this box of tools will help them through to the other side.

Cold Head Wrap

Image: Herbal Concepts

Image: Herbal Concepts

You’ve got several choices here. My go-to item is an Herbal Concepts hot/cold neck wrap that I hold the ends together using a large chip clip. Stick that baby in the freezer for a while, and then just put it on top of your head, like an anti-pain crown or tiara. The pro here is that you can also heat it up for sore shoulder muscles in the off-season.



Image: Herbal Concepts (L) and Southwest (R)

Alternately, use something actually designed to go on your head, such as the Herbal Concepts Sinus Pressure & Migraine Relief Cap (with integrated eyemask) or the Southwest Elasto-Gel Cranial Cap. I tend to like my cold spots only in certain areas, though, so I haven’t gone with one of these myself.

Eye Mask


Image: IMAK (L) and Happy Wraps (R)

Between wanting to shut out the light and needing a cool touch on your face, a chill-able eye mask is a good option. Try the IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow or the Happy Wraps Lavender Eye Pillow.

Image: Accurate Manufacturing

Image: Accurate Manufacturing

Or, if the sufferer’s whole face would benefit from a cold application, try the Accurate Manufacturing Facial Ice Pack. It doesn’t cover the eyes, however, so a separate eye mask (or heck, a blanket over your head) would be needed for darkness.



Image: Wild Thera (L) and Majestic Pure (R)

Smelling lavender can be a relaxing experience, which can sometimes help migraine sufferers. I’m not sure of the benefits of any of the other ingredients for the headache balm, though, but sometimes certain smells can help. Consider Wild Thera’s Headache Ease Balm, or just dab some lavender essential oil on something nearby (wrists, pillow, stuffed animal, etc.).

Caffeinated Beverages

Image: Lipton (L) and Barq's (R)

Image: Lipton (L) and Barq’s (R)

A stiff mug of hot tea or a frosty mug of caffeinated root beer can really help speed up the recovery process. Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties which help narrow the blood vessels, lessening the pain. In some people, though, caffeine can make the pain worse, so your mileage may vary.

As with everything, find what works for you, and consult your doctor for advice. I am not a medical professional and am only trying to suggest some tools that can help moderate migraine symptoms. It’s an amazing thing to have tools at your disposal to fight the pain of migraine.