Swimming in near-freezing water cured chronic migraines

Swimming in near-freezing water cured chronic migraines

“Desperate” cases requires decided measures.

For migraine victims, the disabling ache of their extreme problems may cause them to seek for discount in some unusual places — like one Welsh woman who says frequent swims in the near-freezing Irish Sea have cut back her migraine days just about in half.

Beth Francis of Anglesey, a small island off the coast of Wales, used to have some 25 migraines per thirty days — now, she’s proper all the way down to 15. Francis, 27, started getting migraines when she was merely 9 and had develop into “desperate” when her indicators expanded to include not merely an excruciating headache nonetheless tinnitus, nausea, stomach ache and even numbness. Her illness grew to turn out to be so debilitating that she was pressured to take sick depart from a marine biology PhD program at Bangor University.

That’s when she decided to take her remedy outdoor.

“I knew that I always felt better when I was in, or by, the ocean,” Francis tells the BBC. “I had also read that physical activity in nature was known to aid people with a variety of health conditions.”

She moreover thought the brisk ocean native climate near her home, which registers at a extremely cool 42 to 45 ranges Fahrenheit this time of yr, might present therapeutic benefits as properly: “Perhaps I’d even be able to shock my body into feeling better and use the cold water as an analgesic?”

She and her confederate, Andrew Clark, have documented her quest for a treatment in a mission they identify “100 Days of Vitamins Sea.”

While Francis continues to see a migraine specialist and take remedy, she thinks her cold-weather workout routines are doing wonders. But a cold bathe couldn’t work for everyone, specialists warn.

“It is certainly hard to know if the benefits of swimming are related to regular exercise” — which many medical docs recommend for migraine remedy — “or a more specific effect of cold water based therapy,” Dr. Matthew Robbins, neurologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, tells The Post.

Robbins says the low temps might encourage “neuromodulation” — a type of resetting of haywire nervous tissue by chemical, electrical or thermal stimulus — in the upper neck and once more, which may “indirectly impact the brain and improve chronic migraine.”

“However, that’s speculative,” says Robbins.

Indeed, a cold plunge would possibly spell even larger points for some: “A condition of temporary but severe forgetfulness called ‘transient global amnesia’ has several reports of being triggered by immersion in cold water … [and] people with migraines seem to have a higher risk of transient global amnesia.”

Migraine victims and swimmers from world huge joined Francis and Clark to doc her 100th swim at Llanddola Beach. The two moreover hope their platform will help researchers uncover further people for model spanking new analysis using chilly water showers to alleviate migraine indicators.

Says Beth, “It seems to have touched a lot of people.”

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