Migraines Are Ancient History

June 12, 2015

shutterstock_155655878As the throb of migraine symptoms come on, you may feel like no one else can understand how you feel in that moment. Yet the truth of the matter is that humankind has been feeling your migraine pain for thousands of years, if not forever.

A recent article in the Daily Sabah, Turkey’s daily newspaper, discussed research done by doctors at Trakya University’s School of Medicine. After researching cave drawings from the Neolithic Era some 10,000 years ago, associate professor Dr. Aslan Tekatas said in a press conference that they believe the illustrations depict people being treated for migraines. This simply adds to the well-documented evidence of migraines—and the interesting treatments for the condition—throughout ancient history.

An article on the History Channel website discusses perhaps the most infamous of ancient practices involving the head: trepanation, in which holes were drilled into the skull. It is thought that trepanning, which goes back as far as 10,000 B.C., was performed as either a ritual in which to release evil spirits or as a medical treatment to relieve ailments such as chronic headaches. Many patients, it seems, may have actually survived the dangerous practice.

In the book Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches, Dr. Teri Robert describes a practice in ancient Egypt in which people put grain in the mouth of a clay crocodile figurine and tied it tightly to a patient’s head with a piece of cloth that had names of the gods written on it. Robert explains, “It’s possible that some relief may have been produced with this technique because it may have compressed and cooled the scalp.”

Dr. Robert goes on to explain that Hippocrates (470-410 B.C.), considered the father of medicine, also had some peculiar tactics when it came to migraine treatment, including bloodletting, applying leeches, vomiting to release headaches, and yes, trepanation, which was not uncommon in ancient Greece. Fast forward to the second century A.D. and the roman physician Galen recommends that headache sufferers place an electric torpedo fish to the forehead to “numb the senses.”

Fortunately for you, modern science has come a long way. Today, doctors at the Migraine Treatment Centers of America have helped hundreds of migraine sufferers reduce, or in some cases, even completely relieve their chronic head pain by implanting small wires under the skin. These undetectable wires deliver gentle electrical impulses — or neurostimulation — to the nerves that cause headache pain, therefore preventing the signals from reaching the brain.

The innovative Omega migraine procedure has shown an 80 to 90 percent success rate in certain types of chronic migraine patients, and we know the patients who have found long-lasting migraine relief will agree—this is one procedure that should go down in history!

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