Integrated approach to migraine care


Migraine is a chronic pain condition of the brain. For more information about migraine, please see our article on it here.

Symptoms: Migraine pain can be very different from person to person or episode to episode. Common features are extreme head pain, light and/or sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting. For some people the head pain is preceded by visual, auditory, or motor changes that we call “aura”.

Our approach: As integrated medical providers, we are trained and educated in using complimentary medicine, standard medication and/or a combination of both, in your treatment.

At Nature Cures Clinic, the most important goal is to find the best treatment for you, using whatever modality is safe for you and works the best. We firmly believe that this approach, our integrated approach, will be the future of medicine as increasing research is showing its effectiveness.

The benefits of this approach can be seen clearly in the results from a randomized controlled trail published in 2015. In it, 57 adults with episodic migraine used a combination of a common vitamin and a prescription medication over a 24-week intervention period. During this time, they found a significant reduction in the number of days with migraine headache when compared with using the medication alone.

Despite the small size of this trial, it is exciting to know that the benefits of an integrated approach are increasingly being measured.

In our practice, we utilize clinical and research-based evidence to formulate our integrated approach to the treatment of migraine. The following is an overview of what you may expect during your care and treatment at Nature Cures Clinic:

Evaluating Lifestyle

Diet: using a combination diet & headache diary to record food, drink, activity and headache pain for two weeks we are able to review this with you—without judgment— to see what patterns emerge.

Stress: Stress has a complex effect on the body & mind.  Evaluating symptoms of stress, recognizing causes of stress, developing self-care and stress relieving strategies is an ongoing element of preventative care.

Hormones: In addition to evaluating diet, we look closely at hormonal influences that may contribute to, trigger, or improve, your headache.

Sleep: optimizing sleep begins with understanding what sleep hygiene is and developing strategies on how to get it. We work with you as needed to determine what strategies you may benefit from to optimize your sleep.

Activity: regular exercise is important for so many different reasons. Sometimes it’s hard to know where or how to start, our motto around this is “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. We regularly develop home exercise plans specific for your needs.

Triggers: While knowing what your triggers are and avoiding them can be an important step in prevention, newer approaches to migraine treatment include supportive strategies on coping with triggers. We incorporate both strategies in an integrated approach using a variety of typical and alternative modalities.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Interventions Prior to taking any CAM supplement, intervention or agent, we recommend you come talk to one of our providers about YOUR specific health conditions, medications and/or supplements you may be taking, as well as those you are considering adding.

Botanical, Mineral, Enzymatic Supplements: There are quite a few natural agents that have been well studied and have been concluded by the AAN to be effective in migraine prevention. We will discuss these with you along with dosing, timing, and interactions.

Acupuncture: classic acupuncture is a well-known treatment in pain conditions. It’s premise on the movement of blood flow, enhancing relaxation and calming overactive nerve impulses makes it a useful tool in both prevention and treatment of migraines. We often recommend a trial of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic conditions.

Over-the-Counter and Pharmaceutical Interventions Our philosophy is to support patients and ensure they are not suffering.

Our providers are familiar with typical migraine medications and have no reluctance in prescribing them. Many times we encounter patients who verbalize a strong preference in avoiding prescription medications, have had bad experiences on them or they simply do not get adequate benefit from them.

We welcome all patients and work with you to formulate a health-care plan that best meets all of your needs.

If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, Please give us a call today: 503-287-4970




Buettner C, Nir RR, Bertisch SM, et al. Simvastatin and vitamin D for migraine prevention: A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Neurol 2015; 78:970.

Holland S, Silberstein SD, Freitag F, et al. Evidence-based guideline update: NSAIDs and other complementary treatments for episodic migraine prevention in adults: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. Neurology 2012; 78:1346.

Li Y, Zheng H, Witt CM, et al. Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial

Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016; :CD001218.

Meissner K, Fässler M, Rücker G, et al. Differential effectiveness of placebo treatments: a systematic review of migraine prophylaxis. JAMA Intern Med 2013; 173:1941.