While the food we eat undoubtedly plays a major role in protecting migraineurs from The Beast, there’s so many other things we can do beyond food.
In this week’s Miracle Story, Julia explains how she truly embraced all elements of the Migraine Miracle plan to wage a full on assault on her migraines.
The 9 Primary Migraine Miracle RESOURCES: mymigrainemiracle.com/how-we-can-help/
MIGRAI-NEVERLAND, our premier resource for those who want to find their pill free path to migraine freedom (including the Beast Slayer Training Academy): mymigrainemiracle.com/endofmigraine
The Schedule of Migrai-Neverland Challenges: https://www.mymigrainemiracle.com/schedule
Migraine Miracle Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/899131986822364
The book that started it all – The Migraine Miracle: https://www.amazon.com/Migraine-Miracle-Sugar-Free-Gluten-Free-Inflammation/dp/1608828751
Dr. T: Hello Beast Slayers. Welcome to another episode of the miracle moment. I am very excited to once again have another Migraine Miracle Plan Success Story to share with you today. This time coming from Migraine Neverland, a member Julia Sherwin. So like several of the other success stories we’ve shared on the podcast here. Juliais someone else who suffered with decades of ever worsening migraines, especially as she got on what she calls the triptan train train as it’s so common. And then in late last year, found her way to the migraine miracle universe, went all in, joined the uh, joined Migraine Neverland, completed the beast slayer training academy over the course of the next several weeks. And really as you’ll hear, took all of it to heart, not just the diet piece, but all of the components and now is reaping the rewards for all that hard work. So a wonderful story with much to learn from.
Dr. T: So stay tuned for that. Before we get to that interview, I have a couple of announcements to make. The first is that our next jumpstart challenge will begin on July 27th. So coming up very soon. The jumpstart is our 30 day challenge designed to get you off and running with the migraine miracle plan. So it includes things like a dedicated meal plan, but one that we’ve been refining over the years since the book came out. It also includes, uh, a private Facebook group for our jumpstart members who all move through the beast slayer training academy. Together. You’re going to hear Julia talk about how crucial the uh academy was to her own success. As I’ve talked about before, I think of the Migraine Miracle Book, kind of like the textbook and the academy. And the jumpstart challenge is like the classroom where you learn how to put it all into action.
Dr. T: Or maybe even that the Dojo to use a martial arts reference where you really learn how to put these things into practice, make them into habits and customize the plan to your own needs and the jumpstart. Like all of our 30 30 day challenges is available to all of our migrant Neverland members and members can participate as many times as you’d like. I’m sure there will be several folks in this next jumpstart challenge who’ve done it before and because it can serve as a nice reboot as well. Also, as you may recall hearing from some prior guests, people will find it valuable to go through the beast slayer training academy more than once as the things that you get from it and focus on will change as you move on the timeline to migraine freedom. So that’s the first announcement. Again, you can learn more about jump start by going to my migraine miracle.com forward slash jumpstart you can also see the full schedule of challenges by going to my migrainemiracle.com/schedule and you can learn about all of the resources that we have available by just going to the website, my migraine miracle.com and clicking on the resources tab on the top menu.
Dr. T: And of course there are links to all these things in the show notes for this podcast. And the second announcement, which I am very excited about is that there is now a dedicated podcast just for Migraine Neverland members and naturally it’s called the Migrainenever cast. So this is intended as another resource for our members. So it’s targeted to people like our guest today, Julia, who have decided to go all in on the plan to slay the beast once and for all and a want a support and guidance in that effort. And the podcasts will include the audio for all of the modules in the beast slayer training Academy is something our members have requested. So since it’s just the audio, it won’t include the graphs and figures in the action items and the quizzes. So it’s really intended as either a way for you to supplement the material as you’re going through it for the first time to reinforce it by listening to the modules again on the go, as well as being a convenient way to give yourself a refresher if you’ve completed the course before.
Dr. T: So that’s one thing that will be in the new members only podcast the full audio for the beast slayer training academy. But it’ll also serve as another means for me to communicate with members and talk about some of the more advanced ideas and concepts and things that are really specific to people who are putting the plan into action. I’m including things for those of you who’ve reached phase four, which I know there are many and are looking for additional ways to optimize health and looking for, you know, how you can take this whole thing even further. So I’m really excited about the possibilities here. And if you are a member of Migraine Everland, you can find out how to subscribe to the new podcast and where all you can listen to it inside of our Facebook group. And you’ll also soon find a link to it on your member homepage. Okay, so those are the announcements. And now without further ado, here is the interview with Julia Sherwin
Dr. T: So I’m pleased to have with us today, Julia Sherwin on the podcast. Hi Julia. Hello. Hi. So Julia is part of our Migraine Neverland family and I believe has had some wonderful success recently in a fairly short period of time and has been kind enough to share her story with us today. So would you look, if you don’t mind beginning just by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Julia: Sure. I’m a civil rights lawyer in Oakland, California, where I’ve lived for about 21 years. My husband and I have a law firm here and I’m originally from Detroit, which is where this Midwestern accent comes from.
Dr. T: So can you tell me a little bit about your story with Migraines? I think I read that they started when you were pretty,
Julia: well, I’m 50 years old now. I started getting migraines when I was five, so they’ve been sort of a fact of my life for as long as I can remember. 45 years at least, you know, before I found triptans, I got fewer migraines than I did recently and less severe migraines. But when I got on the triptan train, it exacerbated pretty badly.
Dr. T: Okay. Do you recall about when that was?
Julia: Yeah. Well, you know what’s interesting after reading your book and doing your Beast Slayer academy, which is fantastic, it’s only about a month to do, and I really highly recommend everyone do it because you’ll learn so much about your body, but I didn’t know also that you, you know, when I was a kid, I had abdominal migraines. I viewed those as stomach pains, and then when I was in college, I had started having what I called sinus headaches and would take sinus medicine. In the past when I was younger, I might get one migraine a month up to 10 in a really bad month, I might get 10 migraines. And then I think about in the mid nineties, I started on Imitrex, which, you know, as I’ve heard from other people in your podcast, and I’m sure you’ve heard thousands of times, it was like a revelation, a life changing. Wonderful thing. Yes. Um, and started with Imitrex and then Zomig and Maxalt. And then about 15 years ago, I think when Relpax came out, I got that. And I’ve been on that all those years.
Dr. T: When you were going from one to the next, uh, were you having the experience that they would work for a while but then stopped working and that was the reason for switching?
Julia: Yes. And then some of them gave me kind of Funky side effects that seemed to cause cognitive problems. And I’m a lawyer, I can’t really have cognitive problems, so my doctor would, you know, switch me from that. There did seem to be like an initial works amazing and then maybe works not as well. Right.
Dr. T: Do you recall in childhood you mentioned having, in retrospect at least recognizing that you were having the abdominal Migraines, did you also have headaches as well?
Julia: and I hope I had headaches and it’s kind of genetically, my mother had migraines, her mother had migraines. So I would get classic Migraine with aura beginning and then you need to go lie down in the dark room and you’ll be spending a lot of time vomiting, that kind of thing. Really very severe. Um, really horrible migraines. And when I was a kid, the sort of family medicine was just lying in a dark room and put a cold wash cloth on your forehead. So that’s what I did until I got on triptans.
Dr. T: And so obviously you had to go through quite a bit of schooling and then a demanding job and career over that time where you kind of still have able to manage and not miss out much or were you having to take days off or how was that all playing out for you?
Julia: Well, I had the really good fortune to have been a good student in school. My recollection is throughout kind of most of my school years, I would miss the maximum number of aloud days before you start getting considered for suspension. I think it might’ve been 15 days a semester or something like that. And then, you know, in law school I would just kind of miss classes quite a bit and make up the time on my own. And then in 1998 my husband and I started our own law firm. So I have been kind of, I don’t have a choice, like if I’m in trial or I have to go to court, I just have to go there with a migraine. One time I was, I was in an appellate argument in Cincinnati in the federal circuit court there and literally had to run out of the courtroom to go by. There were days of disability, but also just kind of pushing through because that’s what’s required for my job.
Dr. T: Many migraineurs can probably count all the strange places they’ve had to vomit, right. It’s a rite of passage. So it’s at their worst kind of what were things like, and when was that for you?
Julia: That was until I found your migraine miracle book on the day after thanksgiving last year I started, I mean I would say with the Relpax it started getting like less less effective. It might help 50 to 70% of the time at least cut things back so I could function. But I noticed I was getting more and more migraine so that I’ve got a fantastic headache doctor at UC San Francisco. And when I first saw her, she got me on keeping a journal, you know that sort of diary. So last year in 2018 I had eight months where I had between 10 and 20 migraines a month. And then you know, that kind of pain scale. Those are often for me going to be like a six or a seven and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. And then the day after Thanksgiving I started thinking, you know, I wondering if Relpax causes rebound headaches. And that’s how I found your website. I’m googling “does Relpax cause rebound headaches?”
Julia: So I sort of stumbled onto your website and I will say, you know, having named it, it’s completely aptly named the migraine miracle. But when I stumbled on your website, I thought, yeah,
Julia: that’s a bold statement and are these people selling some kind of like snake oil, you know. Right. We have [inaudible]. Yeah. So I’ve read a lot of your kind of free online client content and then pretty quickly decided to sign up for the Beast Slayer academy and learned so much and then started following like that day it was November 23rd, 2018 I started, you know, no gluten, no sugar, kind of reorganizing my life in terms of stress management and that kind of thing.
Dr. T: Gotcha. So yeah. What have been some of the most significant changes that you’ve made? Probably the medication were part of it, but some of the other things as well.
Julia: Yeah. So December was, you know, kind of a rough month. I went cold Turkey off of relpax initially to just break myself from rebound headaches. So I had, you know, some suffering there and learning that, you know, your body can actually naturally handle pain. So I mean I was kind of addicted to relpax. If I didn’t have it I would be panicking and going to the pharmacy and making sure I had it all the time, carry it with me. Um, you know, keep it in my medicine cabinet at night. So kind of weaning myself off of relpax and realizing I’m gonna feel kind of crappy for a while. That was December and I had only, I had five migraines in December. December was a rough month, but then February and March I had only three migraines each. And then last month I had only two. And I really feel I’m 100% confident. I’m gonna start stringing together some month long periods where I have no migraines. And that is just completely miraculous. And I have you both to thank for that.
Dr. T: Were there some changes in diet wise that you, that you made that were pretty significant from before?
Julia: Oh yeah. So I, I’m on like decaffeinated coffee for many years. So that wasn’t really an issue for me, but I’ve had a sweet tooth my whole life and so really going hardcore off sugar, completely off gluten and then it was helpful for me to learn, you know, you have that little diagram where you say, here’s the migraine threshold and these things are going to like get you up closer to it and then there are some things that are going to pull you back from it. So I started doing a lot of deep breathing when I would just get that little tiny twinge over my left eye that tells me you’re going to get a migraine soon. I would stop what I’m doing. I would get dehydrated quite a bit. So I drink some water with Himalayan salt in it and just deep breathe and up the meditation frequency.
Julia: So I make sure I meditate every day. Really. I’m making sure I exercise every day, even when I feel like I don’t have time. Um, and those kinds of things. Then it, it’s crazy. I’ve lost. I went to my doctor last week and she said, I’ve lost 20 pounds since last August. I don’t go to the doctor a ton, but I’ve lost weight. I’m sleeping better, but it has required me to kind of say no to working till 10 o’clock at night and getting up at four five [inaudible] you know, so major lifestyle changes, but dietary wise, really monumentally going off gluten and sugar.
Dr. T: Yeah, and hopefully you’ve experienced the a trade off of the, when you started attending to those lifestyle factors and the Diet factors and so forth, your, your performance when you are working and awake tends to go up because your energy levels are so much more stable and consistent. Yeah. You mentioned having a big sweet tooth. I was just curious if that has been a challenge to cut out sugar.
Julia: I thought it was going to be a much bigger challenge than it was. So I found your plan literally the day after Thanksgiving and had a migraine because I had Turkey and stuffing and a little, not a lot, but a little bit of Pumpkin Pie and that kind of thing. Just like gluten and sugar toxic. Yes. And I had a really bad migraine and I was and I, the route tax didn’t work to get rid of it. So I was just ready. It was like something had clicked in me and I was just ready to be done. And so after this sort of four or five days of feeling really badly, initially I had a lot more energy and zero cravings for sugar at all or for gluten. And previously I would, oh one thing I’m also doing is not eating breakfast. I kind of eat only when I’m hungry now so I don’t eat until lunch. And I had tried for 20 years to make myself eat something in the morning.
Dr. T: Same here.
Julia: yeah, whatever I had for lunch, it didn’t matter if it was like all protein or just you know, salad and protein, no matter what I had, I would always get an energetic crash at like three or four in the afternoon. I just could hardly keep my eyes open and that’s gone. So it sort of like the trade offs of, of no sugar are so much better. And I would, if I’m thinking like, oh, I might want to have some junky thing asking myself, is that worth a migraine? And the answer to that is always going to be no. Right. Yeah. And then there are times like I’m not, I mean, it’s not a completely sort of overly strict thing because I can kind of gauge like, what’s my stress level, you know, I’m going to have some wine if my stress level is lower, if I’ve slept well and I exercise a lot and I’m feeling good. You know, I might have a head cake a couple of days ago with my husband, but then it was like I was feeling really relaxed. I wasn’t stressed out. It was not the whole time, you know, and I didn’t get a migraine and it was fine.
Dr. T: Yeah. And, uh, do you find now that if you’re taking those little risks that having the confidence of having been through ones where you were able to get through it without anything, does that help you in those situations as well?
Julia: Yeah, definitely. And also when I’ve had migraines since then, they’re less severe. Right. And there’s less of a, like there’s a saying, you know, pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. There’s less of a kind of like signing up for the optional suffering
Dr. T: for me. Yeah. That’s great. You mentioned you went cold Turkey with the relpax back in November. Does that mean you have you, have you not had any since then?
Julia: No, I’ve had it a couple times there. I mean, I had to drive like two or three hours for a conference and I had to get there and I took Relpex over. There have been a few times that I have taken relpax last month when I had two migraines. I took it twice. I can’t remember what was going on, but it was some like really need to be functioning as a lawyer kind of thing, and I took it and it didn’t really work so much.
Dr. T: Right.
Julia: I’m really looking forward to the point where I can just kind of be completely done with it.
Dr. T: Yeah. Yeah. But that’s a great point because we get these questions all the time and folks who are trying to figure out how to navigate this, you know, do I go cold Turkey? What do I you, how do I decide? And obviously it’s like every time it’s just a, it’s a unique decision in there. There are times where you’re just weighing a whole lot of evidence if you have to be on the risk benefit analysis may make sense. But as long as you have that longterm goal and as long as your have the awareness of kind of what the trade off is, you know, so much of the problem has been that we haven’t had the awareness of the tradeoff of, of taking something and kind of like consequences. And so it’s harder to make right decision if you don’t have that information. Right. Yeah. You mentioned too, I think that you’ve incorporated some stress management stuff with what you’re doing, which is great because a lot of folks tend to kind of focus heavily on the diet piece and, and neglect some of the lifestyle issues, which are just as important. So can you talk a little bit about any of the things that you do now maybe to help in that regard that you wouldn’t have been doing previously?
Julia: Yeah. Well, you know, previously for me, my kind of primary thing, my husband and I don’t have kids. We have a law firm together. Yes.
Dr. T: All the time. Right.
Julia: Previously for me, kind of like everything took a back seat to work. So I, if I needed to work I would not exercise. I might, you know, forget to eat lunch, that kind of thing. And now I’m hungry at lunch time so I’m going to go take some time out and eat and I have had to sort of scale back my work schedule and I’m still working that out. And I think in my firm, our team is kind of like wondering why am I not there all the time and the way that I have been historically. Um, but definitely kind of saying, okay, I have these limits and this is what I’m going to do. I am going to exercise because I know if I don’t it kind of gets me closer to that threshold. And it’s much easier to go over it. Meditation for me also has been a big thing to not even, you know, some kind of like woo woo, half an hour thing, but even like five minutes or 10 minutes in my car before I come into the office. Super easy. And then really a big thing, which I kind of can’t believe is really the Himalayan salt water and deep breathing. If I just start to get a headache and it sounds totally crazy, but it will get rid of it really quickly most of the time.
Dr. T: Yeah. So I think you wrote to me that if somebody tells you that you could get rid of a headache with salt water, physical activity and deep breathing, you would’ve asked what they were smoking. Right. And I mean everybody can relate to that. You mentioned some of the abortive medications you’ve been on over the years. Had you tried any type of preventative treatments as well?
Julia: Oh yeah. Back in the 90s, I had been prescribed Prozac off label as a preventative and then I had tried Topamax, which I stopped doing because it caused me to be kind of stupid. Um, dopamax or, um, and then amitriptyline my headache doctor now has me, I get SPG blocks every few months, uh, light a cane up the right and then she, she did try two rounds of Botox, but the second time I had some bad side effects. So I’m not doing that again. So I have tried all sorts of things with very little results that I could see over the years. I mean, that’s the thing, like your program has completely a hundred percent natural. You’re in control of what pieces of it you want to do. And for me, I’ve had a 70 to 90% reduction in my migraines just naturally, you know, and if, if they’re a medical device or a pharmaceutical that could do that, it would be like all over the New York Times.
Dr. T: Yes. It’s, it’s unfortunate that that’s the world we live in, but you know, yeah. You can’t patent it in a molecule that a long great press. But uh, but man, if you could, it would be a blockbuster. I was just going to say, but you are doing your part in helping spread the word by Oh, yesterday and yeah, that’s what I wanted to know about your experience. What I want to ask you too is I think you mentioned that you’d shared your success and you shared the book with your doctor. How is that received?
Julia: Well, you know, it’s interesting. I was, because she’s a, she’s a very prominent at UC San Francisco. There’s a headache clinic. It took me like a year on the wait list to get in to see her. She does a ton of research. He’s really fantastic. And so I, I started and my approach of things is like if I stumbled on something that works, I’m just going to give it to everybody I know. So I bought copies of your book, I think when I first first got in the plan and it was working for me. So I’ve given all of them away now. But I gave her two copies and I said, you know, I just want you to check this out. I went through his whole this Beast Slayer academy, it feels to me like really good solid science and this is working for me in a really great way.
Julia: It might help some of your patients. And it was very cool because it was right before she was doing a presentation at like a patient education awareness day at UC San Francisco where she was talking about lifestyle changes to prevent migraine. And so she’s got, she’s got all this, you know, medical literature citing on this medical literature. And then one of the things you cited is Dr Dash took, that’s migraine miracle night, which was very cool. And she said that she gave it to the dietician at the hospital. You know, just to kind of throw that in there in the mix for people so that they’re aware. And I also, I just saw my regular doctor last week and I told her, you know, I’ll send you the book. And she said, no, I’ll get it on kindle this.
Dr. T: That’s great. We’re seeing more people coming into our community who came because like a doctor or something like that, you know, recommended the book and that’s fantastic. And it’s because people like you are doing this or they’re getting success with it, they’re sharing with it. And uh, and that’s really moving the needle. I always say that’s much more powerful than me getting up at a medical conference and like giving them a boring lecture, when they see a patient who’s, you know, struggled for years and then has success, you know, that that makes more of an impact than anything else. So thank you so much for, for doing that. That’s really, really great. Uh, before we wrap up, is there anything that you would tell folks who are kind of where you were at before you discovered the book and where you were at when you were kind of in the worst of it?
Julia: Yeah, I mean, for one thing, all of us, everyone who gets migraines knows how awful they are. You know, they just, they just suck and they, they have the ability to steal your life if you let them, you know? And, and I really hope that anybody who’s considering will get your book. It’s not expensive, so they definitely need to buy it. But even considering doing the Beast Slayer Training Academy, I would just urge anyone to do it. You will learn so much about your body and get so much more power over what’s going on in your life and really get the keys to your own freedom, you know? So I just really urge people to, and I’m not on social media, I’m not even in that on Facebook or anything, but I know you have a really great Facebook community and where people can get support. And I just want to thank both of you so much for the amazing, wonderful public service that you’re doing.
Dr. T: Thank you for that. It also sounds like you mentioned it took you a month to go through the academy and I, I like hearing that if the intent is for it to, for it to take time for people to kind of digest the material and put it into action. And it sounds like you’ve taken all of it to heart and kind of put the pieces in and then figured out how to make it work for you, which is exactly what I want to happen. And so I appreciate folks taking that amount of time and putting that kind of energy into it and that it means a lot. So thank you for that.
Julia: Yeah, it will be the best money anyone has ever spent to go through your academy. I’m not kidding. And Plus Jenny, the great recipes. I mean it’s just like so user friendly and idiot proof, you know?
Dr. T: Oh yeah, yeah. She’s worked very hard on those and I’m a beneficiary of all that. Yeah. All right. Well thank you so much for joining us today, Julia. Okay, thanks. All right, goodbye.
Dr. T: [inaudible].
Dr. T: Okay, well thanks again to Julia for taking the time to share her story and another one that kind of illustrates the value of going all in. Uh, she’s clearly took everything we offer it to heart and has gone all in with all aspects of the plan and is seeing some amazing results. Anything that particularly stood out for you, Jenny and her story?
Jenny: Yes. I would say that one thing that she seemed to do really well was that, like you said, she looked at the plan in its entirety and she didn’t do what a lot of people do, which is to come in and really focus on the Diet and still continue to neglect all of the lifestyle factors, you know, the sleep and the exercise, the meditation. And I’d also say mindset is a big one that she, um, she didn’t really mention it too much except with her quote that pain is not a choice. Right. But suffering is optional and that she decided not to sign up for the optional suffering. And so I think that that’s just really evident of her mindset shift. Yeah. And I think that really contributed to her success.
Dr. T: Yes. Um, it’s, it’s easy to sort of overlook how important that whole mindset piece is, uh, to this, but we see it time and again, um, that it can make art so much of the difference. Um, I also really appreciated the fact, like I talked about this, she shared this with her doctors. Um, I think some people are a little worried about sharing something that’s, that their doctor didn’t recommend or advocate or that sounds like, that, that makes it feel like they’re doing something on the slide or something. But, um, I think almost universally we hear that, uh, that doctors are receptive. And I’ve talked about this before, that as a doctor who’s had, who over the years had many migraine patients who were suffering and, and I felt like I couldn’t help, you know, I’d be happy to hear of anything that’s that they’re doing better with and, and, um, so feel free to share and they’ll be happy to hear about it so that they can then pass it along, uh, to their patients.
Dr. T: And then the, uh, other thing that was, are a couple other things that she mentioned. One was that, um, she found that even though she had a sweet tooth, that giving up sugar was easier than she thought. Um, and, uh, I know that most of the people in our community have said that’s the case, that they thought that it actually turned out to be easier than they thought it was. We have some exceptions where some folks struggle with it, right? But more often than not, um, it tends to be easier than we thought or than the talent. And that was certainly the case for me too.
Jenny: And I think because she just cut it out completely and didn’t try to use the artificial sweeteners to kind of fill in, um, for the place of the sugar, then that’s part of the reason why she really was able to eliminate those cravings.
Dr. T: I think if it’s, if there’s, if there’s, if you leave it kind of as it’s optional sort of thing, it’s a, it makes it a lot harder. You’ve mentioned before too that you like clear boundaries. You do a lot better if you have a clear boundary eats. It is, and some people just do a whole lot better with that. And I think that’s certainly true in the case with the sugar thing, especially if you’ve coming from having a sweet tooth. Um, I also, uh, like that she mentioned that she now eats when she’s hungry. Right? Yeah. Oh, novel. Right. But, uh, and, and I was the same way for years. I wasn’t hungry breakfast, but I would eat it because I’d been told it was the most important meal of today. So yet, another piece of horrible health advice we’ve been given over the years that made us unhealthier. So once again, thanks to Julia for, uh, joining us on the podcast today. Uh, I know, uh, other folks out there who have, who have listened to this story are going to be helped tremendously by it. So we appreciate you so much.