Phase 2: “REBOOT”
If you’re coming to Phase 2 after getting out of phase 1, congratulations. You’ve likely already built some habits that will be a great asset going forward.
Let’s keep the momentum going!
And while the very worst of rebound is broken, your brain is still likely recovering from the effects of headache medications (unless it’s been 6 months to a year since you’ve taking ANYTHING for a headache). It’s unknown how long it takes the brain to fully repair the damage from migraine abortive meds, but just remember every day without taking them is a day of healing.
Phase 2 is really the sweet spot for the Migraine Miracle plan. It’s the time where you’ll build and solidify all the habits that will serve you well for years to come. You’re laying a foundation that will impact every aspect of health, extending far beyond migraine relief and prevention.
It’s time to REBOOT your brain.
There’s much to be done, and much to be gained here.
PHASE 2: Highest Priority Behaviors
Continue to reduce abortive drugs. We want to continue to allow our brain to repair and recover from the damaging effects of migraine abortive drugs, and rebuild its own defenses against migraine (defenses that have long been suppressed by those drugs). There are many reasons to do so, but first and foremost being to continue to enhance your protection against the beast.
Elimination of mismatch foods and behaviors. The cornerstone of the Migraine Miracle plan is to reclaim the diet and lifestyle that’s appropriate for human beings, as migraines are provoked when we eat foods and engage in behaviors out of sync with our biology. They occur when there’s a mismatch between the food our body expects us to eat, and the food with ACTUALLY eat (this is why hunter gatherer humans don’t get them).
Highest priority are processed foods, especially those with wheat and added sugar. When in phase 1, you are walking the thinnest of lines, hovering so close to the headache threshold that virtually anything can send you across.
For this reason, those in phase 1 should ease their way into this, ESPECIALLY if you’ve been eating a higher carb diet with processed foods.
Reduce dietary carbohydrates. Central to the success of the Migraine Miracle plan is the establishment of metabolic flexibility. This is achieved by ramping up the body’s metabolic machinery for burning body fat – machinery that is suppressed by the typical high carbohydrate diet, and activated by carbohydrate reduction. For most, getting daily carbohydrates under 100 grams per day is a reasonable goal, and can be reduced further if need be.
Minimize stress hormones. For a typical modern human, stress – in this case psychological (rather than physical) stress – may account for more physiologic upheaval than anything else. The typical human today has far more adrenaline circulating through their blood day to day than our pre-civilized ancestors did, despite the fact that our world is much less dangerous!
The thoughts running through our heads, through the triggering of stress hormones, CAN have tremendous power over our biology/physiology. And this roller coaster of stress hormones is immensely damaging for the migraineur.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Cutting the connection between thoughts and your stress response can pay huge dividends in moving you forward along the freedom timeline, not to mention long term health and happiness. So many folks overlook this piece – don’t let that be you!
Article: The Power of Thought
Sleep Well. So so so important, yet so often neglected. Few areas of modern life are further removed from the world our ancestors than our day-night cycles. With no bulbs to light their dwellings after dark, our well rested ancestors had no choice but to rise when the sun came up, sleep when it goes down. This is our natural rhythm, the one’s our brains expect.
Reconnecting, as close as possible, with this natural sleep pattern is undoubtedly one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. The beast LOVES a sleep deprived brain, but fears a well rested one.
Article: Dr. T’s Ultimate Guide to Sleep (coming soon)
PHASE 2: Other Strategies to Consider
Nutritional Ketosis. Nutritional ketosis (stimulating the production of ketones in the liver through diet) is emerging as a powerful weapon against a host of neurological disorders, including migraine. And we have many members in our community, myself included, who have used it to great effect for migraines. Unless you’ve already been low carb for an extended period of time (month or more), it’s not something to do right away (may wait till phase 2). But, as you eliminate processed and carb-rich foods and your body adapts to that change, it can be a powerful tool to consider if you struggle to break out of Phase 2.
(RELATED: We’ll be launching 30-Day Keto Challenge very soon. Click here to learn more.)
Intermittent Fasting. Like nutritional ketosis, intermittent fasting is gaining increasing acceptance as another component of a healthy lifestyle.
Also like nutritional ketosis, it appears to be a potentially powerful weapon against cancer, degenerative brain disorders, and aging. I do it essentially every day (I found eliminating breakfast to be particularly helpful), as do many of our members, especially as a means of ending a migraine attack.
FOUNDATIONS, aka “Migraine 101”
The following are a list of articles covering topics that aren’t necessarily specific to a particular phase on the Timeline of Migraine Freedom, but that I think constitutes the core knowledge base that every migraine sufferer should possess.