migraines, breast cancer risk, and a great recipe

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Ambro

More Migraines, Fewer Tumors?

A 2010 research study made its way onto my desk today that I thought was worth sharing.

Published in January 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and titled Migraine History and Breast Cancer Risk Among Postmenopausal Women, the study found that postmenopausal women who have been treated for migraines have a 26% – 33% lower risk of breast cancer than other women.

The researchers made the point that estrogen plays a role in both migraines and some breast cancers.  60% of women with migraines reported having more headaches around the time of menstruation, when estrogen levels change.  Many women reported having few migraines when they were pregnant, particularly around mid-pregnancy when estrogen levels stabilized.

Knowing you’d want to know more, I did some further research.

How Estrogen Plays a Role In Migraines

Estrogen has several important actions in the central nervous system that may account for its association with migraine headaches.  When estrogen levels decline, serotonin levels also fall due to a decline in production coupled with an increased rate of elimination. Serotonin is a nerve transmitter (primarily created in your gastrointestinal tract) and is thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.

When serotonin declines, that triggers another hormone known as calcitonin (made in the thyroid gland, it helps to regulate calcium levels) to be released, and along with a few other substances that are released, this causes cranial blood vessels to dilate (expand) and sensitizes particular parts of the trigeminal nerve, which is the largest of the cranial nerves and is responsible for sensation in the face and certain motor functions such as biting, chewing, and swallowing.

I had a massage teacher who always said that headaches were nothing more than a cerebrovascular event – “cerebro” meaning brain and “vascular” meaning blood vessels – it’s when the blood vessels in your brain dilate, causing that pain and throbbing and sometimes impaired vision that migraine sufferers describe.

My very own husband suffers from migraines sometimes and a few years ago I finally found something that absolutely stops a migraine in its tracks – at least it does for him.  Several others who have tried this recipe have also reported success, so I knew I had to share it with you!

Stopping A Migraine Quickly


  • A large glass bowl of cold water
  • Tray full of ice cubes
  • Essential oils of peppermint, ginger, marjoram (make sure they’re therapeutic grade)
  • Washcloth

To the bowl of water, add the tray of ice cubes and two drops each of the three oils.  Mix it up a little but not too much – the oil will float on the water and that’s okay.  Dip in the washcloth and then place onto the forehead of the migraine sufferer.  They will express shock initially because of the icy-ness of the compress, but should within 2-3 minutes gain great relief.  Keep soaking the cloth in the icy mixture and reapplying to the forehead (making sure the oils don’t get into their eyes, that will create a whole different kind of pain!) until the headache is gone.  Wishing you success with this recipe!

If you need to know where to get therapeutic grade essential oils, just contact me.

Source articles:



If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally.  You can depend on me to help you through this.