Your Registered Nurse Health Advocate

What Is A Registered Nurse Health Advocate?

Having a health support ally that is expert in the human condition, navigating difficult health diagnoses, and having the practical and scientific expertise to pull together many facets that challenge areas of health in your own life is something that’s been largely unavailable until very recently. By combining the expertise of a Licensed Registered Nurse with the skill set of Health Coaching, a new expert is available to consult on many areas when health concerns present themselves.

You might find that having a Registered Nurse Health Advocates™ (RNHA)™ as your health coach partner can be beneficial and provide many unexpected benefits:

  • We understand that “health” encompasses emotional well being, healthy relationships, body health, spiritual health and welfare, living a balanced and happy life, moving your body, and making peace with health conditions.
  • We understand that not “healing” is not the same thing as being free from disease or pain.
  • We listen. We hear. We validate.
  • We do not judge. There’s no unsolicited advice. We support you and your journey.
  • We are Nurses. And, you are the very reason we are Nurses. We want to help. We want to support.
  • We can offer body therapies in some states.
  • We can help you make decisions that affect your lifestyle and health status.
  • We can make medicalese become a clearer picture for you.
  • In almost every state – as a condition of licensure – we are vested with the duty for patient (client) advocacy. That means you are important and that importance is enshrined in law.

As RNHAs™ we do not offer medical diagnoses, we don’t treat medical conditions, and we don’t take responsibility for your own life and journey. We guide, facilitate, make the complex understandable, and we help you to define your own goals and your own plans and your own steps toward health behaviour changes.

Changing health behaviour decisions can be as easy as setting an intention of drinking two more glasses of water a day, or as complex as living with chronic pain. You are in charge. The entire time. We trust you to be your own authority.

Your biggest benefit is that you create the benefit of your health care team to bring about positive health behaviour changes. With support and knowledge and action that you choose… which is vastly different than the current health care model of authority and “success or failure” language.

My personal speciality is working with women who have medical conditions that impact their daily lives, and co-creating a plan to maximize enjoyment of life, boosting health, and co-creating the best life that you can have. And you are in charge the whole way.

If you have any questions, just put them in the “Comments,” and thank you.

Lizzie Bennett is an Integrative Health Coaching technique practitioner, which incorporates “motivational interviewing” as a component. She holds national registration as a Registered Health Coach.

References:

Effectiveness of including Motivational Interviewing combined with health coaching: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833556/

National Registered Health Coach registry: http://healthcoachregistry.org/registered-health-coach-locator type in my last name and I am in WA state.

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a Nurse Health Coach facilitator, and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

RNHA™ and Registered Nurse Health Advocate™ are intellectual property and service marks belonging to Lizzie Bennett, owner of Three Moons Medicine™

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Why Health Coaching?

If you think the pursuit of health is expensive and time-consuming, try overcoming an illness. ~ Lee Swanson

Whether you are interested in acquiring the knowledge base and skill set to BE a competent and effective health coach, OR you want to retain the support of a great health coach, it’s important to know WHY this profession is so important. Once we know why something is important, we can fashion our reasons WHY we want to DO, BE, or HAVE all the benefits that health coaching has to offer.

First, it is imperative to understand that health coaches do NOT have to have licenses (yet). This is an undefined and emerging profession that can support everyone in their health journey.

Second, the art and skills of health coaching can be added to the private practice of licensed professionals. How? Mainly, instead of writing a prescription, or giving a shot, or telling a patient to read a pamphlet, a health care provider can add depth and caring back into their practice. This can be done by combining the art of listening and facilitating with the solid science of their licensed practice to elevate the patient and client to the understanding of how to make health behavior changes stick and grow a healthier life.

So what advantages do people who are supported by Health Coach Facilitation enjoy? And why would you be interested in having a Health Coach on your support team?

FIRST. It’s no secret that people are becoming unhealthy in ever increasing numbers and percentages of the general population. According to the CDC: “Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. One in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions.

    • Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2014 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 46% of all deaths.
    • Obesity is a serious health concern. During 2011–2014, more than one-third of adults (36%), or about 84 million people, were obese (defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2). About one in six youths (17%) aged 2 to 19 years was obese (BMI ≥95th percentile).
    • Arthritis is the most common cause of disability. Of the 54 million adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, more than 23 million say they have trouble with their usual activities because of arthritis.
    • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations other than those caused by injury, and new cases of blindness among adults.

SECOND: It’s important to know that people, as individuals, know that they do NOT have to be part of the health crisis. Most of what is killing us early in the forms of chronic conditions is related to lifestyle choices. That is, choices that we can make. What to eat, what to drink, how to move, changing thoughts that damage our beliefs, and getting stress conquered. If you are looking to become a Health Coach, this independent health support career is an excellent choice if you want to make a difference in people’s lives.

THIRD: Not only can a health coach support people in a ripple effect that goes out in all directions, but people we know and love can be facilitated, too. It’s no secret that most people who become nurses, therapists, or doctors do so because they know someone (even themselves) that they could help. If you are a person who doesn’t need to be a health coach or desire to learn about it, chances are you know someone who would love to have an initial conversation to see if coaching would be helpful for them! Some people even give a gift of a series of coaching encounters!

FOURTH: When you retain a health coach to facilitate your health improvement journey, you will experience an increased personal growth and developent journey. Facilitating others on improving health behaviors and beliefs can be a joyful service, and a joyfully received service, too.

FIFTH: Synchronicity. Have you considered hiring a health coaching facilitator? If you have thought about it, and don’t quite know where to start, drop a comment on this post. Perhaps I can help you find one with the expertise and intentions that match what you are looking for. An even more powerful synchronicity is probably already evident to you – and that is that the healer is healed. I’ll have to be honest with you. I took the training to become a Health Support Coach through a class that was comprised of licensed health professionals. I learned a lot to engage and help people, true. BUT: I don’t think I learned as much from that class as I did from the year-long class that I signed up for in 2012 (and loved it so much, I am doing it again now in 2017). Why is that?

  • I earned a bona fide national certification from the 3 month training program that held a knowledge base component, and then an observation and coaching component. In other words, we had to LEARN and then DEMONSTRATE the skills. And it means I have to maintain my license, take CEUs, and pay to renew each 3 years.
  • In the IIN® curriculum, I actually got my training in bite-sized pieces over a year. I had to not only pass the written tests, but (like most students I found out) I also LIVED what I was LEARNING as the same time. Drink more water? Easy to say – but I had to do it and journal about it and live it. See? the IIN® curriculum actually challenged me to WALK MY TALK.

What’s the synchronicity part? If you are looking for a health coach to facilitate your journey, that person is out there, also trying to find you. And secondly, if you are looking for the lived expression of better health, I cannot think of a better way than to dive into the journey to become a health coach and make the pilgramage with others who you’ll meet in class online. Everyone is everyone.

SIXTH: This is where I think the magic happens in health coaching. When you speak to a skilled health facilitation coach, you will be guided through a process where your STORY becomes your SUCCESS through planned and supported steps that you create. It’s like a magical kind of story-alchemy. Words change into successes through a shared process. If you are the person being coached, you learn to release the numbing we have all developed to get through life and look at your own fabulous SELF through love. If you are a coach, you see a reflection of humankind and parts of your own life’s journey in every client. We are one.

SEVENTH: Health Coaching helps the coach and the client both to shatter those fake “Ivory Walls” of nutrition. We put people over theories, and learn that reading about an improved healthy life is one thing, but DOING it is another set of reality all together. With a coach, a client has a team-mate to help figure out the best path to take and do what you yourself identify as the right thing. How? Health Coaches ask questions, reframe what they’ve heard to be sure it makes sense, and you know that you are loved, heard and cared about. My personal style guarantees you will NEVER EVER be given unsolicited advice or criticism. Ever.

Here’s a freebie for you to consider: Everyone knows that we can all do three things right now to improve our health:

  1. Eat more veggies
  2. Drink water
  3. Move our bodies

So here’s my questions for you to consider:

  •  Are you ready to love yourself enough to stop hurting?
  • Are you ready to define and focus on a great life?
  • Are you able and maybe ready to love your body?

This client and coach relationship is soul-to-soul caring in its purest and best form.

REFERENCES:

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a Nurse Health Coach facilitator, and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

 

TenDLite Pain Therapy

Hi there! Sometimes I put on my Nurses’ Cap and speak from a very clinical perspective about pain control and pain relief.

This is super-important to me on several layers and for many reasons. First, we have an emotional response to chronic pain. We get angry, frustrated and even depressed when unrelenting pain wears us down to our last nerve, and we even get to where we believe that pain is never going to leave us. And of course, this depressed, flat, or angry feeling actually intensifies the emotional and stress response to pain. Talk therapy, awakened hypnotherapy, and guided imagery are all effective to help us with the emotional response, but what about the actual physical reason?

It occurred to me today while I was using my Tendlite® device to let others know about it, too. This little light is cleared by the FDA for pain relief. It’s a laser-style light, not hot to touch, and very effective in soft tissue and skeletal pain relief. In the years I’ve owned this device, I have used it to treat my own plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis in the hands and knees, and random muscular pain. I’m not the only health profession that uses it for personal use and recommends it, I’ve also used it with great success when I had a clinic and saw patients. I’m including a link to the Amazon source where I purchased my light. It’s one of the most effective Rx-strength but Over-The-Counter devices of its sort for the best in anti-inflammatory and analgesic red-light therapy. While you’re on the Amazon link, read the reviews, and decide for yourself.

(click on image for Amazon link)

 

 

 

 

 

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

A complicated health system, an elegant solution

Fear of Asking Questions.

As a patient, the consequences can be serious.

In today’s health care climate, the demands of self-advocacy and involvement in your own health care planning are only on the increase. It’s a daunting challenge, even for those who have self-advocacy skills and the willingness to shoulder the coordination of appointments, specialists, and learning the language of medical communication and assuming responsibility for your own body and health.

Physician and patient communications are strained on many levels. Physicians are tasked to see more and more patients and earn more and more money for the health care machine. Most people don’t have the years of education to understand how one part of the body that is not functioning correctly can understand how everything else is affected, too. So right away, we have lack of time, language and context mismatch, and understanding a very complex interplay of physiology and anatomy.

Then, there is an eternal truth that endears yet: What the physician says is often not what the patient understands. Without a basic knowledge and willingness to realize that one’s body is indeed one’s business, and a more common language and context – what is said is often different than what is heard and understood.

The catastrophic level of misunderstanding leads to an agreement but one at cross purposes.

Patients often say “My doctor doesn’t listen to me. All she wants to do is give me a prescription for something.” And yet, in focus groups, it’s often heard from physicians that “Patients don’t seem to listen to me. I think all they want is a prescription for something, and often they don’t need it.”

Is there any wonder that the mismatch exists?

And today, more and more patients are having to navigate a very complex system of insurances that pay for this but not that; or maybe they’ll pay for that once this set of tests is run; and language like co-pays, deductibles, benefit level exceptions, in and out of networks, plan exclusions and maximums, and why the latest and most effective medications or procedures are deemed “experimental,” or are “plan exclusions.”

Not many years ago, it was normal to have Registered Nurses on doctor’s staff in offices to coordinate care, make appointments, and educate patients in a language that’s understandable on what their next moves are, and why other appointments might be needed. This was called “medical case management,” or “care coordination.” Enter the profession of Medical Assistants, who often call themselves nurses (illegally I add), who have a ten-month certificate and are less expensive by far than professional registered nurses. Most states have practice acts that restrict case management and coordination to independently licensed nurses, who seem to be distinctly absent on the scene these days.

Communication, being a two-way process, has been hampered, and we act with the best intentions but with the worst understanding and lack of complete information.

As an RN, I advocate for patients to ask questions, get answers, and have this conversation in a language that is understood by the patient. Yes. The patient is the most important part of the team here, but often the one that feels the least able to ask for answers to be restated in simpler language, and often feel disempowered and leave because they don’t understand and are embarrassed to ask yet again what is meant.

It’s time for a new environment where both medical professionals and patients can commit to better patterns of communication with assertiveness skills and also with the help of intermediaries.

One such intermediary I advocate is a Registered Nurse Health Advocate (RNHA™) who is skilled in the medical model and has taken the extraordinary effort to develop the skills associated with health coaching. This combination can help in many ways.

An RN health coach is an independently licensed person who can take complex instructions and a plan from a physician and have conversations to help the patient or client:

Devise a workable plan to make progress toward health goals established with the physician.

  • Work with a client to improve medication compliance.
  • Identify health behavior changes that the patient can include goals to improve health and decrease the progress of chronic diseases.
  • Write a summary that the patient can take to their doctor
  • Advocate for the patient (that’s the chief role of every RN)
  • Listen to a patient’s story and notice trends and patterns that might disempower a patient’s living patterns (often the triad of helpless, hapless, and hopeless is present)

There may be a need for someone to mediate between the language, intention and timing barriers, and perhaps retaining the services of an RNHA™ would make sense.  I can think of a couple of opportunities such as retaining the service of an RNHA™ to (with permission, of course) attend doctor visits with elderly parents when adult offspring do not live nearby, or to do wellness check ups, or set up medication stations (medisets).

For people not in the need of medical coordination, perhaps having an RNHA™ as a health coach to obtain excellent health or living skills would be beneficial.

It’s time to open the conversation about retaining private Registered Nurse Health Advocates with coaching skills and therapeutic conversation skills to serve as patient advocates in the physician offices, coach to specific health needs, and be the ally of the disempowered patient population trying to navigate a complex system with complex health requirements.

Lizzie Bennett, MSN, RHC, CCM, RN

Master of Sciences, Nursing – Integrative Health

Registered Health Coach

Certified Case Manager

Registered Nurse

Owner, Three Moons Medicine™

RNHA™ and Registered Nurse Health Advocate™ are trademarks owned by Three Moons Medicine™ which is a licensed Washington State Business.

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

 

Why You Should Consider This Health Coaching Profession…

One of the questions I have heard over the last few years circles around like this:

“If you are a nurse already, why do you have to be a health coach, too?”

And, it’s a really great question. See, as an RN of many years, it’s easy to forget what you used to not know. I hope that makes sense. Basically, it means putting my brain back into my being before nurses’ university, and thinking back to how I viewed my health and what to do if I got sick.

The gaps were glaring. Suddenly I remembered why I became a Registered Nurse in my fourth decade on Earth. It’s because I wanted to help people. To be of service. Lift up the spirit, mend the body, support the soul. In old days of centuries past, I would have been a Healer Woman, a Witch, Wise Woman, or a MidWife.

So, in Nursing University I enrolled in Milledgeville, Georgia. I learned the basics of human anatomy and physiology, how homeless shelters work, how to do a head-to-toe assessment in 30 minutes, why prayer works, most illnesses and their pathology, what medicines cure and what overdoses were and how to watch for them, manual calculations before machines did all that, and what a holistic view of life was. Many things that help define the human condition in many altered states and circumstances. I treasure that education.

In my Master of Nursing degree, I focused in Integrative Health. I learned the finances of running a hospital department, how to fund a clinic of my own, many different healing modalities that have nothing to do with medicine, and found that two things were worthy of my specializations: Energy Healing, and Thought Therapy (cognitive behaviour therapy). But: both of these things, as well as everything I had learned to date focused on the RN doing to the patient, and not on equipping a client with knowledge and skills to improve their own lives.

Something had to change. I needed a skill set that would help me frame my desires and knowledge. One day, I discovered “Health Coaching.” It was an idea that there was a specific and respectful way to listen to people, get their story, and support them in articulating their own goals, setting their own agenda, and equipping them with the skills to find their own answers. That meant no more doing for or to.

Instead: the change was combining my decades of clinical and assessment skills with learning to LISTEN. Getting the value of

Getting the value of story. Using validation instead of “good” or “bad” mentality in

Using validation instead of “good” or “bad” mentality in judgement. No advice giving unless asked.

No advice giving unless asked.

This was a drastic departure for me from clinical practice. And yet, it’s a joyful meeting of skill and heart, and when I am with a client, it’s just that: heart to heart medicine for the whole person.

This is why health coaches matter. They don’t have to be licensed professionals. But those that are have a knowledge base and a skill set to transform the relationship with a patient to a higher, transpersonal level.

Health Coaches that are NOT licensed professionals are invaluable, in my opinion. Working with a patient toward certain health goals or goals for better living in a holistic way is empowering to the client, and good for the soul. Yes, I went there. Our soul, our thoughts, our bodies, our relationships, our jobs and our families and friends all make up our lives. Coaches combine a complex set of skills and knowledge base to HELP.

I have every reason to believe that the decision to become a Health Coach is one that should not be taken lightly, but if that decision is made, the person should be prepared for a few changes:

Starting a new practice is slow at first for most people. You may think it isn’t working. But it is.

You will learn to care more about someone other than yourself more than you thought you could.

You will be enticed to “fix,” or “tell the answer,” or put your client in a position to NEED you. Don’t do that. It’s out of your scope, but it’s a temptation. We support. We listen and advise if asked. We don’t take authority from a patient or client, ever.

Your heart will open and your life will get better.

Any unsolicited advice you want to give to a client is usually something you need to listen to.

What ever life has given you so far, you can be an excellent Health Coach. All you have to do is learn how. And I know a great school for that. In fact, I am self-paying to go through the entire program a second time, because it’s worth it, and so are you.

Try a complementary course introduction, my treat.

A Man, A Dog, and an Angel Go For A Walk

There are some very interesting and yes, reassuring, stories in the books spanning Christian Bible. One of these is the story of the journey of Tobias, who was on an errand to a far city to retrieve some money left there as a deposit by his father. Here’s a digest of the story, and my comments follow.

****

There was a time when an elderly patriarch named Tobit needed to get some money he had left in the care of a kinsman in a distant city. Now, Tobit was old, and had gone blind with age from  some white films which had covered his eyes. Tobit was very distressed and bitter because he had lost his eyesight. His wife Anna did all she could to comfort him, but some days he was just depressed.

On this day, Tobit called his son Tobias into the house and gave him a task. It was time for the money to be retrieved, and Tobit was told to go and fetch it. He did not know the way, but his father gave him instructions to go out and find a guide. Tobit would like the guide to be a companion and trustworthy, and a kinsman. Tobit met a man named Azariah in the town square who was of good character, and he met all of Tobias’ requirements. Azariah did not reveal that he was an incarnation of the Archangel Rapha-El.

With instructions in hand, Tobias and with Azariah as a paid companion, off the two went. Tobias’ family dog ran after them, and the two companions decided to let the dog travel with them. Not far into their journey the stopped to refresh themselves in the Tigris river. While rest, a huge fish jumped up out of the water, and Azariah shouted, “GRAB THAT FISH! Hang onto it!” So without a second thought, Tobias grabbed the thrashing fish and wrangled it to the shore of the river.

Strangely, Azariah told Tobias to cut open the fish, take out the heart, the gall, and the liver. Tobias did this, and they cleaned the fish, tossed away the intestines, and had a good dinner of roasted fish, and kept some of it to be salted for later because it was a big fish.

As they were dining, Tobias wondered what the meaning of keeping these certain organs of the fish was, and he asked about it. Azariah told him about the medicinal value of these odd items. He said, “As far as the heart and liver go, you will need them to burn in the presence of someone (man or woman) who is afflicted with a demon or evil spirit. By making smoke, this combination will cause every evil affliction to flee and they will unable to come back to that person again. Now, the gall can be used to remove the white films on a person’s eyes so they can see again.

The story continues with the pair travelling to their destination, meeting a wonderful young woman named Sarah. Tobias was a kinsman, and in the tradition of the day, he was to be her husband when the time came. She had been sent to be married before, but she remained in her unmarried state, because something strange always happened: her groomsman was always dead before any consummation took place. In short, she was just as a virgin, and never took a groom’s name. Tobias married her, but before they entered their marital bed, he and she said words as Azariah instructed, and burned the two fish parts to make smoke. Tobias fought the angry demon when it fled from his new wife’s presence and with the help from the fish parts, he won and the demon fled. The two became husband and wife, and their marriage was sealed and happy.

Having completed their mission, the two men made the decision to gather up the money and wedding gifts, and the party left Ragus to return back to Tobias’ home.

When the retinue arrived back home with Tobias, it included a new Bride named Sarah, all the money and medicine for Tobit’s blindness (Tobit was Tobias’ father). The gall was applied as Azariah told, and Tobit, who had been depressed and despondent at the loss of his eyesight, was able to see and he was joyous. When he could see again, he wept for joy! He blessed the Lord, the holy Angels, he wept at the sight of his son and his daughter in law.

After this great journey, Rapha-El finally disclosed his true nature and his Angel Name. He gave them some advice: Now the whole truth can be revealed. He said that it’s good to conceal the secret of a King, but to reveal it with due honor the works that were secret.

****

Some metaphysical observations I drew are:

Medicine of the heart and liver on a demon. It’s well observed in many cultures that the heart is seat of love, kindness, and fortitude. It’s the center of the higher consciousness of love and affection. The nature of the liver is that of keeping the body alive by constantly removing toxins and dangerous substances from the body. It’s also the seat of more primitive emotions and anger. It seems the “medicine” included the use of the characteristics of Anger and its opposite Love in the structure of unconditional positive regard. The nature of those attributes is such that eventually, though rage and negativity are dominant for a while, most of the time, that Love will succeed when the load of anger is settled at last.

So, I really like this story from the Book of Tobit in the Christian Bible, and see a lot of wisdom in there. Sure, it’s written in a patriarchal time and for that period. In order to be living as a manuscript though, we can each interpret and receive wisdom where it is.

When I work with Angels today, it’s good to know that Rapha-El will actually manifest as a person, might not tell his Angel Name, but will walk with us as individuals, will guide us, and impart esoteric knowledge, spiritual and medical advice, and leave us better than we were.

Story: Digest from the Book of Tobit in the Christian Bible, © Lizzie Bennett

Image: ‘The Healing of Tobit’, c1635. Artist: Bernardo Strozzi

© Lizzie Bennett PhD RN

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

 

Nurse Lizzie’s TOP 5 MIGRAINE HOME REMEDIES TO TRY

#5 – Preventa-Migraine

COST: Depending on where you buy it, $36 to $42 for one month supply is the most common.

WHY DOES IT WORK? It has the things in it that have been recommended by neurologists, herbalists, and by medical professionals to help ease and maybe prevent migraine attacks. Magnesium, Butterbur herb, and Feverfew herb.

This particular supplement is prescription-free, and contains a variety of ingredients that are reputed to help with migraine prevention. For example Butterbur (with the pyrrolizidine alkaloids [PA]) removed have been researched and approved in Germany as an preventive for about half of people who experience migraine attacks. If you have found that no single supplement or intervention works well, you can try this for a three-month period and see how it works for you.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I have used this to prevent migraines for a year now. It has truly helped me, personally.

AMAZON:  Hands down, Amazon has a great price, and if you are a Prime member, you can get it on a scheduled delivery, or as-needed with free shipping.

#4 – Vitamin B-2 Riboflavin 400mg daily

COST: I have seen 400mg tablets on the internet anywhere from $23 per bottle of 50 for a high-cost brand to $15 for 120 tablets.

WHY DOES IT WORK? It’s unclear how the exact mechanism works, but a 2004 study shows that 400mg of Riboflavin every day reduced the number of migraine attacks and the amount of medications for this.

There are several cautions with taking 400 mg of Riboflavin a day. Of course, if you have any any medical conditions or take any medications at all, you must check with a physician prior to using this supplement. Since it’s been so helpful for so many, though, it might be worth a try.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: My neurologist actually prescribed this for me. Since I use the VA hospital system, my Rx is covered there – but check your own insurance plan for coverage of over-the-counter supplements. I took this before Preventa-Migraine, and it worked well for me. I would say my personal incidence of migraine attacks was reduce about 30% in occurrence, but not reduced in severity at all.

AMAZON: If your insurance doesn’t cover, this is on Amazon.

#3 – Lavender Essential Oil

COST: I found costs ranging from over $25 for 5ml with a multi-level-marketing (MLM) name and no guarantee that the product is organic to an organic oil at about $12 for a full ounce (about 30ml) and it has the USDA organic seal on it. Needless to say, I am not a fan of MLM prices.

WHY DOES IT WORK? PUBMED presented a study in 2012 showing that lavender oil, inhaled for 15 minutes was far superior to the placebo in the study for people with varying degrees of migraines, and that is could be effect for acute migraine attacks (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298 ).

As an RN, I recommend using organics if at all possible because that’s the best access to chemical-free (i.e., poisonous pesticides) that we have at present. And when the cost is much lower, it’s a better bargain, too.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I use Lavender essential oil when I am at work or somewhere away from home and feel the familiar “aura” coming on that might indicate a migraine attack is imminent. I can keep a small bottle with me and use it discretely, and sometimes I apply it to my temples and the back of my neck, where I get tension. I will say it helps to stave off an attack. Secondly, taking daily supplements for prevention is something most of us are good at only about 60 to 80 percent of the time. So, I have used this method a handful of times and it worked for me quickly about 75% of the time to quell a newly-starting migraine. If I use it for a full-blown migraine, I found it effect two ways: it reduces the new onset migraine attack in about half the cases, and it completely resolved it in about 10 percent of the cases. Not bad for a little bottle of essential oil, which has many other uses, too.

AMAZON:  Best price I found, tap on the picture above. Additional: tiny 1ml travel bottles here.

#2 – Relaxation, Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

COST: Nothing unless you buy some biofeedback devices, books, or lessons. There are many sources of videos that are free, like youtube. One of the best feedback devices I have used (and recommend) is Muse.

WHY DOES IT WORK? The science isn’t really conclusive, but it’s a well known experiential conclusion that when you are stressed less, the muscles in your neck are more relaxed (how many times have you found your shoulders up to your ears?) you lessen the experience of tension-induced migraine headaches.  You can read about biofeedback, massage and acupuncture here: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/headachefacts.htm#hed3

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:  I know the less I am stressed, the more migraine-free I remain. My personal choice is self-massage of my head and neck, which help to mitigate and prevent an aura from turning into a migraine.

#1 – Medical Cannabis

COST: Varies by availability, laws, and type. Inhaled works quicker and better than edible delivery.

HOW DOES IT WORK? A 2016 study published this week from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado, examined the effects of inhaled and ingested (edible) cannabis in migraine sufferers. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26749285)

Researchers reviewed reports from 121 adult participants and collected the following data:

  • The average number of migraine headaches decreased from 10.4 per month to 4.6
  • Almost 40% of subjects reported positive effects
  • 8% of subjects claimed medical marijuana helped to prevent migraines
  • 6% of subjects reported that cannabis stopped migraine headaches
  • About 85% of subjects reported having fewer migraines per month with cannabis
  • About 12% saw no change in migraine frequency with cannabis
  • Only about 2% experienced an increase in migraine frequency

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: When I spent a year undergoing medical cannabis therapy, I used sativa-dominant Green Crack (Gc) because I dislike the indica-induced “high” with a vehemence. I had consistently positive results, and luckily I can count myself in the 85% that had fewer migraines when I could use it.

NOTE: You must live in a legal cannabis area, have a medical evaluation and proper access to pharmaceutical cannabis. In no way do I promote the illegal or illicit use of medical cannabis.

RESOURCES: Click on the images above. All of these are sponsored links, where Amazon pays us a small referral fee, which helps fund our free website and educational articles. I do not carry prescriptive authority and again remind any reader that proper medical guidance must be sought.

© Lizzie Bennett PhD RN

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

 

 

 

Looking for healing in a migraine

Have you ever had a migraine headache? Rather, I am going to use the language I recently heard and believe: they are more accurately called “migraine attacks.” That sounds so much more fierce and banging difficult that a headache.

At first, I resigned these migraines as normal because they were hereditary. My own brain had made up that story since my mum had them, and I can remember in high school that every time the weather changed, I would get a headache. So, fast forward, it took me until my mid-fifties to realise that there was a such thing as barometric pressure mediated migraines. But no matter – they HURT like nothing I can describe. Once, when I got the visual disturbances called “scintillae,” it cost me my student private pilot license at a class two flight physical.

And I ramble. So, I was at an extremely low point in life in the early half of 2016 and migraines were coming hard and heavy several times a week, and I prayed to the gods Relpax, Maxalt, and Icepacks ceaslessly. Then a funny thing happened in June 2016 – I found Louise L Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life,” and also some affirming recordings on YouTube. On a bet, I undertook a 30 day journey to listen to these recordings once a day without variance for a month. Some days I listened twice or thrice a day. And then, it was in October 2016 I suddenly realised: I had not had one single migraine attack since April!

Delighted, I continued my health affirming routine. I did not take my life. I did not succumb to agoraphobia or enveloping depression. I went to the V.A. hospital and got treatment. My family rallied around me and bathed me with love. Life got better and better.

Until last night – I awoke at 02:30 WITH A FLIPPIN’ MIGRAINE!  I found a Maxalt and grabbed an ice pack from the freezer and fell back to sleep in great pain. Fortunately, when I awoke, albeit woozy from the pill, I was pain free. But really – what the heck happened?

At least I remembered the One Great Lesson: Look for the good in tragedy.

I have been off my positivity exercises.

I have been binging on Scandal and Supernatural on Netflix.

I have been complaining about things, most notably the White House enveloped Orange One.

Today was a day I reclaimed the Good.

Listened to Gregorian Change in 432Hz. Discovered a couple of books to read. Wept. Prayed. Smiled.

What if we did that consistently? What if we (and by we, I definitely include myself) looked for the good in hiding places like migraine attacks?

© Lizzie Bennett PhD RN

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counseling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.

Resources (note: some affiliate links are present):

Three hours of Gregorian Chant on YouTube.

Stuck? Listen…

Feeling “stuck,” and unable to move forward is sometimes accompanied by the emotional sense of being “blocked,” too.

We can experience the feeling that life is on hold somehow, or that ideas have stopped flowing, or even a general hesitation to act or decide because you simply feel unsure or disconnected from Source.

When clients come to my reading table for some Angelic Guidance, or clarification, I am often guided to ask about what ideas or instructions have been received that are being ignored.

Have you had feelings like you should make a phone call, read a book, make a small change somewhere…. and yet ignore this no matter how many times it is repeated?

These small nudges can seem insignificant, and like annoyances, and thus end up ignored. Here’s something we tend to forget: when we are “in the flow,” we get the focused messages do this, then there is another step, and another, and so on.

And often this feeling of stuck-ness is because we are stuck. If we ignore this step, however small or scary, we won’t get the next step. See, we really ARE stuck.  And we can move on, but it takes effort and awareness.

What is it you are called to answer? To which you might need to say yes?

That. That’s your next step.

© Lizzie Bennett PhD RN

Lizzie Bthree_moons_medicine-1ennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counseling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.