Complementary and Integrative Treatments for Migraine

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Key Questions
  • What do we mean by complementary, integrative, and alternative medicine?
  • Is this different from CIM (complementary and integrative medicine)?
  • What are the broad types of treatment approaches in complementary and integrative medicine?
  • What kind of evidence is used to support the use of CIM and any alternative approaches?
  • Without double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials, how are these approaches evaluated?
  • What are the best and most effective supplements for migraine? Are there any to avoid?
  • How is safety determined when it comes to alternative and complementary medicine?
  • Which natural or CIM therapies do you and your colleagues use with your patients?
  • How do you suggest patients open a discussion channel with their doctors on safe and effective CIM?
  • Will insurance cover the cost of these therapies and treatments?
  • What are the pros and cons of these treatments?
  • What are the red flags when it comes to alternative treatments, and the possibility of being scammed by “providers”?
  • How do you integrate complementary and integrative therapy with more medically driven approaches, like CGRP antagonists, triptans, or neuromodulation devices?
  • How sound are the new studies on omega-3s and nanocurcumin?
  • What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), and is it effective?
  • Is psilocybin a possible treatment for migraine?
  • Are electrolytes worth the hype?
  • What kind of health care practitioners are available to those wanting a CIM approach?
  • Is CIM appropriate for all patients?
  • Is mindfulness a safe approach for everyone?
Interview Notes

Find more about Elizabeth Leroux, MD, FRCPC and her work here:

Treatments Mentioned
  • Acupuncture
  • Breathing exercises (breathwork)
  • Butterbur
  • Cannabis
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Cold packs/ice packs for head
  • CGRP monoclonal antibody
  • CoQ10
  • Damascus rose oil
  • Dietitian/nutritionist
  • Earplugs
  • Electrolytes
  • Emotional freedom technique (EFT)
  • Essential oils
  • Exercise
  • Feverfew
  • FL-41 Glasses
  • Ginger
  • Jacobson’s relaxation technique
  • Kinesiology
  • Lavender
  • Magnesium
  • Meditation
  • Mind-body therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Mint (roller & edible)
  • Nanocurcumin
  • Neuromodulation devices
  • Omega-3
  • Physical therapy
  • Psilocybin
  • Psychotherapy
  • Sleep
  • Triptans
  • Turmeric
  • Vestibular therapy
  • Vitamin B2

Please note: The Migraine World Summit’s aim is to bring you a variety of perspectives and expertise, independent of bias or judgment. Alternative theories presented in this video have not been medically reviewed. Views expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of the Migraine World Summit. Please always consult your health care professional and do your own research before making changes to your treatment plan.

Elizabeth Leroux

Elizabeth Leroux, MD, FRCPC

Headache Specialist
Brunswick Medical Center, Montreal

Dr. Elizabeth Leroux is a well-respected headache neurologist currently practicing at the Brunswick Medical Center in Montreal. Previous affiliations include the Montreal University Headache Clinic and the University of Calgary CHAMP program. Dr. Leroux is the president of the Canadian Headache Society and the founder and chair of Migraine Canada. She is also a member of the International Headache Society Global Patient Advocacy Coalition (IHS-GPAC) and serves on the scientific advisory board for the American Registry for Migraine Research. Her current focus includes therapeutic education and patient advocacy.

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