Penny Lane – my first migraine treatment

As crazy as it sounds, the song “Penny Lane” by The Beatles was my very first migraine treatment. This may sound foolhardy but it was just the way we did things. For most medical needs we went to our family doctor, but not for “odd” things like migraines. For migraines or arthritis, mom and dad preferred folk remedies which sometimes worked, sometimes not.

When I started experiencing migraines, the remedies I used were passed to me from mom’s family. Such remedies as Tylenol and Mountain Dew, cold compresses or even applying pressure. Applying pressure often took the form of wearing a ball cap 2 sizes too small. For me, I learned that high pitched music or sounds not only made them worse, but also triggered them. So, I started trying low-pitched–high bass–music. I’ve always liked feeling my music and the bass vibrations provided a nice massage to the head.

I’m sure you’re thinking bass and picturing rap or hip/hop. Sometimes I like that music, but the bass in that music just isn’t pure. It’s all about thumping and overpowers the music. However, “Penny Lane” has what I call a more pure bass. It’s crisp, flows well and adds body to the music–without taking away from it. Say what you will about The Beatles music–drug themes, etc–but it has a nice rhythm and nice clear sound. I don’t listen as much now, but I was raised on the music from the 60’s and 70’s–with some southern gospel and country mixed in.

Even though I own most of The Beatles music on CD, I rarely listen to them now–not even for migraine relief. Unfortunately, if you’ve heard one Beatles song or CD, you have almost heard all of them. They had a very recognizable sound and there’s only so much I can get of one song or one style. (That said, I apologize to they guy in the room below me freshman year at Rose-Hulman–I can’t remember how many times you told me to turn down the music!)

Rest assured, I’ve moved on from many of these remedies. I often wonder which is worse though–the loud music, or Imitrex. Maybe someday I’ll have someone study me and let me know–for now, I’m afraid of what they might say!

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