It’s not high on most migraine sufferers lists of “migraine treatments to try”, but one migraine sufferer found some relief from her migraines in the form of swimming in the cold sea every day.
Beth Francis from Anglesey had become desperate to find something that would help to reduce her chronic migraine pain and symptoms, which included tinnitus, nausea, stomach aches, and feeling numb on one side of her body. Having read anecdotal stories that wild swimming and cold water swimming can be a health benefit, Beth and her partner Andrew Clark decided to swim in the sea off Anglesey every day for 100 days, and to film the experiment. Andrew is a filmmaker and they started to publish their experiences on social media under the name “100 Days of Vitamin Sea”.
Beth found that her migraines reduced from 25 to 15 a month, and that since she began swimming each day, that the severity of her migraines has also reduced. She found too that getting in the sea soon after her symptoms started helped to reduce the severity of her symptoms. Although she is still taking medication and seeing a migraine specialist, Beth is convinced that her swimming has helped her condition.
Following her 100 Days of Vitamin Sea experiment, a university research project was conceived which is looking for participants to take cold showers instead of a swim in the sea (after all, not everyone lives near enough to the coast to do what Beth did).
The project hopes to find out if taking cold showers could help other migraine sufferers with their symptoms, or whether being outside or the combination of exercise and cold is needed for the sort of relief which Beth found.