Derek Hough's migraine moves

Derek Hough shares migraine management advice, plus other headache relief tips.
Wellness Wire
IN a nutshell
Did you know there are other natural remedies that may be effective for managing migraine? "Dancing with the Stars" six-time champ Derek Hough lives with chronic migraine and developed a series of simple movements that offer him relief. Now, he's revealing what they are in hopes of helping others achieve better head health, too.
After our Q&A with Hough, we're talking about:
A heated shiatsu massager for your neck and back
What to eat and drink when you have a headache
9 alternatives to coffee (and why you should try them)
How to protect your hearing
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Stay sharp,
Ginger Wojcik
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Morgan Mandriota
May 26, 2023 • 4 min read
Derek Hough is an Emmy Award-winning professional dancer who's known for his choreography and judging skills on the hit show "Dancing with the Stars." Read our Q&A below to learn how he manages migraine attacks and supports his head health through custom movement and breathwork exercises.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You and your fiancée, fellow dancer Hayley Erbert, both live with migraine. What has that experience been like?
A: Seeing someone you care about and love in discomfort affects you. You want to help. You want to serve them and be there for them. We all know there's nothing worse than having a headache or migraine during the day.
Q: Can non-dancers do these movements? Are people supposed to copy exactly what's shown in your videos or move at their own pace?
A: You don't have to be a dancer to do these things. I actually show these very simple things I do every morning. Before I get out of bed, I roll my ankles, I activate my knees, I get my joints going — my wrists, elbows, shoulders, just simple rolls. It basically opens up the whole body.
[When] in doubt, shake it out. If you're like "I'm not sure how to do this particular move," if you ever get to that point or place, just start shaking your body and have fun with it because that's what it's really about. It's moving the body.
Q: You also created a restorative yoga video that emphasizes stretching with a focus on breathwork. What's the link between movement and breathwork for migraine?
A: For me, a big part of head health is getting the circulation going, getting everything moving and activated. We think movement is just movement … but breath is such a physical action with your diaphragm, chest, body, mouth, back of your neck. The movement of all of those things are there to support your head health on a day-to-day basis, and it's being more proactive versus reactive.
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Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
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Shiatsu massage is a modified type of acupressure therapy that may help reduce muscle pain and tension. This customizable heated massager aims to pinpoint specific areas, like your neck, shoulder, back, or feet, to knead targeted knots throughout your body using shiatsu techniques. Although this product isn't a substitute for professional massage therapy, it's an affordable option for folks seeking relaxation or pain relief at home.
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Foods and drinks for migraine and headache relief
Wednesday Kick Start
Foods and drinks for migraine and headache relief
While medicine and movement may help relieve your headache and migraine symptoms, what you eat and drink may play a role in preventing attacks and offering pain relief, too! For example, many people find that certain foods and drinks, like alcohol, dairy, artificial sweeteners, and gluten, are migraine triggers.

Curious about making dietary changes for less head pain? Consider adding options from this list to your shopping cart:
Magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, avocado, and tuna.
Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, seeds, and legumes.
Ketogenic foods like nonstarchy veggies and eggs.
Water or tea to help prevent dehydration-induced migraine.
If you suspect your diet is contributing to your symptoms, consider keeping a food journal and sharing it with a medical professional. Although these tips may help, it's important to speak with a doctor to create a plan that works best to manage your symptoms.

Interested in learning more about migraine? Subscribe to our weekly Migraine newsletter with one click!

Read more about head pain relief:
Foods and drinks that help relieve headaches
Top strategies to try for migraine relief
Video: Migraine stories and self-care tips
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