Remedy for Migraines

The informant was taught by her mother to pinch the skin between her thumb and pointer finger whenever she had a migraine.

Collector: Where did your mother learn this?

Informant: I don’t know, she just always knew it.

Collector: What did she tell you about it?

Informant: That it would stop the pain in my head.

Collector: Did it have to be a hard pinch?

Informant: Yeah. You brace your pointer finger on the opposite palm and the back of your thumb knuckle in-between your pointer and thumb on the opposite hand and pinch hard.

Collector: What was her mom’s explanation of why this would help her migraine?

Informant: That it hit a nerve

Collector: Does it work?

Informant: Yes

Like the popular notion of eating chicken noodle soup when sick, this is another situation in which people hear about solutions to ailments and pass them on. The informant’s mother, as a loving parent, probably did not enjoy watching her child be in pain and therefore tried to teach her remedies that she had heard worked. It’s also a convenient remedy as it doesn’t involve financial aspects of visiting a doctor or buying tools but rather just using one’s own body as a cure.