Category Archives: Migraine

My Frozen Shoulder (Update)

Six months later…

So it has been about six months since my shoulder began to painfully freeze up on me and about three months since I wrote my last blog about my experience with Frozen Shoulder Syndrome. It is time to give you all an update on my personal journey with this condition.

I decided to go the route of Chiropractic

For me it was the most cost effective route and since I also suffer from migraines which seemed to worsen with the shoulder condition as my muscles were having a lot of spasms along the scalenes and shoulder.

I went twice a week and slowly, very slowly I started so see some tiny improvements such as being able to reach the second shelf of my cupboards. Eventually I could touch the rear view mirror of my car. The Chiropractor and I had agreed that if we were not seeing any improvements he would refer me out to a specialist.

If you research the cranial nerves you will discover that there is a cranial nerve that is associated with not only Frozen Shoulder but also Migraine Disorders and that was what we have been focusing on in our sessions, the Cervical Nerves 10 and 11 were and still are our main focus as my neck does not have full range of motion when turning to the left. I am currently still seeing the Chiropractor weekly.

What I can and Cannot Do

At this time, six months into this condition, I can now reach and adjust my rear view mirror, put my seatbelt on and take it off with that arm, lift the dumpster lid so that my good arm can put the trash in.

I can reach the third shelf of my cupboards, wash my hair and put it into a pony tail (with a bit of struggle,) and I can almost reach the higher shelves in the grocery stores.

I can turn on and off the lights when I leave the room without giving it a second thought, clean, do dishes, and vacuum. I can roll over in my sleep without pain, and I can sleep through the night!

I still cannot close my hatch back with that arm, or put my hand on my hip, I cant reach behind my back or wear a bra that hooks in the back.

My range of motion with the right arm is still very limited but I am pleased with the progress I have been making so far.


Yours in Health And Wellness,

Kristeen Anne Smart (Formerly Kristeen Anne Kish)

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist




Amidst the Covid19 shutdown

Many people with chronic pain disorders found it difficult to get in to see their doctors and get their regular treatments. I was one of those people.

Botox sessions were cancelled and pain medications were difficult to obtain. My neurologist was away for almost two months and all of his appointments were cancelled or rescheduled.

I stumbled upon a supplement while searching for natural allergy relief as this has been an unusually rough allergy season as well, and given the virus its best not to be coughing or sneezing if one can manage their symptoms. So I purchased something on Amazon that contained several ingredients that seemed very favorable to me and had really great reviews.

What I did not know at the time of purchase was how much one of the ingredients in that supplement was going to be of great benefit to my migraine headaches!

I have not needed to use any pain medications either prescription or over the counter in over three week. I have only had  a handful of mild migraines since I have been taking the supplement.

Quercetin is a powerful Antioxident

I had no knowledge of this when I purchased the Stinging Nettle and Quercetin “Allergy” remedy that had such good reviews on Amazon, but it got me searching for studies done on Quercetin.

The numerous studies that I found ranged from its benefits on allergies to its uses in destroying certain cancer cells as well as its immune boosting properties. There are even studies on a synthetic version of quercetin being tested for use with epilepsy due to the fact that natural quercetin is short acting due its water soluble nature.

I am not going to post all the many many links to the various studies, but I will quote this study here:

“In vitro and some animal models have shown that quercetin, a polyphenol derived from plants, has a wide range of biological actions including anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities”

(Do feel free to search the many studies out there, its mind blowing to be perfectly honest! Just use the search bar at the top of that study and put Quercetin in there and explore.)

Foods High in Quercetin

The following list comes from this article:

Food Scientific Name Quercetin Content (mg per 100g dry or 100 mL liquid) Source
1. Capers, fresh Capparis spinosa 233.84 16
2. Capers, canned Capparis spinosa 172.55 16
3. Lovage leaves, raw Levisticum officinale 170.0 16
4. Elderberry juice concentrate Sambucusspp. 108.16 16
5. Dock, raw Rumex spp. 86.2 16
6. Radish leaves Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus 70.37 16
7. Wild rocket Diplotaxis tenuifolia 66.19 16
8. Dill weed, fresh Anethum graveolens 55.15 16
9. Cilantro, fresh Coriandrum sativum 52.9 16
10. Banana peppers, raw Capsicum annuum 50.63 16
11. Fennel leaves, raw Foeniculum vulgare 48.8 16
12. Juniper berries Juniperus communis 46.61 16
13. Mexican oregano Lippia graveolens 42.0 16
14. Yellow onion, cooked (winter harvest) Allium cepa L. 41.9 17
15. Red onions, raw Allium cepa L. 39.21 16
16. Carob flour Ceratonia siliqua 38.78 16
17. Radicchio Cichorium intybus 31.51 16
18. Red leaf lettuce Lactuca sativa L. var. crispa 30.6 17
19. Spring onions, red bulb portion Allium cepa L. 30.6 16
20. Watercress, raw Nasturtium officinale 29.99 16
21. Hartwort leaves Tordylium apulum 29.3 16
22. Ancho peppers Capsicum annuum 27.6 16
23. Elderberrines Sambucus spp. 26.77 16
24. Hawthorn leaves Crataegus monogyna 24.1 16
25. Asparagus, cooked Asparagus officinalis L. 23.6 17
26. Kale, raw Brassica oleracea 22.58 16
27. Okra, raw Abelmoschus esculentus 20.97 16
28. Bee pollen n/a 20.95 16
29. Cocoa powder Theobroma cacao 20.0 18
30. Apples (skin only) Malus genus 19.36 16
31. Chia seeds, raw Salvia hispanica 18.42 16
32. Moringa Moringa oleifera 16.65 16
33. Saskatoons Amelanchier canadensis 16.64 16
34. Annual sow thistle, leaves Sonchus oleraceus 16.0 16
35. Serrano peppers, raw Capsicum anuum 15.98 16
36. Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum Moench 15.38 16
37. Hot green chili peppers, raw Capsicum annuum 14.7 16
38. Cranberries Vaccinium oxycoccos 14.0 18
39. Goji berries, dried Lycium barbarum 13.6 16
40. Red spring onions, leaves Allium cepa L. 12.6 16
41. Black diamond plums, raw with peel Prunus domestica 12.45 16
42. Romaine lettuce Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia 12.0 17
43. Yellow onion, cooked (summer harvest) Allium cepa L. 11.0 17
44. Scallions Allium cepa or Allium
10.68 16
45. Red leaf lettuce, winter harvest Lactuca sativa L. var. crispa 10.3 18
46. Tarragon, fresh Artemisia dracunculus 10.0 16
47. Green chili pepper, cooked Capscicum annuum L. 9.9 18
48. Sweet potato leaves, cooked Ipomoea batatas 9.84 16
49. Mustard greens, raw Brassica juncea 8.8 16
50. Arugula Eruca sativa 7.92 16
51. Blueberries Vaccinium spp. 7.67 16
52. Sea buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides 7.58 16
53. Red Swiss chard, raw Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulagaris 7.5 16
54. Lingonberries Vaccinium vitis-idaea 7.4 18
55. Oregano, fresh Origanum vulgare 7.3 16
56. Red kidney beans, boiled Phaseolus vulgaris 6.82 16
57. Chicory greens, raw Cichorium intybus 6.49 16
58. Long yellow peppers, raw Capsicum annuum 6.45 16
59. Figs Ficus carica 5.47 16
60. Yardlong bean, cooked Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedalis 5.3 16
61. Jalepeno peppers, raw Capsicum anuum 5.07 16
62. Turmeric, steamed Curcuma
4.92 16
63. Chives, raw Allium schoenoprasum 4.77 16
64. Acerola Malpighia emarginata 4.74 16
65. Brussels sprouts, cooked Brassica oleracea 4.33 16
66. Green leaf lettuce Lactuca sativa var. crispa 4.16 16
67. Tomato products without added salt, canned (average) n/a 4.12 16
68. Apples, all varieties (fruit with skin) Malus genus 4.01 16
69. Spinach, raw Spinacia oleracea 3.97 16
70. Tart or sour cherry juice Prunus cerasus 3.88 16
71. Blackberries Rubus spp. 3.58 16
72. Cherry tomatos Solanum lycopersicum 3.3 17
73. Broccoli, raw Brassica oleracea var. italica 3.26 16
74. Bay leaves, fresh Laurus nobilis 3.19 16
75. Concord grapes Vitis vinifera 3.11 16
76. Snap green peas, raw Pisum sativum 2.73 16
77. Butterhead lettuce Lactuca sativa var. capitata 2.73 16
78. Regular green tea, brewed Camellia sinensis 2.69 16
79. Collard greens, raw Brassica oleracea var. viridis 2.57 16
80. Cayenne peppers, raw Capsicum annuum 2.48 16
81. Broccoli raab, raw Brassica ruvo 2.25 16
82. Green bell peppers Capsicum annuum 2.21 16
83. White Swiss chard, raw Beta vulgaris subsp. vulagaris 2.2 16
84. Romaine lettuce Lactuca sativa var. logifolia 2.2 16
85. Black tea, brewed Camellia sinensis 2.19 16
86. Japanese green tea, brewed Camellia sinensis 2.1 17
87. Applesauce, canned Malus genus 2.0 16
88. Garlic, raw Allium sativum 1.74 16
89. Apricots, raw Prunus armeniaca 1.63 16
90. Pistachio nuts, raw Pistacia vera 1.46 16
91. Red potatoes with skin, baked Solanum tuberosum 1.43 16
92. Iceberg lettuce Lactuca sativa var. capitata 1.42 16
93. Oolong tea, brewed Camellia sinensis 1.3 16
94. Cherries Prunus avium L. 1.2 17
95. Strawberries Fragaria X ananassa 1.11 16
96. Apples, all varieties (fruit without skin) Malus genus 1.05 16
97. Broccoli raab, cooked Brassica ruvo 1.05 16
98. Red raspberries Rubus spp. 1.05 16
99. Red grapes Vitis vinifera 1.04 16
100. Red wine n/a 1.04 16
Sources: USDA Special Interest Databases on Flavonoids (16)
Nishimuro H, Ohnishi H, Sato M, et al. Estimated daily intake and seasonal food sources of quercetin in Japan. (17)
Larson AJ, Symons JD, Jalili T. Quercetin: A Treatment for Hypertension? A Review of Efficacy and Mechanisms. (18)

I do not claim that this will help with all migraine types or all chronic pain disorders but given the many things Quercetin is being studied for it is definitely a supplement worthy of mentioning and worth adding to your diet.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Anne Smart  (Formerly Kristeen Anne Kish)

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist


Migraine Journey Part 3: Update Feeling A Bit Better!

February was a challenge

The weather was unusual for Southern California, a lot of rain and overcast skies that often cause me a lot of light sensitivity and headaches.

My last entry detailed many of the ongoing days of struggle with the migraines and it was a bit chaotic but I decided to leave the entry exactly as it is because that is how my mind was working at the time.

I have been on the 100 mgs of Topamax for over a month now and using CBD oil daily along with Turmeric with Black Pepper and some Vitamin D (since I already know I am low on that) and drinking water.

I am trying to manage my migraines using as little over the counter or prescription pain relivers as possible due to the potential for rebound or over use headaches, this is a very real problem for many migraine sufferers.

Rebound or Overuse Headaches

Medication Overuse Headache

Medication overuse headaches have previously been termed “rebound headaches,” or drug-inducedheadache and medication misuse headaches. Medication overuse headaches are experienced more than 15 days a month for at least three months and have developed or markedly worsened during medication overuse.
And that brings us to the conundrum of the doctor saying “take this pill as soon as you feel the migraine coming on for full effectiveness.” If I were to take something every time I feel a migraine coming on I would run the risk of over use because there is not a day that goes by that my head is not threatening to turn on me, sometimes I can convince it to stay calm and work with me, but all it takes is a flash of light or a can of Axe deodorant spray and its on and popping!

I Promised You An Update….

So, I didn’t think the MRI would show up with anything strange, but you never know, so to rule things out before proceeding with treatment options it was best to have a look in there. Everything appears normal.

And since I have tried several Triptan’s I can be referred for the next treatment option after I try one more (because they have to say I at least gave them all a try) and then we can try Botox. The Doctor says many of his patients have good results with the Botox treatment.

As for March and my headaches, so far Zero ocular migraines and I have only turned to medication (not including the daily Topamax) three times this month, I have been able to manage it with the CBD oil most of the time… or, maybe the migraines have lessened due to the daily Topamax? That is very possible.

What Has Worsened? Photophobia! Oh Joy!

I am blessed to work in a dim lit environment, right? Well that has its disadvantages too! Coming out of the dim lighting and into the brighter hallway and then looking onto the computer screens for information on my next client can be painfully blinding, but not only that I have developed a new and even more entertaining migraine side effect, PHOTOPHOBIA!

I was fully aware that the light sensitivity and the way the headlights of oncoming cars and even the street lights and stop lights flare and hurt my eyes was a form of photophobia but now I have gotten to a point where the cell phone and computer screen are also painfully bright to me as well.

Walking down the hallway at work after coming out of a dark room I am now seeing the trim boards move like waves as I walk past them and returning to the dim lit room I now see not one but two massage tables briefly. I am able to adjust to the lighting in a few minutes with some time to focus but I feel as if I am becoming a vampire, suddenly preferring to come out of the building once the sun has completely set.

So, my obvious next step will be to see an optometrist, which is something I had been putting off since the migraines tend to effect my vision and it can change from day to day based on the migraine attacks. I will look into that this coming week.

In a Nut Shell

What seems to be working, the CBD oil and the Topamax, what does not seem to be working for me, the Triptans seem to help with the headaches about 50% of the time but really make me feel terrible, muscle pain and weakness and just an overall feeling that I do not like at all.

Another simple thing that I found on migraine forums is that in the UK the first line of treatment is 900 to 1,000mg of Aspirin taken with a Sugar Cola (sugar, not fructose corn syrup, so something like a Jones Soda or a Mexican Coke) and I have tried that twice now and both times it has stopped a migraine in its tracks.

I have since looked up the studies on Aspirin for migraines and there have been several peer reviewed studies where they compared 900 to 1,000 mgs of Aspirin to the Triptans and Placebo and found the Aspirin to be as effective as the Triptans, my Neurologist disagrees with that but the many studies shows this to be the case.

Last night I tried another in the Triptan family, within 30 minutes I felt my body get weak, I began to feel sick to my stomach, the pain in my head did not go away, in fact it got worse. I took some CBD oil and went to bed. I felt better this morning, but if the pain continues today I will simply use the Aspirin because I do need to function at work, I do not need to have my muscles effected by a my migraine medication.

I do hope that something along the way here may be of help to someone else that may be going through this or even to my daughter who is struggling with the migraines along with me. It turns out that there is indeed a genetic component to the condition and it unfortunately effects more women than men.

Most migraine studies have been largely conducted on men in the past but that trend is changing and I look forward to more research studies being done on women and more specifically on the hormonal triggers as that is often a very common trigger for many women.

Yours Always, In Health and Wellness!

Kristeen Anne Smart (formerly Kish)

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist



Migraine Journey Part 2 Its Been A Long February

Today I am Feeling a lot Better

It has taken me several days and a lot of trial and error to get to this point. Rewind to Tuesday’s last blog post, I went in for my brain scan with a migraine hiding behind my sunglasses.

The scan went well, I managed to hold still the entire time, they got my message about being unable to lay on my back without support under my knees and had everything ready when I got there.  The entire procedure only took about 15 minutes once they got my head and shoulders stabilized in whatever contraption they use to make sure you do not move around while they do the imaging.

The process was made more bearable by some head phones playing  old school 80s radio, I would have preferred  relaxing meditative instrumentals or ocean waves but some Phil Collins was not a bad way to set my mind at ease.

When the procedure was done I decided to head to the pharmacy to see if they had ever heard back on the dosage for the Maxalt for the migraine pain, they called the doctor again.

So I waited, in the corner hidden behind my sunglasses until someone at the pharmacy started suggesting to me that perhaps I should try contacting the doctor myself, he continued talking to me while my head was pounding and all I wanted to do was just get some Extra Strength Excedrin, some chocolate, and go to nice dark quiet place, so I did just that and left.

Later that afternoon the pharmacy texted that my med was ready, head was still pounding so I sent my daughter to pick it up for me, an hour after taking that I was still in pain, that evening I took two more Extra Strength Excedrin. The following morning I took another Maxalt and went to work suffering in pain.

At work I asked the manager on duty to put me down for a wellness massage as soon as possible, she not only did that she helped clear my schedule and get me off the clock so that I could go rest because by that time I was experiencing vertigo and nausea as well as the excruciating head pain.

The Massage focus was on head, neck, shoulders and back, a lot of neck and scalp specific work and believe me the muscles of the scalp were painful to the touch, especially the temporalis muscles and I was definitely feeling those areas of tension throughout the evening after the massage.

The pain continued though and by the next day I had given up on the meds aside from the daily preventative Topamax and changed course and started taking large amounts of Turmeric, Vitamin D3, B6, B12, Magnesium, and lots of water along with hemp CBD oil by the dropper as needed all day long.

By the following day I was able to use far less of it, I can still feel that I am not fully out of the woods yet, the pain is sill subtly throbbing in there, but the CBD seems to be making life far more bearable right now, so much so that I was able to pick up another shift at work today to make up for clearing my shift the other day.

Anyhow, This was just a quick update while the events of this week are still all to fresh in my mind… and a little timeline of events in case I forget them later:

Feb 7 met the neuro had visual migraine that evening

Feb 9 had migraine (have had pressure by right orbital bone since last visual migraine)

Feb 18 had irritability, sound and light sensitivity (I knew it was coming)

Feb19 woke with the migraine was MRI day, finally got the Maxalt (did Excedrin twice that day as well)

Feb 20 ouch still going Tried Maxalt again and Excedrin, got massage, most painful night ever! sound sensitive, light sensitive.

Feb 21 gave up on the Maxalt and Excedrin and used CBD and supplements, started feeling a little better, still dizzy.

Feb 22 still doing CBD and supplements, still mild headache, a bit off balance, some visual difficulty, light sensitive.

Feb 23 good morning Firday… how do I feel right now? my eye has been doing that twitching thing for so long that I totally forgot to mention it, its almost become such a daily thing that its not even a thing, so there is that, my eyelid has been twitching for the better part of this month, thank goodness no one seems to have noticed little lefty winky… I feel drained, there is still a feeling as if someone has a finger over the orbital bone by my right eye and there is a slight pain throbbing on the left side of my head. I also feel like there is a veil over my head, cant describe it better than that really.

I feel much better than I have all week and that is saying a lot, but I am not leaving for work without my CBD oil and I have ordered more, I am now realizing why I waited so long to seek treatment for my migraines, because I have done this in the past with similar results, what I was seeking this time is treatment options, not simply more pills. I will continue to update you if I do find out anything that works, so far CBD helps.

(Editing to add the events of the weekend)

Feb 24 Sunday evening at work the head pain continued mildly, growing in intensity with any activity, I was able to keep it under control with some deep breathing and closing my eyes whenever possible but I was still having visual disturbances in the form of tracers and seeing movement in the corners of my eyes.

It is now Monday Feb 25th and I have a new Dr P product being delivered today that I am excited to give a try later, a combination of CBD and Hops for anti-inflammatory properties, believe me at this point I am willing to give anything a try.

As for how I am feeling today, I feel like crap, this has been going on too long, my stomach aches, my head aches, it hurts to look at my cell phone, my computer, the outside world where the beautiful sun is shining, any white paper, any website with a dark background and yellow font, and website with a white background and black font, and that’s pretty much every website lol! Sound hurts, especially high pitched sounds like flutes or children’s squeals.

My vision is not terribly out of focus today, at least for the moment, it honesty changes from moment to moment. There is a constant pressure in my head, it gets more bearable if I sit totally still and do nothing at all, meditation or sleeping is preferable to anything else at this point. Bending down to pick something up makes it worse, movement, exercise, any exertion of energy seems to aggravate the headache, so its just best to be still and calm.

People have been asking me about the results of my brain scan, I do not have any answers because my next neuro appointment is not until the end of next month, its very difficult to get in to see the neurologist, which is why it is very difficult for migraine sufferers to find someone who specializes in this condition, there are very few and they are fully booked out for several weeks in advance. I will keep you posted as I find anything out!

In case you are wondering, the CBD I am currently using is Dr P’s Dark Chocolate Mint CBD Oil

Dr. P’s Dark Chocolate Mint CBD Oil

I trust both Barefut’s products and Dr P’s products so it was an easy choice for me, full spectrum, co2 extracted, no solvent, pure CBD.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Anne Smart (formerly Kristeen Anne Kish)

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist