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RetreatMigraine 2020 Summer Reading List

Bored with a long summer ahead? Try finding something new on the RetreatMigraine Summer Reading List. These books include ways to educate yourself about your disease and its history, try new recipes and even find great gifts to help kids understand chronic illness. These authors have all supported our community. Consider supporting them!

Throughout the summer we will prompt discussions of these books in our closed Facebook group as we work our way through these titles ourselves.

10: A Memoir of Migraine Survival by Danielle Newport Fancher

10: A Memoir of Migraine Survival

by Danielle Newport Fancher

Danielle Newport Fancher lives a double-life. In one life, she’s a smart, upbeat, and happy 30-year-old; her body is fit, she comes across as confident, and she always wears a smile. In her other life, invisible to the rest of the world, every minute presents a challenge to stay alive. That’s because she is at the mercy of her impulsive and unsympathetically cruel migraine brain.

Diagnosis Female: How Medical Bias Endangers Women's Health by Emily Dwass

Diagnosis Female: How Medical Bias Endangers Women's Health

by Emily Dwass

Why do so many women have trouble getting effective and compassionate medical treatment? Diagnosis Female examines this widespread problem, with a focus on misdiagnosis and gender bias.

Throughout the work, Emily Dwass profiles women whose stories illustrate how medical practitioners often dismiss their claims or disregard their symptoms. Because women were excluded from important medical research for centuries, doctors don’t always recognize that male symptoms and female symptoms can vary from issue to issue. Even today, most diagnostic tests and treatment plans are based on studies done on men. Throughout the book, women state that their voices do not matter, or worse, their concerns are greeted with skepticism or simply ignored when they seek help. The results can be devastating and long-lasting.

Examining the bias inherent in the system, Dwass offers measures women can take to protect their health and receive better care. She offers advice, too, for the medical community in addressing the problem, so that outcomes can improve all around.

Emily Dwass has written about health, food, and cultural issues for numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly. She also has written several television and movie scripts for the entertainment industry.

The Dizzy Cook: Managing Migraine with More Than 90 Comforting Recipes and Lifestyle Tips by Alicia Wolf

The Dizzy Cook: Managing Migraine with More Than 90 Comforting Recipes and Lifestyle Tips

by Alicia Wolf

From healthy living blogger and creator of “”, this cookbook is a must-have for anyone managing migraine as well as anyone who just loves to create delectable yet diet-friendly dishes. Inside the book you'll find ideas for every meal of the day, along with tips on how to get started; the best supplements for migraine prevention and treatment; common substitutions; travel tips; meal plans; and other indispensable resources. Learn to make Alicia's famous blueberry muffins, smoky carrot hummus, salsa verde chicken enchiladas, roasted curry cauliflower, chewy ginger cookies, and so much more. With The Dizzy Cook, you will be inspired to discover your kitchen open up to infinite possibilities for healthy, appetizing, migraine-safe comfort foods. Alicia Wolf is the creator behind the beloved blog “The Dizzy Cook”, one of the first sites to talk openly about life with chronic vestibular migraine from a patient's perspective.

Alicia also shares lifestyle tips and tricks for living with migraine disease that she's learned through research, trial and error, and speaking with some of the top neurologists, neurotologists, and ENT's in the nation.

Headache Healer's Handbook: A Holistic, Hands-On Somatic Self-care Program for Headache and Migraine Relief and Prevention by Jan Mundo

Headache Healer's Handbook: A Holistic, Hands-On Somatic Self-care Program for Headache and Migraine Relief and Prevention

by Jan Mundo

Jan Mundo’s mind-body program teaches headache and migraine sufferers how to relieve and prevent their symptoms naturally — without drugs and their side effects. Here she shares her powerful personalized, comprehensive program for the first time. In step-by-step instructions, she helps readers discover and prevent the triggers that perpetuate their headaches — and stop their pain on the spot with her unique hands-on therapy. In a caring and compassionate voice, she makes her techniques accessible to both occasional headache sufferers and those who have long felt misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Brimming with inspirational narratives, questionnaires, guidelines, tracking tools, and author-illustrated instructions.

In 1970 she developed a touch and concentration therapy for headaches and migraines, including her own. She overcame her own migraine cycles, which had increased at age 40, with mind-body self-care practices, from which she developed a holistic headache relief and prevention program. Her classes and lectures have been held at medical centers, universities, corporations, and conferences including New York Headache Center, UCSF Medical Center, Stanford University, Apple, LinkedIn, The Embodiment Conference, and Miles For Migraine.

Migraine: A History by Katherine Foxhall

Migraine: A History

by Katherine Foxhall

In Migraine, award-winning historian Katherine Foxhall reveals the ideas and methods that ordinary people and medical professionals have used to describe, explain, and treat migraine since the Middle Ages. Touching on classical theories of humoral disturbance and medieval bloodletting, Foxhall also describes early modern herbal remedies, the emergence of neurology, and evolving practices of therapeutic experimentation.

Foxhall persuasively argues that our current knowledge of migraine's neurobiology is founded on a centuries-long social, cultural, and medical history. This history, she demonstrates, continues to profoundly shape our knowledge of this complicated disease, our attitudes toward people who have migraine, and the sometimes drastic measures that we take to address pain.

Deeply researched and beautifully written, this fascinating and accessible study of one of our most common, disabling, and yet often dismissed disorders will appeal to physicians, historians, scholars in medical humanities, and people living with migraine alike.

Katherine Foxhall grew up in Devon, England, where she benefitted from a state comprehensive education, and a wonderful History teacher. She studied BA History at the University of Warwick, then specialised in the History of Medicine for her PhD. She has held research and lecturing posts at the University of Manchester, King’s College London, and the University of Leicester.

An expert in social and medical history, Katherine has written and spoken widely about the maritime experiences of Victorian convicts and emigrants; the histories of vaccination; medical experimentation; quarantine and medical borders; and migraine.

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health by Stephanie Weaver

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health

by Stephanie Weaver

Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviors such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources—shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful.

The Migraine Relief Plan encourages readers to eat within the guidelines while still helping them follow personal dietary choices, like vegan or Paleo, and navigate challenges, such as parties, work, and travel. A must-have resource for anyone who lives with head pain, this book will inspire you to rethink your attitude toward health and wellness.

Stephanie Weaver is a health and wellness coach, writer, and speaker. Her latest book The Migraine Relief Plan debuted in February, 2017 from Surrey Books. She lives in San Diego with her husband Bob and their golden retriever, Daisy.

Noah the Narwhal: A Tale of Downs and Ups by Judith Klausner

Noah the Narwhal: A Tale of Downs and Ups

by Judith Klausner

In Noah the Narwhal, Noah has good days, when he is productive and social, and pain days, when he needs to rest. His friends and family can find it difficult to handle the unpredictability, but they realize that having Noah in their lives is absolutely worth it!

Judith Klausner is a migrainey land mammal from Somerville, Massachusetts. She channels her experience of invisible disability (and everything else) into her creative endeavors. She often makes art using unusual materials from her surroundings and plays with her food both recreationally and professionally. When not creating works of art, she likes to throw fancy dress tea parties.

Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health by Joanna Kempner

Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health

by Joanna Kempner

In Not Tonight, Joanna Kempner argues that this general dismissal of migraine can be traced back to the gendered social values embedded in the way we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain. Because the symptoms that accompany headache disorders, like head pain, visual auras, and sensitivity to sound, lack an objective marker of distress that can confirm their existence, doctors rely on the perceived moral character of their patients to gauge how serious their complaints are. Kempner shows how this problem plays out in the history of migraine, from nineteenth-century formulations of migraine as a disorder of upper-class intellectual men and hysterical women to the influential concept of “migraine personality” in the 1940s, in which women with migraine were described as uptight neurotics who withheld sex, to contemporary depictions of people with highly sensitive “migraine brains.” Not Tonight casts new light on how cultural beliefs about gender, pain, and the distinction between mind and body influence not only whose suffering we legitimate, but which remedies are marketed, how medicine is practiced, and how knowledge about disease is produced.

Associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University, Kempner works at the intersection of medicine, science, gender, and the body. Kempner's research investigates knowledge production as cultural work, inscribed with and shaped by tacit cultural assumptions and social relations.

So Much More Than a Headache: Understanding Migraine Through Literature by Kathleen O'Shea

So Much More Than a Headache: Understanding Migraine Through Literature*

by Kathleen O'Shea

Unlike clinical materials, this anthology addresses the feelings and symptoms that the writers have experienced, sometimes daily. These pieces speak freely about the loneliness and helplessness one feels when a migraine comes on. The sufferer faces nausea, pain, sensitivity to light, and having the veracity of all these symptoms doubted by others. O’Shea, a professor of literature and a migraine sufferer herself, also includes an original essay of her own reflections.

Kathleen J. O'Shea is a Professor of English at Monroe Community College, in Rochester, NY, where she teaches literature, composition, and humanities and has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is a 42 year migraine sufferer.
*This title has not yet been released, but is available for pre-order.

Super Zoe the Migraine Hero by Lindsay Weitzel

Super Zoe the Migraine Hero

by Lindsay Weitzel

Zoe is a spunky, awesome kid who happens to get migraines. Sometimes, really bad ones.

When Zoe gets a migraine, she doesn't know if it will be a SO-SO day or a BUMMER day. When a BUMMER day happens, she has learned that if she does at least one thing that will put her in a better place tomorrow than she is today, it will turn into a SUPER day ... a day that she knows she can create.

Super Zoe the Migraine Hero empowers kids with migraines. It lets them know they are not alone. As their friend, Zoe reminds them they can be confident, happy and successful even when pain makes it challenging ... sometimes extremely challenging. The Zoe Mantra: Do at least one thing that will put me in a better place tomorrow than I am in today.

Dr. Lindsay Weitzel experienced chronic daily migraines from the time she was four years old until she was thirty. Her constant migraines caused enough damage to give her complex regional pain syndrome (a ceaseless pain like burning fire) down the right side of her face, head, neck, and arm. Lindsay believes that having no memory without daily pain gave her a unique perspective on living with and fighting off her disease. Lindsay has a Ph.D. in Analytical Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Nutrition. She works full-time as a Migraine Strategist and has opened a clinic dedicated to improving the lives of people suffering from chronic migraines. She also works as a migraine medical writer.

Why Mommy's Head Hurts: A Migraine Story by Ryan Williams

Why Mommy's Head Hurts: A Migraine Story

by Ryan Williams

Why Mommy’s Head Hurts tells the story of a young mother explaining to her child what can trigger her migraine. It uses the metaphor of a small creature called a Migran that turns into an angry Migraine under certain conditions. If the Migran eats cheese, drinks wine, sees a bright light, and other things, it can turn into a Migraine. This book is extremely helpful in explaining various migraine triggers to young children.

Ryan Williams is the director of patient engagement for StudyKIK, a pharmaceutical startup. He writes children’s books for multiple health conditions including Alzheimer’s Disease, migraines, Crohn’s Disease, and more. With grants from various pharmaceutical companies, he has been able to send these books to doctor offices, nursing homes, and other institutions around the country free of charge.

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