Tuesday, 20 November 2012

“My Bra Is Giving Me A Migraine”

Hello, boys. I thought that would get your attention.

I must confess my bra is not currently giving me a migraine and the bra in question, in fact, belongs to a friend. Let us call this friend Joan.

Let us also change to the past tense.

Last month after a long day at work, Joan made a pit stop at Rigby & Peller (lingerie sellers to The Queen) to stock up on some much needed undergarments. Now Joan and I can both be described as voluptuous vixens with vast valleys of cleavage, so not for us the silly triangles of flimsy cloth held together with dental floss. No, we need under-wiring and reinforcement. This is where Rigby & Peller comes in, they make beautiful lingerie for real women, corsets the likes of which Dita Von Tess would be proud. And yes I bet her Majesty, The Queen, rocks some snazzy matching ensembles. 

Doesn't Joan look slightly different/familiar???
What does all this have to do with a migraine? Well, Joan had joyfully purchased two fabulous braziers (really quite beautiful) and decided to wear one on the train journey home to the Cotswolds (where she lived with her brood.) Unfortunately, she had been attended by a new, over zealous saleswoman/fitter. This young saleswoman decided to hoik up the straps, and pin Joan in so tightly she could barely breath the whole journey home. She also felt she owed it to her new, beautiful bra to sit upright; in a Grace Kelly fashion. To be honest I’m quite surprised her Madona-esq conical cleavage didn’t blind passing commuters.

Before Joan’s train had even pulled into the station, her neck and shoulders were a fiery furnace, and a steel band of pain was wrapping itself around her head. It was then I got the (now infamous) text: “my bra is giving me a migraine.” I rang Joan immediately and told her to take off the offending item at once! Obviously not in front of fellow passengers. (Don’t get too excited, she didn’t strip on the train.) You see she wasn’t used to such forced, upright posture, nor was she used to having thick bra straps digging into her shoulder muscles. Remember, these bras are well made. I like to imagine she’d also been jutting out her chin to complete the look. All combined Joan had been holding herself, mainly due to an ill fitted bra, in an awkward position for about 1.5 hours. Even Gypsy Rose Lee wouldn’t have had the abs and back muscles to hold a pose for that long.

Once safely home and unhooked, I told Joan to apply heat and her TENS unit. She also took her prescribed ZOMIG (triptan) and luckily the migraine wasn’t too bad.

What can we learn from this saga of the bra and the migraine? Well, bad posture, awkwardly held positions can (for some) trigger migraines and certain headaches (such as Tension Type Headaches and Cervicogenic Headaches.) Joan is not alone, the Daily Mail recently reported on this very issue! The headline was "Why your bra could be a pain in the neck" Slouching can also trigger headaches, so if you have to sit at a computer for a long time make sure you have the correct ergonomic set up (see image below), including the right bra. Obviously. I want to make it crystal clear that I still buy all my bras from Rigby & Peller (and Victoria Secret's because, well, they have my initials on!) as they are, usually, the best fitted and made. Joan was just unlucky that day with a new, inexperienced, fitter.
Yoga, Alexander Technique and Pilates can all help with gentle strengthening and posture (if you don’t have an acute injury in which case you should probably see a Physiotherapist or Osteopath etc.)

You’ll be pleased to hear that Joan re-adjusted the straps on her bra, is working on her posture, and is now living happily ever after with her Rigby & Peller purchase. 


  1. now i know why ive religiously visited rigby and peller every 6 months for a size check and new stock for the last few years!!

  2. Good bras are hard to find. This one didn't have the annoying floppy straps. Stays in place. No riding up or twisting around!

  3. I hope you're all going to relax by the pool and have a BBQ with family and friends. I'll be heading up to my parents house to relax. I'm so glad to be feeling better and can't wait to finish out the school year strong. large bras


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