The Migraine Dissolver
I was going to call this “the migraine buster”, but decided that it had negative connotations of an exploding head and we are probably trying to avoid this scenario! “Dissolver” is a more gentle approach.
This is a self help guide. You are the only person who can decide what is right for you. You are the only person who knows what thoughts you have – this is an “inside your head” issue. Although if you are not getting the progress you wish for, talking to somebody else may help you to sort through your feelings.
My most significant observation of people who suffer from migraines is that they are all conscientious, trustworthy and hardworking (or have been in the past). Therein lies the key: stress. These are people whom expect a lot of themselves and are often in the position where others expect a lot of them as well.
As with any illness or problem, the solution lies in figuring out what you want, not what you don’t want. We get more of what we concentrate on. So if you were to concentrate on the fact that you get migraines and don’t like them…guess what you get more of? For some people, this may be the hardest part – putting what you want in positive terms and changing your self talk to match this. So I will give you a few hints. You could wish for peace, a calm mind, comfort, or relaxation. It is worth the effort to formulate in your own words what your goal is and then you have something to work towards.
The second aspect we need to address is the pattern to your episodes. Does this coincide with work? For instance, a friend has recently told me that she gets a migraine on the weekends.
A lot of the time, migraines are our body’s way of shutting us down for a while. Those of you who are responsible and reliable keep yourself “together” at work and then virtually collapse at the weekend. This suggests to me that you need to find some sort of release valve on a daily or even hourly basis to give your body/mind time out as a preventative measure.
The methods I use for defying illness and concentrating on wellness relate to the whole body. But the most important strategy is using our mind. Yet with migraines, this is the part of the body that is affected. So, I feel that the best way of dealing with this is to concentrate on prevention.
There are an almost infinite number of strategies that you could use. There are many techniques, and most people will need to use a combination of these. It may be that instead of a miraculous end to your migraines, that you find that the severity and frequency of migraines diminishes the more you practice relaxation techniques. Slow steady progress is fine. So long as you are improving your situation, this is good. The last thing you need to do is add to your stress by stressing about being stressed!
How long have you been experiencing migraines for? Years, or decades? This is not something that is going to change overnight. You need to change your pattern, in some cases, your whole way of life! Yes, I know this is scary. But ask yourself “how badly do I want/need this change”. If migraines have come on suddenly with a particular job, or way of life, maybe you have a new personal relationship or your home conditions have changed, maybe at work you are working with a different person…you know deep down inside what or who it is that is having this effect on you. I’m not suggesting that you quit your job or separate from your partner, but I’m suggesting that somehow the way this is arranged needs to be changed. Honesty with people is usually the best policy. Don’t accuse them of anything, but tell them that you are feeling uncomfortable, that way you take ownership of the problem. Then you can “ask” them if they can think of some way to help you. It is amazing how the majority of people love to solve problems, they love to think that they are helping, even if they do not know you very well or possibly not even like you.
When you are experiencing a migraine, go ahead and take whatever prescription pain killers you usually use. The advice I have for you here is of a long term nature. You cannot just suddenly hope to take on these concepts – they are preventative measures. You need to do the work on yourself when you are well, in order to stay well.
Headaches and migraines are associated with a thought pattern of self-criticism and fear. As I have mentioned, people that suffer from migraines tend to set very high standards for themselves. It is important that you “talk” to yourself as if you were encouraging a four year old – in fact the four year old version of yourself. You need to reinforce ideas of being safe and positive – praise yourself for your accomplishments instead of criticizing yourself for those things you have not yet achieved. Try to relax and accept that success will come to you in time if you focus on putting your intuition into practice.
Before you make a relaxation plan for use throughout your day you will need to select times when this can easily be slotted into your routine. Many people say that they have not got time to stop. But most people will at least have a chance to go to the bathroom. This can be an ideal time to lock the door, relax, take a few deep breaths and repeat a couple of affirmations (either out loud or in your head). I can hear you asking “What good will that do?” Well, maybe nothing if you are not open to the suggestion and do not do it with meaning…but I ask you “What harm will it do?” I’m told that it takes a month to start a new habit – until a new ritual becomes second nature. And it would probably take at least this amount of time before you would begin to notice an improvement in the way you are feeling.
At times when you have a little more time available, say at the weekends, or during a meal break, you may have time for a small meditation. Many people are scared off at the very mention of the word, but it doesn’t mean that you have to sit cross legged with your hands in the prayer position and hum (although you can if you wish). A meditation is a calming of the mind. Take the time to sit comfortably, close your eyes if you feel that this will help you to shut out people or activities around you. Of course choosing a quiet place away from others is best. Take a few deep breaths and consciously quiet your mind, the aim is to slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Some people find that counting backwards from 300 gives them something mundane to focus on and helps to shut out random thoughts. If you must think about something, think about nothing, nothing but fresh air, open space and maybe sunshine.
You will need a relaxation plan at the beginning and end of your day. Upon waking and just before sleep. Think about your goals for wellbeing and write these down as bullet points. Then you can spend a few minutes thinking about how it would feel, smell, taste and look like to be in your ideal situation. Slow your breathing and consciously relax each part of your body before bed. In the morning – you will have more motivational messages to give yourself – a little like a pep talk from your coach (yourself). Meditation and self-hypnosis can be very helpful. There are some excellent Cds available for sale through many outlets.
A gratitude journal is also a useful tool. I have written in depth on this in another article. Basically it is a list of everything that you love in your life, especially people and situations. It is a great reference tool when you are feeling down.
Exercise is also important for our wellbeing. My Gran was always extolling the virtues of walking – getting fresh air. Now, decades later, I read scientific research that concluded that our body’s uptake of oxygen is 25% more outdoors than in a gym. Gran may not have used the tricky words and statistics to back it up, but she sure was on the right track! It doesn’t need to be a hard out workout, just 20 – 30 minutes gentle exercise a day will make a big difference.
You will also benefit from an injection of fun. For some people – fun is also exercise such as a dance class. As ever, the choice is yours and it is important that you choose something that appeals to you, not what you think you “should” be doing! I have written in depth about dreams and fantasy in another article.
During my research, I came across an unusual solution to migraines. I would not usually bother to repeat such advice, but this remedy came from a very reliable source. So all I can say is “it’s worth a try”. The suggestion was that there is an element of sexual frustration with people who suffer from migraines and that masturbation can really help. My thoughts on this are that at a time when you are in deep pain and do not feel like moving, this would not be a top priority for you. But maybe it could be useful as a preventative measure? This is definitely not a strategy for use during your break at work, but one to save for a weekend! I will say no more on this matter.
In summary, these are the steps that I think you should take to dissolve migraines:
1. Define your goal (what you want in positive terms)
2. Record any patterns
3. Make a relaxation plan for use during breaks
4. Make a twice daily relaxation plan (waking and bedtime)
5. Keep a gratitude journal (or a silly positive one)
6. Learn to delegate
7. Exercise and make some fun (separately or together)
7. Dream and fantasize about the life you could have
If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more articles that I have written I invite you to visit my website 🙂
I am a survivor from a number of illnesses, including Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I live happily in defiance of illness with my family on a kiwifruit orchard near Tauranga, New Zealand, living the life I love and doing the things I enjoy and believe are important.
I am the author of “The Crystal Diary” written about my late daughter, published in April 2012. “Living Happily in Defiance of Illness” was published in August 2012, it is healing guidebook for people affected by chronic illness. Both books are available in printed format and the Defiance book is available in EBook format for instant download.