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Migraine Headaches Are A “Real” Pain for Suffers

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Living with chronic pain can be debilitating and depressing. Each day suffers face many battles that often make their symptoms worse. They often fight perceptions that their headaches are “made up in their heads” which only adds to the stress of their illness. The pounding, stabbing or throbbing aches in their head prevents headache suffers from working, socializing, and daily activities. The National Institute of Health reviewed several studies on hypnosis, concluding that it’s effective with some chronic pain, including tension headaches.

Yes, migraines are really a pain in the neck to live with. But validating that pain is real and is something that your mind creates can be healing. Migraine headaches are something your mind can control. The trick is to stop the pain before it stops you for moving on with your life. Often times individuals who suffer from migraine headaches feel that traditional medication does not relieve their symptoms –or they sometimes suffer adverse side effects. Current research has shown that hypnosis is a universally successful tool for as a pain management. Migraine sufferers learn to decrease the frequency and intensity of their headaches using self- and facilitated-hypnosis, mediation and guided imagery techniques.

During the CBS news segment Researchers Dr. Dara Jamieson, director of the Headache Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said studies show hypnosis can be beneficial in managing headaches, but it’s not a proven cure. The first step in treatment is identifying the unique triggers that individuals experience prior to the migraine. Once the patient and the hypnotherapist understand what a migraine feels like specifically to that person, what triggers its attacks, and other associated symptoms it is then that the hypnotherapist can make suggestions to be used to control the body’s functions and responses. Hypnosis may not be a cure, but it does reduce the frequency and intensity of pain.

RESEARCH:
Hypnosis is highly effective in the treatment of chronic migraine headaches. Hypnotic methods appear to be superior to standard treatment relying on pharmacological approaches alone. Patients treated with Hypnosis had a significant reduction in severity and the number of attacks compared to a control group treated with traditional medications References:
(1) Anderson, J.A., Backer, M.A, Dalton, R. (1975). “Migraine and Hypnotherapy.” International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 23, 48-58.
(2) Hammond C. (2000) The International Journal