I’m one of those millions of Americans that suffers from migraines. Imagine anything bright feeling like someone just kicked you in the head. Plus, you get enough prescription medication to knock out a baby elephant.
There’s some good news in the fight against migraines. Meditation. Yeah, deep relaxation can help shorten your migraine. I know, we are all thinking how in the world am I supposed to meditate with this headache? Well, it beats another pill bottle. Maybe holistic health is part of the answer for migraine headaches.
The new study is out in the latest online edition of the journal, Headache. A team of researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center looked at meditation as a possible treatment path for migraines.
Dr. Rebecca Erwin Wells, lead author of the study, talked about stress as a trigger and meditation. “Stress is a well-known trigger for headaches and research supports the general benefits of mind/body interventions for migraines, but there hasn’t been much research to evaluate specific standardized meditation interventions.”
This study was designed to test a meditation and yoga treatment called mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR. I’m pretty sure more than half the country could stand a healthy dose of MBSR. Yoga for exercise and meditation to relieve stress. Damn docs, write that prescription.
Meditation and Yoga Study
Setting up the study, the team of researchers selected 19 adults. Those selected were randomly assigned to two groups. Ten participants received the MBSR treatment, while the others acted as the control. Each participant maintained a detailed headache log throughout the study.
The MBSR participants experienced 1.4 fewer migraines per month, and they were less severe. Granted, this study is too small to make a firm recommendation, but it’s yoga and meditation. Not like a study is going to ever come out saying those two can kill you.
“For the approximate 36 million Americans who suffer from migraines, there is big need for non-pharmaceutical treatment strategies, and doctors and patients should know that MBSR is a safe intervention that could potentially decrease the impact of migraines.”
Study participants that went through the treatment protocol also reported shorter headaches.
Out of the multitude of preventatives, abortive and rescue medications, who can argue with tossing in some stress reducing meditation and yoga?