Migraines and stress

Some people never get a migraine. Some people get one occasionally. But for a few unlucky souls, migraines are a frequent hell of pain and misery.

A migraine can be so bad that it is accompanied by nausea, sight disturbances, insomnia, and more. A bad one can completely disable you, making it impossible to think or to do anything practical. Bed is generally the only option, where pain tablets at best reduce the effect of a migraine a bit.

So, what about hypnotherapy — can hypnotherapy and related therapies help with a migraine?

Before we can answer this, it’s important to understand where migraines come from.

Causes of migraines

Another migraine

Unfortunately, migraines are poorly understood. What specifically causes migraines is not known, although there are theories. (The NHS has excellent information about migraines, which is worth reading in the first instance.)

Although we don’t understand migraines, we do know that many different triggers can cause a migraine. To complicate matters, each person is different; while an event might cause a severe migraine in one person, the same event will do nothing at all in another.

Your migraines

You might have just the one trigger; for example, I’ve known people to get migraines from coffee and nothing else. For them, the solution was simple and obvious.

Or, you might have several triggers, and any one of them will give you migraine.

You might have a migraine only after a specific combination of triggers sets it off. One trigger by itself does nothing, but two or three in combination do it.

The good news is that you can discover your personal triggers. If you keep a diary and pay attention to detail, maybe with the help of your doctor, nurse or other health professional, you can usually identify your personal triggers. If you’re lucky, it will be something simple that you can address easily, or your doctor might be able to give you some medication that removes that trigger as a source.

Stress as a cause of migraines

One of the biggest causes of migraines in our modern world seems to be stress. That’s hardly surprising, given the degree of unnatural stress that modern civilisation puts on us.

So, it’s no wonder that a good many people who suffer from migraines find that their biggest trigger is stress. Even when stress isn’t the trigger, a person might find that stress makes the migraine worse or causes the migraine to take longer before it heals.

You might think that learning to manage your stress would be an obvious answer. But, for these people, it’s not enough to learn how to manage stress or to learn to cope with it. Merely coping with and managing stress is not going to make that migraine go away!

It’s important, instead, to learn how to reduce stress and how to reduce the impact of stress.

(This is true for everyone who suffers from stress, of course, not just people with stress-related migraines.)

So, how can you learn to reduce stress and the impact of stress? This brings us back to the original question.

How to reduce stress?

Obviously, the best approach is to simply eliminate the stress points from your life, but in our modern world, we can’t easily do that — we have to earn money, look after children without the extended support that used to come with small close-knit communities, deal with traffic jams and unnatural noise pollution, and much more. You might also have special circumstances, such as an ill child or a job redundancy. These are not things that we can just walk away from and forget about.

So, when we have stresses that we can’t eliminate from our lives, we need to turn to something that will help us.

Life coaching is often a great way to discover new approaches to the same problem that you’ve been struggling with for a long time, and that is always an idea worth exploring. But, even then, you need to deal with stressful situations even while you are trying to solve them.

When can hypnotherapy and related therapies help with a migraine?

Hypnotherapy and related therapies are excellent for learning how to reduce stress, and how to lessen the impact of stress. This means that we can use these therapies to help when migraines are caused, or made worse, by stress.

Using therapy to change your automatic or unconscious reactions to events in order to reduce and, at times, even eliminate your stress responses, will help you to reduce your levels of migraines. In some cases, where migraines have been caused entirely by stress, some of my clients have found that it has led to the complete elimination of migraines.

If you suffer from migraines, and you have discovered that stress causes or worsens your migraines, hypnotherapy is an excellent option for you to look into.

Feel free to contact me if you have a question or want to explore whether or not this approach would be beneficial for you.

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