Hypnotherapy for Severe Headaches and Migraines
What are Migraines?
A Migraine is a moderate to severe painful headache that is characterised by throbbing sensations in a single, or multiple areas of the head and neck. It is considered a chronic neurological disorder due to its often recurring nature. About a third of affected individuals experience aura-perceiving migraines, resulting in certain disturbances that signal to the person that the migraine is about to happen.
Stages of Migraines
A migraine has Four Stages. In each stage various symptoms are present. While some people experience all of the stages, others do not. The Prodrome Stage is felt about a day or two before a major migraine attack. Some of the symptoms include:
- Food cravings
- Stiffness of the neck and jaw
The Aura Stage occurs before or during the headaches. Auras are typically visual disturbances like light flashes. At times, auras can be sensory, motor, or even verbal disturbances. The aura stage includes symptoms such as:
- Flashes of light, bright spots, different shapes and other visual phenomena
- Temporary loss of vision
- Abnormal sensations, such as pins and needles in the arm or leg
- Speech problems
The Attack Stage may last from 4 hours to as long as 3 days. During this the following symptoms may be experienced:
- Throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head
- Feeling nauseous and about to vomit
- Being sensitive to light, sounds and smells
- Blurred vision
You may be taking medications in order to relieve the pain or even prevent migraines from occurring. Pain-relieving medications include pain-relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen, and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen are common. There are also over-the-counter drugs that use a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine and are marketed specifically for migraine sufferers. While these could be effective for mild to moderate migraines, some suggest that they do not always have any effect on severe headaches and migraines.
Hypnosis as a Form of Treatment for Migraines
There are a number of studies that suggest hypnosis is an effective treatment for migraines. Below is part of an abstract and a link to a relevant study:
“This paper provides an updated review of the literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of headaches and migraines, concluding that it meets the clinical psychology research criteria for being a well-established and efficacious treatment and is virtually free of the side effects, risks of adverse reactions and ongoing expense associated with medication treatments.” <link>
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“Migraine.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 May 2014. Web. 31 May 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine>.
Conrad Stoppler, Melissa, MD. “Migraine Headache.” MedicineNet. N.p., 4 Dec. 2002. Web. <www.onhealth.com/migraine_headache>.
“Migraine.” MayoClinic. N.p., 4 June 2013. Web. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/definition/con-20026358>.
“Hypnosis for the Relief and Control of Pain.” American Psychological Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2014. <http://www.apa.org/research/action/hypnosis.aspx>.
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