Spiritual Meditation for Natural Migraine Relief
If your current medical regimen isn’t enough to treat migraine headaches, consider this natural complementary practice.
About 12 percent of the US population experiences migraine headaches – recurring attacks of moderate to severe pain that is three times more common in women than in men. Because anxiety and stress can be two triggers for the attacks, adding a stress reduction technique to your arsenal could be very beneficial.
Meditation is known to be one of the most effective forms of stress reduction and has been proved effective as a treatment for headache pain. Adding a spiritual component can make meditation more accessible to all. Not tied to any one religion, it is simply incorporating your own belief structure into the practice.
Spiritual meditation has been found to reduce the frequency of migraines and physiological reactivity to stress. A new study has found that it can be especially useful when combined with pharmacological interventions such as opiates or benzodiazepines that may only provide partial relief. And it may be a great natural alternative for those who cannot tolerate certain pain medications.
The study, which was published in the journal Behavioral Medicine, assessed 92 patients who had frequent migraine headaches (>2 per month). None had ever attempted meditation before the study. The participants practiced for 20 minutes per day over a 30 day period and maintained a “headache diary” to record headache frequency, severity and pain medication usage.
Migraine frequency was significantly decreased in the Spiritual Meditation group – who utilized a mantra such as “God is Love.” Other forms of meditation studied did also show benefits as well, such as a reduction in pain severity. All four groups displayed less reliance on analgesic medications over time.
Amy B. Wachholtz, Christopher D. Malone, Kenneth I. Pargament. Effect of Different Meditation Types on Migraine Headache Medication Use. Behavioral Medicine, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.1080/08964289.2015.1024601
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