Hypnotherapy as an effective cure for migraines
An overview of migraines
Migraines are characterised by a throbbing and violently painful headache that usually affects only one side of the head. In addition to the headache, you may also experience other symptoms such as:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light, sound and some smells
There are also very rare headache-free migraines in which you experience the above symptoms and dizziness but no headache.
There is often an aura that precedes the headaches characterised by a tingling sensation on one side of the face, an arm or leg, flashes of light, and blind spots.
Some bouts of migraines are short and last a couple of hours while the more severe attacks may persist up to three days or more.
Although migraines predominantly affect adults, there are many children as young as 7 that experience the headaches and associated symptoms. In fact, many of the adults that suffer migraines started to experience the symptoms in their childhood or adolescence.
Among adults, women are more likely to suffer migraines especially when there are sharp fluctuations in hormones.
Due to the intensity and length of the headache sessions, migraines can greatly affect your ability to perform any duties. Migraines can therefore impede your performance at work or school if it happens during work or school hours.
Causes of migraines
For a long time migraines were attributed to intracranial pressure. Further research, however, revealed this to be false. Although no specific cause has been identified, current studies indicate that there are several genetic, biological and environmental factors that predispose people to migraines.
Some of the factors include:
- Genetics: You are likely to develop migraines if someone in your family had the same condition.
- Gender: young boys are more prone to migraines than young girls. However, at puberty the tables are turned due to the effect of hormones on girls’ bodies. From then till adulthood, women’s likelihood of developing migraines is three times that of men.
- Food-related triggers: Some food contents such as cheeses, and highly processed foods have been shown to trigger migraines especially when consumed continuously.
- Food additives: Some food additives and preservatives such as aspartame, and monosodium glutamate cause allergic reactions in some people which triggers migraine episodes.
- Drinks: if you have a migraine problem, you might notice regular attacks after drinking caffeinated beverages or some types of alcohol especially wine
- Physical overexertion: Intense physical activities often set off migraine attacks
- Medications: Some medications that either affect the hormonal balance, interfere with central nervous system or dilate veins and arteries may cause migraines.
- Stress and anxiety: intense psychological pressure from your work, school, or even personal life increase your risk of developing migraines
- Drastic changes in weather conditions and other environmental factors
- Sensory stimulants: Prolonged exposure to very bright lights, flashy lights, intense smell or loud sounds can lead to migraines
Medical treatments for migraines
Doctors may use any of the following protocols to treat your migraine attacks:
- Symptomatic treatment: The doctor will give you medication to ease the headache and other symptoms
- Medication to take when you experience an aura in order to prevent the migraine from occurring
- Preventative medication to use for the long-term treatment
Unfortunately, the effectiveness of most of these treatment methods wears off over time. In fact, some of them may end up triggering the migraines if taken for a long time.
Others may have side effects such as: nausea, heart problems, and hormonal imbalance.
Medical hypnotherapy as a treatment for migraines
Hypnotherapy is designed to help you access the subconscious part of your brain where anxiety, stress and related emotions are believed to originate. A hypnotherapist can therefore guide you through a series of practices to help you treat the anxiety or stress right in the mind without the need for other medications.
Based on this knowledge of hypnotherapy, experts have been studying the application of hypnotherapy to cure migraines and other types of pain for decades. So far, the studies show that hypnotherapy is very effective especially in treating migraine attributable to stress, or environmental factors.
Even in instances where the migraine is genetic-related or due to hormonal fluctuations, hypnotherapy has proved to be an effective either on its own or used to complement medications thus accelerate the healing process.