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Are our migraines all in our head?

I am exploring mindfulness, spirituality, and the power of thought as a potential way to reduce my migraines. I am curious to know if anyone else has had success in these areas and what they did to reduce or maybe manage their pain and the associated symptoms that come with chronic migraines.

At one time, this topic would have triggered me. If anyone dared to tell me that my migraines might be in my head I would lose my mind. I think it is important that when discussing this to remember that this statement doesn't mean "it's my fault and if I stopped thinking about x they would stop" it's more "is there a component to my migraines that comes from my emotions, my psyche, my brain?"

What I have come to learn, so far, is that I have a lot of fear built up around my migraines. It has been 30 years. I am done with feeling sick, having sore eyes, feeling dopey either from medication or the brain fog that comes with my migraines. From my experiences I have learned to keep my guard up. I am often anxious about when the next time a migraine might come, if I am blessed to not have one, and when I do have one I am focussed on not making it worse.

I am learning, through mindfulness, to be present, to take some deep breaths, and relax (this sounds easier than it is, especially during a severe migraine). I will take medication and put on a guided meditation which relaxes my whole body and allows the medication to work.

Then there is spirituality. I am not religious. I believe that there is something bigger out there that connects us all, an energy, an essence, a presence. I believe we are all connected by this energy and this energy can help us live life in the most fulfilling way. I came to this belief because I feel the emotions and feelings of others and I wonder if this is part of that energy. Throughout my life I have felt overwhelmed when around those who are struggling. I wonder if my migraines are a way to stop the overflow of emotions, almost a guard rail to keep them back. I have found that when in community with others who share my spiritual beliefs, I get relief from my migraines. I wonder, is this a placebo effect or is it real?

I am not sure. I am curious to hear the stories of others and what you believe.


  1. HI
    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts with the community - we're glad you're here!
    You're not alone in being fearful of the next attack. This is common in our community and hard to deal with. We have a wonderful article here that details this in depth;

    Here's the thing, migraine is thought to be a neurological disease falling on a spectrum from mild to severely debilitating, impacting our entire body. Having said that mindfulness, meditation, and so on can play an important role in our migraine management plan. I don't believe that these practices will "cure" migraine, but can go a long way in modulating our emotions, stress, anxiety and depression - all of which seem to accompany migraine disease. Let me share our information with you on mindfulness and complementary therapies;
    I'm sure others will be along soon to share their experiences. Please let me know what you think and I'm wishing you a low pain day, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

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