Welcome to the Exercise Forum
Welcome to the Exercise Forum
Years ago (1990s) at work one day I noticed the migraine eye aura starting to come on as the usual lunch time was getting near. I had progressed from a jogger to a runner of sorts and there was an extended period where I would regularly put in a 30 to 40 minute run during the lunch period. I went out for the run anyway with no problem. The aura went away and the migraine never developed. That was the first and most direct challenge I had put to an oncoming migraine and it was successful. For over 30 years I have continued to be a regular aerobic exerciser and also have continued to occasionally experience the eye aura that in earlier years would develop into a full fledged migraine when I was unable to go out for a run. However, for many years now I have successfully used a different challenge to the migraine process and have ceased having migraine headaches. This newer approach came from Dr. John E. Sarno’s book, THE MIND BODY PRESCRIPTION, Healing the Body, Healing the Pain, (1998). Dr. Sarno discusses his own migraine experiences and applies his mind-body prescription to resolving the agony. He tells how his thoughts on what anger he might be repressing turned off the migraine process (page 112). With that practice his eye auras have never continued to the headache stage. I tried it and to this day it is working for me.
I have a similar experience. I suffer from Cluster Headaches and when I feel twinges, or other indicators that one is coming on I can run for about 20 minutes and it breaks the attack. It hasn’t failed. It seems to be about a 12 hour period until I may feel symptoms again, but usually it’s gone until the next attack.
Exercise is one of the best preventives we have at our disposal. That being said, many people also have exercise triggers. It often takes quite a bit of playing around with techniques and exercise timing and time to figure out where your boundaries are.
As to Dr Sarno and his book, no one will ever try to deny the mind/body connection. That said, Mr Sarno is not preventing Migraine, he is having acephalgic Migraines despite his “repressed anger” approach.
Migraine is a genetic neurologic disease – more genes connected to it are literally being announced every week lately – good news for those of us with Migraine disease!
Eliminating triggers and following a careful Migraine management plan has been proven to be the best course for the majority of patients. This includes exercise. The idea that this genetic disease or its symptoms are the result of repressed anger is ridiculous.
We can have all kinds of triggers. Anger and stress can cause us to do things we might not normally do, such as ignoring triggers or doing things that may act as a Migraine triggers. When this happens, we can expect more frequent attacks. However, it isn’t repressed anger that causes this, it our triggers making us more susceptible to an attack.