Posted on Jun 13th, 2006

Have you ever had a Migraine Headache? These are very severe and painful headaches. Not all bad headaches are Migraine headaches. A “true” migraine headache is a vascular headache which is associated with an increase of blood flow to the scalp and brain. Often these headaches are felt on only one side of the head. They often have “prodromal” symptoms which can tell you that a migraine headache is about to get started. These precursors may include: can changes to your visual patterns, sensitivity to light, odd feelings in the neck/head, sometimes feelings in the stomach, possibly dizziness, etc. If you can “catch” a migraine headache before it starts, you can sometimes prevent them and can help to minimize the headaches that occur.

Often Migraine headaches are connected to tension headaches. To help reduce the tension headache portion, you must learn to relax the muscle groups that go into spasm and contribute to the tension headache. Regular relaxation with the awareness and skills to release tension from these muscle groups will be very helpful. The Migraine portion of your headache activity can also respond to preventive actions of relaxation training with an emphasis on redirecting blood flow away from the scalp and brain, sending the blood flow into the hands and the feet. A combination of Autogenic training (or another effective relaxation with visualization) and temperature training biofeedback can teach you how to “let go” and allow the blood to flow down the arms and legs, through dilated blood vessels, and then pulse more freely into your fingers and toes. This skill takes time and practice, but it is well worth the effort.

One client of mine was a 45 year old registered nurse who reported to me that she was getting up to 3 migraine headaches a week, when her doctor referred her to me for biofeedback training. She said that the headaches were so distracting that she was losing concentration and afraid that she might over or under medicate her patients. I taught her Autogenic training Phrases and showed her how to use temperature training biofeedback to learn how to send her blood flow more freely into her hands and her feet. She really understood the principles and began the daily practice. Her headaches pattern had existed for 25 years, but miraculously within one week she learn to control her migraine headache activity. As long as she maintained her practice of Autogenic Training, on a regular basis, she was able to prevent the headaches from returning. She was very pleased. I have seen this kind of response in other clients. Most clients report that the skills for relaxation and hand/foot warming take longer than one week. It is more common to develop this skill over time which usually takes 8-12 weeks of regular practice.

Read more about Autogenic training and temperature training biofeedback in other tip articles. If you are using these for what you believe to be Migraine Headaches, it is best to consult your physician and get examined to make certain that your headaches are not related to some other physical challenge. Please be careful and take good care of yourself.

I would recommend the guided relaxations on the CD’s: Autogenic Training Phrases and/or Stress Management for Headaches. Request a temperature trainer for biofeedback and learn how to redirect blood flow into your hands and feet as you listen to the guided relaxations on your CD’s.

L. John Mason, Ph.D. is the author of the best selling "Guide to Stress Reduction." Since 1977, he has offered Executive Coaching and Training.

Please visit the Stress Education Center’s website at http://www.dstress.com for guided relaxation CD’s, articles, free ezine signup, and learn about the new telecourses that are available. If you would like information or a targeted proposal for training or coaching, please contact us at (707) 795-2228.

If you are looking to promote your training or coaching career, please investigate the Professional Stress Management Training and Certification Program for a secondary source of income or as career path.

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