The Challenge: Many US Americans suffer from migraines which means lost workdays, missed social activities, etc.
The Science: Research shows that regular meditation practice can reduce migraine frequency, intensity, and prevent them from recurring.
The Solution: Implement a short, daily meditation practice and ditch your Rx for good!
But there’s good news: the ancient practice of meditation is an effective way to treat chronic pain and stress. And there’s science to back it up:
A study by Herbert Benson (M.D.), Helen P. Klemchuck (A.B.) and John R Graham (M.D.) demonstrates that daily meditation practice can reduce headache pain, and reduce occurrences by at least 37%, with some participants completely eliminating their headaches over the long-term. According to recent research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, people who practice meditation regularly also have less severe and shorter headaches – about 3 hours less per headache.
How is this so? Meditation yields boundless health benefits.
Here are a couple of key ways meditation can work to prevent and cure migraines.
- Brain imaging shows that meditation can be more effective than morphine at reducing pain. During meditation, activity in an area of the brain critically involved with sensing and processing pain cannot be detected through brain scans, suggesting that the “pain center” in the brain shuts down for this period. Meditation also increases brain activity in areas that shape the experience of pain as messages are relayed from the body to the brain, reducing the sensation of pain.
- Meditation fights migraines from the sources: stress and tension. Since most headaches are caused by tension in the neck, shoulders, jaw, and eyes, as well as stress, relaxing the body and mind regularly is essential to eliminating them for good. Pain medication only masks the problem, and usually at a high economic cost. Research tells us that meditation is an effective stress-reduction technique. Plus it’s FREE and always will be!
New to meditation? Here are some short, guided meditations and a new, user-friendly app to get started!
Loving Kindness Meditation
Body Scan Meditation
Sattva Meditation App
There are many types of meditation out there, so explore them until you find one that suits you. What makes the practice effective is simply doing it. Worry less about if you’re “doing it right” and just focus on relaxing. Practice multiple times a week – or everyday – to kick your headaches to the curb for good.
Remember that other factors such as diet and other daily habits affect migraines as well. For best results, it’s important to know what triggers them for you and avoid those things, in addition to a practicing a healthy lifestyle and meditating, of course.
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