Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Suffering In Chronic Migraineurs: Study

Migraine Meditation

Studies Show Meditation Helps Migraineurs (1)

A study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, examined 19 adults suffering from chronic migraines in order to find the effects of mindfulness meditation on those experiencing chronic headaches and to test the safety and feasibility of such a practice.

The findings of this study were published online in journal Headache.  Such a test was conducted mainly keeping in mind the hypothesis that stress-trigger in migraines could be addressed mindfulness meditation. As per lead author of the study, Rebecca Erwin Wells, assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist, “Stress is a well-known trigger for headaches and research supports the general benefits of mind/body interventions for migraines, but there hasn’t been much research to evaluate specific standardized meditation interventions”. (2)

The study however demonstrated that mindfulness meditation did indeed help alleviate migraine pains and that they were a safe way to reduce the intensity and frequency of the migraines.

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction or MBSR used yoga, mindfulness meditation and body awareness in a standardized 8-week program on the migraining volunteers. The migraineurs were divided into any of the 2 groups. They were then evaluated on disability, self-efficacy and mindfulness. After this was done, one group received conventional or mainstream migraine management care while the other group took part in the 8-week MBSR program. The MBSR program required the candidates to practice their mindfulness techniques for 45 minutes every day for at least 5 days a week. They were exposed to 1 instruction class every week as well. During this 8-week program all the participants noted how frequent their migraine episodes were, how long they lasted, how intense they were.

The researchers found that the patients who completed the MBSR program tended to have 1.4 fewer headaches per month that were less severe. Not only this, the episodes lasted less longer, were less disabling, the migraineurs felt a better sense of control over the events. Besides this, the program with its techniques proved safe as no adverse side effects were observed during the trial.

However, larger sample sizes and population with varied ethnicity, age groups, gender and socio-economic strata need to be studied for MBSR to be integrated into the mainstream and conventional treatment package for migraineurs.

According to Prof. Wells, “For the approximate 36 million Americans who suffer from migraines, there is a big need for non-pharmaceutical treatment strategies, and doctors and patients should know that MBSR is a safe intervention that could potentially decrease the impact of migraines.” (3)

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Woman Doing Yoga On Rock Stock Photo by Adamr; Free Digital Photos; Web September 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Healthy_Living_g284-Woman_Doing_Yoga_On_Rock_p100414.html
  2. Migraine sufferers may find meditation helps; Medical News Today: Web September 2014; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282441.php
  3. Meditation May Mitigate Migraine Misery;Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center – News & Media Resources; Web September 2014; http://www.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2014/Meditation_May_Mitigate_Migraine_Misery.htm

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Tackling Migraines Quickly With Beta-Blocker Eye Drops

Eye Drops For Migraines

Eye Drops With Beta Blockers Contain Migraine Pain (1)

In the latest edition of the journal Missouri Medicine, ophthalmologists Carl V. Migliazzo and John C. Hagan have have outlined how administering just 1-2 drops per eye of eye drops containing beta blockers stub migraine pain and in some cases almost cure migraineurs of attacks.

The eye doctors conducted their study on a population that comprised of women only migraineurs who were suffering for many years, even decades with migraine attacks.

Dr. Migliazzo seemed to have struck upon this treatment entirely by coincidence when he had been routinely managing his glaucoma patients with these eye drops. As per him, “People would report to me spontaneously saying: ‘You know, doctor, my headaches started getting better after I started on this medication.’” (2) And since then he has recommended it to his patients who also experience migraines. He does accept that there may be a placebo affect at work for some patients who said it worked for them. To obtain more data on his study, Dr. Migliazzo wants to examine more patients and have a control group as well to check on the eye drops placebo effect.

However, there may be a good scientific rationale behind why eye drops containing beta blockers work for migraine patients. Beta blockers are primary drugs in the current scenario to manage hypertension, certain heart conditions and are also prescribed as prophylaxis for migraines. Besides, they are very cheap and safe with really low side effects. In addition to this, beta blockers reach the blood stream relatively faster and in time to save a migraine attack.

During a study of one beta blocker, a patient told researchers that he not only had fewer chest pains, but fewer migraines as well. His migraines returned only after he was switched to a placebo.

According to Dr. Mittal who is working with Dr. Hagan, “Eye drops containing beta quickly drain into the nose, where they’re rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucus membrane. If you can get something in their system as soon as possible, you have a better chance” to stop migraine attacks.” (3)

So it sounds like a case that certainly requires further testing and research. Dr. Hagan hopes that someone will pursue this research to be sure if this certainly works or if there is a large placebo effect at work. Earlier studies from the 1980s have shown some migraineurs benefiting from the use of such eye drops but no further testing had been pursued on the matter.

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Putting Drops In Eye Stock Photo by Marin; Freedigitalphotos.net; Web September 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Healthcare_g355-Putting_Drops_In_Eye_p112466.html
  2. Eye drops may hold quick relief for migraine sufferers; Kansas City News; Web September 2012; http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article1379677.html
  3. Eye drops may hold quick relief for migraine sufferers; Life Extension Foundation; web September 2014; http://www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=22812&Section=Disease

 Copyrights apply on this blog. Please refer copyright permissions.