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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Episode Durations & Number Cutbacks With Diamine Oxidase Pills

swanson-ultra-daosin-30-capsules-300mcg

Diamine Oxidase Supplements May Reduce The Number, Duration, Intensity of Attacks (1)

Researchers have found that taking diamine oxidase supplements significantly reduces the duration of a migraine episode, especially if the migraine has been brought on by food triggers like cheese, caffeine, red wine etc. They have also observed that there exists a mildly indirect relation between to the total number migraine attacks itself in the mid to long run.

Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an amino acid that helps metabolise (break down) histamines released by our bodies. When we eat foods that we are allergic to (because our body cannot handle it’s digestion for any number of reasons specifically lack of appropriate enzymes) then the body perceives the situation as a threat to it’s well being. As a result it begins an immune response. In such as case histamines are released causing the capillary walls to give more access to proteins and white blood cells to engage with the pathogen/trigger/danger. This increase in histamine triggers migraines.

Histamines are also present in certain foods itself that when consumed raise histamine levels of the body and then trigger a migraine. Thus it is obvious that if migraineurs with food or weather triggers are administered an enzyme (such as DAO) that is responsible for the breakdown of histamines, migraine duration and number of attacks would reduce.

According to Joan Izquierdo, MD, from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the International University of Catalonia and the neurology service at Catalonia General Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, who studied men or women between ages 18 to 60 years old with an attack within the previous 6 months, “We diagnosed 137 patients who have a migraine, of who 119 showed deficits of the activity of the enzyme DAO, around 87% of the total patients that we have studied.” (2)

The study did not take into consideration alcoholism, psychiatric disorders, or a diagnosis of any disorder for which a treatment could be used as migraine prevention in the previous 1 month or those who could not consume pork-based products (DAO source).

Normal DAO enzyme activity is considered to be a score of 80. In the study, he found that there was a clear correlation between enzyme score and migraine episodes and intensities. Symptom scores rose progressively as enzyme activity dropped below 80 HDU/mL, with scores 50% to 120% higher in the 30-40 HDU/mL range compared with enzyme activity >80 HDU/mL.

Two groups were made and the control group was administered placebos and the other group was given the DAO supplements. The participant dosage was 2 capsules each after breakfast, lunch and dinner. To understand the pain factor, researchers noted the consumption of triptans by the participants. Those who were on placebos consumed 20% more triptans than those on DAO capsules. The diminished triptan use among patients receiving DAO suggests that the compound may have also reduced the intensity of pain during an attack, the researchers suggest.

Dr. Izquierdo also said, “Diamine oxidase supplementation has shown a significant reduction in crisis duration and a tendency toward a reduction in number of crises,” he said. “The treatment is [safe] because we don’t have any adverse events.” (3)

However, to be sure about the outcome of the research, a larger population needs to be studied cutting across ethnic groups and races. At it’s current stage, it is important thus to educate migraineurs of triggers whether they are of food, hunger, exposure to sun, sleep deprivation or weather and environmental conditions.

SOURCES:

  1. Swanson Ultra Daosin Diamine Oxidase; HealthMonthly.co.uk; Web October 2013; http://www.healthmonthly.co.uk/swanson_ultra_daosin_diamine_oxidase
  2. Migraine Attacks Shortened by Diamine Oxidase Supplements; MedScape.com; Web October 2013; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811920
  3. 90% of Migraines Could Be Prevented with Enzyme; Universitat Internacional de Catalunya; Web October 2013; http://www.uic.es/en/news?id_noti=3273

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MENTOR YOUR MIND, Tested Mantras For The Busy Woman

My second book, Mentor Your Mind (Paperback and Kindle, ebook) is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tesco, WHSmith, Waterstones, Blackwell and Powells.

Mentor Your Mind focuses on the cause–effect relation of mental health, through a mix of what is easily fathomable and achievable by the busy urban woman, without having to set  precious time aside marked for keeping mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. These include:

  •  Everyday practice tips and activities
  • Daily activities built into urban living schedules
  • Techniques to easy meditation, and
  • Guidelines on practical community service

Mentor Your Mind addresses 6 mental maladies, 6 emotional afflictions and 7 spiritual self-service techniques that urban women are commonly confronted with, through:

  • 3 self-evaluation questionnaires
  • 13 easy-to-follow step-wise action flowcharts and diagrams
  • 20 mentoring schedules, and
  • 16 explanatory tables

Mentor Your Mind also sells in India through Crossword bookstores, Landmark bookstores, Oxford bookstores, Reliance retail stores and through Flipkart and Infibeam.

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/73b8ly5

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/832n8mu

Flipkart: http://tinyurl.com/7rx78hm

Infibeam: http://tinyurl.com/7mp2h3c

Product Information:

Category: health;Body, Mind, Spirit
Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Sterling Publishers (July 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8120759737
ISBN-13: 978-8120759732
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

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Endorphines and Migraineurs

Lack of enough exercises leads us to a condition of low dopamine and low endorphin release. When these are on a low, there isn’t enough to act in nexus with serotonin, triggering migraines. So migraineurs, catch up on your exercises.

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