Having suffered migraines for at least ten years, I decided that this year was the time to leave them behind. It wasn’t a decision I made as a New Year’s Resolution. It was during a particularly bad 4-day migraine that happened just after moving to Ireland and was the second or third that month, that I realised something had to change.
After years of rejecting tablets and ‘anything chemical’ I had given in to those very tablets four years previously when I became self employed and had no co-workers to ‘fall back on’ when I was ill. If I didn’t show up, then not only was I letting clients down, I also wouldn’t get paid. However, I was now noticing that the more painkillers I took, the less they were helping and the more I was contradicting my own belief system! What I was picking up on with the painkillers is actually a clinical fact – painkillers not only cover the issue instead of tackling its cause, they also make migraine worse over time.
I had seen in my Psychotherapy practice how often people who suffer physical symptoms due to underlying psychological issues, see an improvement in their physical symptoms as a result of ‘talking it through.’ Our bodies often tell us more than our minds know. They show us that something is wrong on an emotional level through the manifestation of physical symptoms. I myself had experienced ‘quick relief’ of both headache and migraine after verbally releasing something that was bothering me – usually an underlying sense of something that I had to seek out and grasp before expressing it, rather than something I was consciously aware of all of the time. The key there was understanding the trigger that had started the migraine, and then tracing it back to what exactly it was about.
So I decided to ‘therapise’ myself. But psychology alone wasn’t enough. I also needed to ‘deal with’ the symptoms as they happened, through more than just verbal and written expression. I needed my migraine to know that I was being proactive, dealing with the issue and taking control. I needed to use my knowledge of all the other therapies I know – aromatherapy, reflexology, reiki healing and mindfulness – to truly take control and treat the migraine as I sought to understand it.
I have not had a bad migraine since. I’ve had migraine ‘threats’ where I’ve been a bit silly with my food intake (eating irregularly or combining the wrong foods, particularly at certain times during the month is a sure trigger for migraine sufferers) and the familiar thudding starts in my temples along with the onset of nausea…but I now know how to deal with it so it no longer takes full hold.
I am now beginning to take this individualised, holistic approach to other migraine sufferers, in the hope that together we can deal with the issue ‘head on,’ rather than waiting for a miracle cure which will probably never arrive and even if it did, would almost certainly have a long list of side effects.
I recommend a minimum of 10 face to face sessions for migraine sufferers. We will be focusing only on your migraines and you will agree to keep a migraine diary throughout the duration of our sessions. I will use a combination of psychotherapeutic and complementary techniques to not only understand the cause, but also to come up with a strategy to deal with the migraines in the meantime, in a way that works for you. I may also make some tailored aromatherapy products using scents that work for you personally.
I cannot promise to heal or to cure, nor can I diagnose as I am not a doctor. However, what I can promise is to do everything I can to help you confront this hugely debilitating and frustrating problem. Please contact me for more details or to arrange an appointment.