The Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy For Headaches and Migraines
This week is Migraine Awareness Week, which seeks to raise awareness and understanding of migraines, which it is estimated affect one in seven people.
Migraine is a complex neurological issue that causes a range of symptoms including painful headaches, disturbed vision and sensitivity to light, sound and smells. There may be vomiting and feeling sick and, depending on severity, they may result in someone needing to be still or lie down for several hours. Someone may take hours or days for the ‘migraine hangover’ feelings to totally disperse.
And, of course, many people suffer stress and anxiety arising from migraine and the worry of another one happening as well as impacting on mood and quality of life.
With the essence of good timing, a review was published at the end of August about the effectiveness of hypnosis for the management of headache and migraine. Here’s what it found…
Hypnosis For Migraine and Headaches
The recently published article carried out a systematic review of the literature to review evidence to determine the efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of migraine in adults.
The study looked at a total of eight studies where hypnosis was used as a treatment. In this case, hypnosis was defined as ‘a therapeutic technique during which individuals undergo mind-focused relaxation procedures, followed by therapeutic suggestions made to help them make change.’ As I referred to in many of my blogs, no mention of the unconscious or subconscious mind here!
Five of the studies reported a significant decrease in headache activity in treatment groups compared to non-treated controls and of the studies that assessed the impact of hypnotic interventions, a positive effect was seen on participants’ mood and quality of life.
In their conclusion, the researchers write,
“This study has demonstrated that hypnosis has a significant impact on the pain activity of individuals suffering with migraines and supports the findings of several double-blind, placebo controlled studies that have demonstrated hypnosis to be statistically superior or equivalent to commonly used treatments.”
So there you have it: it’s Migraine Awareness Week and now there is the evidence from this systematic review of the effectiveness of hypnosis in the management of headache and migraine.
To your success,
Hypnotherapy for headaches and migraines
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Reference: Niamh Flynn (2018) Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Hypnosis for the Management of Headache, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 66:4, 343-352, DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2018.1494432