1- Mindfulness- This is an active way to reduce stress. There are multiple studies to show that mindfulness can help to decrease the severity and frequency of migraine. It can help the brain to develop flexible attention capacity across sensory and emotional experiences. Mindfulness is an active activity to be fully present and aware of one’s present surroundings. There are a number of apps and online sources to get started.
2- Yoga- This is a great way to get in exercise as well as develop strength and flexibility. One study showed that 12 weeks of yoga in women with migraine helped to reduce headache burden. Yoga has been shown to also be helpful with other types of chronic pain. This can be used in conjunction with physical therapy and stretching techniques that can be really helpful in reducing muscle stiffness and pain.
3- Acupuncture- This is a technique where small needles are injected into different parts of the body. It is considered safe and has been used for hundreds of years. There is evidence that it can be effective for a number of illnesses, including chronic pain and miraine. It can require a number of sessions before a person can begin to notice an effect.
4- Cognitive Behavioral therapy- This is a practitioner guided therapy that an help the patient become more aware of their involuntarily bodily functions. It can help to find strategies and exercises that help to control breathing and relax muscle tension. Multiple studies have shown a benefit in chronic pain syndromes as well as migraine.
5- Trigger Management- This is a method to objectively keep track of possible migraine triggers and then eliminate them in a systemic fashion to see if that helps to reduce either the severity or frequency of migraine attacks. This can take some time to sort out but can be a very helpful way to identify one’s personal triggers.