Don’t you just hate it when you’re controlling your triggers and BAM! – you get migraine?
Makes you wonder what on earth is going on. You’re pretty sure you know your triggers because you’ve done the whole tracking thing. You feel like you’re banging you head against a wall.
Maybe, you think, there’s one hidden trigger you just don’t know about?
Maybe it’s gluten! So, you cut gluten out of your diet. Okay, it makes family mealtimes a bit of a nightmare. And as for eating out? Forget it! But, it’s got to be worth it right?
Except you still get migraine. What to think now?
Maybe it’s strong scents? Hmm, that’s trickier to control. So, you try to avoid certain places. And when you do go out you’re worried sick someone wearing perfume is going to waft by giving you migraine. Goddamn them!
Before you know it you’re tumbling down a rabbit hole into an isolated, scary place.
A place where you still get migraine but now a hidden, harmful belief grabs hold of you – perhaps nothing will work for you? I know that place. I know that feeling.
But, what if your migraine triggers aren’t migraine triggers?
Imagine for a moment what your life could look like if migraine triggers turned out not to be migraine triggers, after all…
Perhaps you would sink your teeth into whatever longed for food you wish, with a blissful sigh.
Or go stay at that wonderful hotel without worrying about the scent of their laundry detergent.
Maybe even lob your migraine trigger tracker out the window and spend your time on something more enjoyable instead.
Can this really be true?
“Hang on, if that is true why hasn’t anyone told me about this?” you ask. That’s the same question I hear the same from my clients time and time again.
The good news is this information is steadily reaching a wider audience. But, it does take a while. To get our heads around why that is let’s take a quick look at how science works.
Related: Stress and Migraine
Our scientific knowledge is not set in stone. It is constantly evolving as our understanding grows and develops over time. That’s what I love about it.
It does takes a while for new knowledge to percolate down to us.
For much of the 20th century, migraine was thought to be due to vascular dysregulation. However, neural imaging studies in the 1980’s and 1990’s showed this was unlikely to be that cause.
Research now tell us that the primary driver of migraine is potentially neuronal dysfunction. That is the brain is working differently in people who get migraine.
Science is turning everything we thought we knew about migraine triggers on its head.
What we believed for many years to be migraine triggers are early warning symptoms that indicate the changes in our brain are already in motion.
That begins to make sense of the frustrating fact of why our apparent triggers don’t always set off a migraine episode.
For instance, have you ever wondered why eating chocolate sometimes gives you migraine and other times it doesn’t?
Turns out it isn’t the chocolate. Instead the chemical changes that take place in the brain prior to you getting migraine symptoms are already in progress. You enjoying a bite of chocolate is coincidental. That said it is totally understandable why we make these connections. Why wouldn’t we want to make sense of the reasons why our migraine symptoms kick off?
Migraine triggers are early warning symptoms
That knowledge frees us from attempting the impossible; controlling triggers that aren’t really migraine triggers. If that feels a bit scary on first hearing, I get that.
Feeling powerless against migraine symptoms is a common experience. Just the idea that we can have some control by controlling externals factors is comforting. At this moment, you may feel you’ve lost that element of control.
Related: Roadblocks to Reducing Migraine
But the good news is you haven’t lost anything. Instead you have gained something of greater value; ability to influence and change your migraine for the better.
Thanks to neuroplasticity we have the potential to influence the impact and severity of migraine.
The important word is influence.
Not fault. Or blame. And definitely not shame.
Neuroplasticity is the catch-all term for the brain’s ability to reorganise its neural connections throughout our lives. Those neural connections are influenced by life events, environmental, emotions and thoughts.
So, how do you change the brain’s pain response system? One effective method for changing how our brain works are MindBody techniques.
It really is that simple. But, there is one small catch. Mind-body techniques don’t mean sitting round thinking happy thoughts. Nothing so passive is going to give you meaningful results.
So, what is the secret?
Anything worth doing in life must become a practice. The secret to effectively training your brain to produce less and less migraine symptoms is this: practice, practice, practice.
Yet, while the techniques are easy to do; the hard part is doing them.
The biggest mistake people often make is trying to do it all alone. Sometimes all you need is someone by your side guiding you through the rough patches. Although it may be difficult at first you’ll find that it becomes easier and easier with time.
Picture the benefits that you could gain:
- Less frequent migraine
- Reduced severity of symptoms
- Eat whatever you choose
- Go to where ever you wish
Above all of that now you no longer have to waste your precious time trying to control what seem like migraine triggers. Instead you can spend you’re time making good memories.
What could be more important that?
Which migraine triggers would you love to be free of?
If you’d like help picturing what your life would look like when you no longer need to manage apparent migraine triggers, I can help you. Your next step is to book your free preparation consultation. You and I will talk via secure video call, wherever you are in the world.