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 may be asking. That was my question and I hear the same from my clients time and time again.
So, why is it such a little shared fact? Let’s take a quick look at how science works.
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 in fact early warning symptoms. That shines a light on the frustrating fact of why triggers don’t always set off a migraine.
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; it’s the chemical changes already taking place in your brain.
Migraine triggers are actually early warning symptoms
That knowledge frees us from trying to manage the impossible; non-existent triggers.
If that feels a bit scary on first hearing, I get that. You might feel you’ve just lost something you thought you had control over.
But, the good news is that the complete opposite is true.
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? With mind-body techniques.
It really is that simple. But, there is one small catch. Mind-body techniques don’t mean sitting around thinking happy thoughts. After all, no passive action is going to give you meaningful results.
So, what is the secret?
You need to actively practice, practice and practice.
Sounds easy enough. But the hard part is sticking with it.
The cool thing though is you already have inside all that you need. You may simply need a helping hand to guide you through the hard going parts. Someone to help boost your stick-with-it-ness.
Picture the benefits that you could gain:
- Less frequent migraine
- Reduced severity of symptoms
- Eat whatever you choose
- Go to where ever you wish
Added bonus, you get to quit wasting your precious time on non-existent triggers. Instead you get to spend you’re time making memories.
What could be more important that?