Help for Migraines: A Somatic Approach

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I am honored that my article “Help for Migraines: A Somatic Approach” was featured in the March 2017 Annual Green Issue of Massage Magazine for bodywork professionals. In the piece, illustrated with some of my prevention techniques, I describe this disabling condition and demonstrate my special touch therapy approach. Sadly, touch therapies are often neglected in traditional migraine treatment.

Here’s an excerpt:

Migraines Imitate Life

Although our contemporary stressors and caffeinated culture play their roles, migraines are not thoroughly modern. Remedies date back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. With growing precision, due to recent imaging technologies, researchers have studied migraines for decades, and yet their exact neurobiological mechanisms remain a mystery.

The underlying causes, or triggers, however, are fairly identifiable using good detective work. In my experience, most people embody a combination of factors, often a veritable perfect storm that add ups to create cycles of pain.

From diet, lifestyle, environment and physical factors to medications and hormones, how we live can help or hurt us. This isn’t about blaming the victim; it’s about helping people live in ways that support their well-being.

Family history and cultural background are also part of the equation: How people were raised and learned to feel about, view and treat their bodies and themselves in sickness and in health can also factor into their headaches.

Do they push through pain and ignore it? 

Do they feel ashamed, weak, or guilty when they get sick? 

Do they take a pill to keep going, instead of resting or slowing down?

Do they only have bodily awareness when sick or in pain?

I hope you find the article helpful. If you are moved by it, please share and leave a comment on their website or here. Thank you!

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We Get Busy

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We get busy. We get busy and forget to breathe, to pay attention to life. That we’re right here, right now. We lose connection. Maybe we never had it. But we want it, yearn for it. You, me, we, people, life.

Transformative work can bring you back into your body, put you in touch with your cells, with yourself on the cellular level. You can breathe, relax, relieve pain, tension, and stuck places. Find the spaces you can’t feel into, that are numb, tight. You’re suddenly aware of qualities you’ve embodied—a wooden board, a bungee cord.

Bring your awareness into your body. Feel yourself breathe. In the moment. Settle into your Self and feel gravity hold you, right where you are. Feel. You’re alive. Breathe. Let it go.

Let go of the grip of now of then of centuries past. You were gripped by what you feared and tightened against, or learned to please, squeeze, or run away, or stay paralyzed, frozen, tucked in, tucked away. It was reaction, safety, protection, wanting affection.

Let those toxic layers get cried away, yelled out, coughed up, shaken out, drawn away, melted down. New skin, new shape, new ground, purpose, meaning. Ease in.

It can be refreshing, soothing, plumb the depths, release the pain. You’re the explorer. You and your body carve the path. Keep breathing. It all unfolds as you grow.

[cross-posted at Mundo Lifework]