The Headache Healing Challenge

Scan 1Doesn’t The Headache Healing Challenge sound like it could be the name of a new game show? You’re a contestant, and an expert panel tells you exactly how to solve your chronic migraines, just like that. It’s taped in several segments, with you going through various challenges along the way, and you win because you get rid of your pain and get your life back! Wouldn’t that be great? Considering that in the U.S. alone there are an estimated 50 million headache sufferers, over 30 million of whom get debilitating migraines, we’d be a much healthier nation with that problem solved.

The game show challenge sounds a lot like my professional practice as a headache coach. (Some clients call me a headache whisperer.) People I work with have suffered from headaches for years, sometimes a lifetime. They live in pain or ignore it, curb and restrict their lives, and extinguish their dreams. They’ve seen neurologists and a host of other practitioners and tried many, many treatments and medications—if it’s been around, they’ve done it. They feel sick, sick of the pain, sick of dealing with the pain and with their medications’ side effects. They want to re-up their efforts and are resolved to do something that works once and for all, with no side effects.

However, many longtime headache patients initially discount body-mind solutions, such as diet, stress reduction, breathing, self-massage, and transformational bodywork, because, they say, they’ve tried it all. They’re skeptical: how could something so simple work when the most advanced medications could not? In looking at why body-mind solutions may not have worked, I’ve noticed a pattern. Usually, it’s because they’ve focused on one particular therapy or aspect of their lives at a time, such as meditation, which may or may not have worked, and then they dropped it and tried another.

But, here’s the key . . . Continue reading

Your Own Personal Headache Revolution

In the Headache Healing Road, I declared that my approach is revolutionary. Why is that so—but not in the way you might think? It’s revolutionary because, based on working with hundreds of headache sufferers, the following statements will make some people feel uncomfortable:

  1. Longtime headache and migraine sufferers can greatly reduce or completely get over their cycles of pain.
  2. They can accomplish that goal without taking headache medications for the rest of their lives.

If you get migraines, how many times have you:

  • Been to a practitioner who told you “you’ll just have to live with it”?
  • Been prescribed medication to get over the rebound headaches you got from the previous medication(s)?
  • Had an adverse reaction or side effect to a medication you were taking (or trying to discontinue) for your headaches?
  • Rejoiced in finally finding a solution only to have it fizzle out?
  • Thought or worried or over-committed yourself into a migraine and/or a tension headache?
  • Lived your life in fear of the next pain?
  • Felt the tightness in your body and mind but not known how or be able to change it?

Given all of that, it’s tempting to crawl into a hole and never come out again! And when you do, again, you’ll try the “next best thing” because you’re not a quitter, and you really want to find your way out of this misery. Continue reading

Your Headache Story

I’ve noticed that classes around headache healing can be an extremely compassionate way to move forward in solving longtime headache mysteries. I, and the entire class, listen carefully and neutrally to each person’s story. The class spontaneously learns listening distinctions and begins to model my listening. From there each person begins to experience compassion—compassion for others and, more importantly, for themselves. Inevitably, there’s always someone in the class who’s had it worse, one way or another, which creates empathy. And there’s always someone who isn’t as afflicted or who improves, which gives hope that life can be better and headaches can change. Continue reading