There are plenty of different types of psychotherapy that can be effective in reducing the frequency and/or intensity of migraines. Some of these include:
This relaxation can slow down the nervous system, regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, and blood vessel dilation and contraction. One 2016 study found that after a six-week course in progressive muscle relaxation the participants had a significant reduction in migraine frequency.
A small-scale pilot study gave participants who suffered from episodic migraine an eight-week mindfulness-based intervention course in which they were taught how to practise mindful meditation. The study leaders then compared the migraines of these participants with those of people who had not learned the meditation practice and found that those who hadn’t learned the practice had longer migraines and that they impacted more on their lives.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT for migraine examines the thoughts and actions which could be maintaining or exacerbating the condition, and then works to change these in a systematic way. Investigators of one 2019 study found that eight weeks of a mindfulness-based CBT intervention reduced migraine disability when compared with a “usual treatment” group.
These are just a few of the options which come under psychotherapy. Other options include the likes of Biofeedback and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
If you suffer from migraines you might find it helpful to incorporate psychotherapy treatments alongside pharmaceutical options. Alternatively, if you’re unable or unwilling to take pharmaceutical drugs to help combat your migraines, with psychotherapy there are still avenues to explore.