The Evidence For and Against Treating Migraines With Hypnosis

Hypnosis is considered by some as nothing more than a stage trick, but hypnosis has far more to it than that. Hypnosis has been used since the 1700s as a form of pain management. In fact, it was around in Ancient Egypt in the form of “sleep temples”. Currently, it’s used for a variety of conditions; such as to help manage chemotherapy symptoms in cancer patients, help women through childbirth, and to help manage severe anxiety and PTSD.

The Evidence For and Against Treating Migraines With Hypnosis

In terms of migraine and hypnosis, it’s been found that hypnosis could help migraine sufferers manage their pain. This is especially the case for those who experience migraine with aura or who have indications that an attack is coming before their migraine occurs. This is because when migraine sufferers enter a hypnotised state before the migraine hits, the pain can be significantly lessened.

In 2010 there was a particularly encouraging case study published by The American Psychotherapy Association. Edward F. Mackey had a patient who had suffered from debilitating migraines for fifteen years. After finding no relief with conventional treatments she tried hypnosis and found that, after eight sessions, her migraines greatly improved. Ten months after her last visit she was still practising self-hypnosis and was completely migraine free.

Hypnosis isn’t for all migraine sufferers. As with migraine medications, what works for one sufferer may not work for another. However, given the many studies conducted which show a positive reduction of pain and attacks for migraine sufferers, and given that hypnosis doesn’t come with side effects, it’s a medication-free form of migraine treatment that is worth considering.

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