Blog Article Collection

A Pain in the Head is a real Pain in the Neck

Added on: 17-Aug-17 12:00am



Author: John Dengate

I get migraine headaches regularly, and while I take a specific drug to manage them, I'm constantly frustrated by my inability to find a lasting solution.


I had fallen into a pattern of dealing with my migraines as though I knew the problem, that being overtired or stressed were the causes. I would try everything to fix the causes, while using the drugs as necessary.


The problem was that no matter how much I slept more, rested my neck, using relaxation and meditation techniques, it made no difference overall to the frequency of headaches.


My toolkit was exhausted. I didn't know what to do.


So when I recently saw an on-line Migraine Summit advertised, I thought why not see if it can help me with some new ideas.


As I watched a series of webcasts from doctors around the world, something clicked for me. Migraines are really really complex, and my 'cause and effect' thinking was not helping. I realised that perhaps I needed to let go of my belief that I was in control of what was going on, and that I needed to think differently in doing something about it.


So rather than having an answer, I'm taking a different approach. Rather than apply my 'solution' I have set a goal - no migraines and no drugs - and just try things to see if they get me closer to that goal.


My experiments so far have included tackling mild sleep apnoea, looking at pillow height, diet and hydration, the sequence and type of daily activities, computer usage at night, and sleeping comfort.


And a key in helping me check progress is not a plan forward, but a daily journal of activity, results and learnings of the experiments I am undertaking.


I'm more accepting now that I can't know the answer, and I don't even fully understand the problem, but I'm more confident than before that I'm making real progress towards my goal.


So key realisations for me have been:

  • recognising the complexity of my situation
  • accepting there is a lot I can't know about this
  • acknowledging that I need to do things differently, and 
  • reframing my approach to finding improvements

and I feel a lot better about my slightly less sore head!


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