Does Meditating Help Migraine?

Does meditation help migraine? As always, I’m on the hunt for something to make me feel better. So I joined a 21-day meditation challenge. I have a friend who decided to try it too.  So with power in numbers, I thought we’d be Zen by the end of the week. Well……not as easy, as I suspected. Each day there is an explanation for the day. A centering thought and mantra are provided that is to be chanted while music is played until the end of the meditation.  To begin with, we started a day late. Slackers! Day 2-5 were difficult to get into.

Here’s why.

  1. I have been in a cycle for about 3 weeks now ranging from 5-10 pain levels. I’ve been living my good days mostly at about a 6. This doesn’t always bode well for concentrated thinking.
  2. I had trouble chanting the phrases they provided when I didn’t fully buy into them. It’s all about gratitude.   One day the mantra was something like, “if you show gratitude, good things will come to you.” Well, I found that very difficult to chant to myself. I am a person that finds gratitude in my life and as I’m radiating pain and doing everything I can to feel better, showing gratitude at that moment was not a priority. Feeling better was. It was almost insulting to me that I was being told that if I only showed gratitude things would be better.
  3. Confusion. My migraine brain was fully set in and I heard the voice tell me to chant that I was “less.” I thought to myself, there is no way I’m chanting “I’m less” in a language, I don’t speak. I’m less than what? Less than who? Less how? Well, I opened my eyes to read the screen and it said “bliss.” That made more sense! But the meditation was blown at that point.
  4. The messages didn’t make me feel powerful or motivated to do it again the next day. I deep breathe and chant to myself a lot when I’m alone and in pain. I have done this for years and feel that it made my labors somewhat easier to handle. No one knows my body and mind more than myself and I try to control them the best I can. It’s not someone telling me what to think and chant, it’s myself telling me what I specifically need to survive. Survival vs tranquility, I guess. I chant things like, “You can do this.” “You are strong, you can beat this.” “Calm down body, calm down brain, relax, and breathe.” “You’ve survived this before.” “Oh God, oh God, help me, God.” I only talk to God at a 10. It’s weird how it happens because the second my migraine peaks a higher power needs to be called. I’ve had many talks with God about the pain I go through and bliss has never been in the conversation.

I’m going to try again this week.

Once again, I missed Monday. Slacker! But I’ll try again to meditate and see how it goes. Everything is a process and I’ll continue my meditation journey.

I love to take an integrative approach to migraine

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Sarah Rathsack

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. Living life through Migraine consists of advocacy, treatment, prevention, and searching for health and happiness in a positive honest way. My kids, husband, dog, family and friends motivate me to make a difference in the Migraine World.
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7 Comments

  1. lisa on July 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Hysterical & honest. From one migraineur to another…although alot of that stuff can be useful…cut through to the chase and love the girl who hurts. Even at a constant 6…”I love me”….”I forgive me..” all day long and until…xo



  2. mymigrainelife on July 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks! “I forgive me” is a good one. The guilt is a lot sometimes. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you liked it ????



  3. Syn Etc on August 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I get where you are coming from when it comes to gratitude and the “why now” when in absurd amounts of pain. Unfortunately a lot of mindfulness and meditation practices aren’t being taught with the why of how they work, and also how to modify practices for chronic pain conditions. I wrote http://existential.rip/2015/07/mindfulness-and-chronic-illness/ with the focus on the why mindfulness works, versus how to practice it, I hope it is helpful. I started practicing meditation when I started getting migraines at 13, and it took a long time of figuring out how to make it work for me when dealing with such terrible pain. Though it’s worth the work since the end result was awesome. Wishing you the best.



  4. mymigrainelife on August 6, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Thank you



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