For those suffering from migraine attacks, daily meditation might be a good idea for instant relief.
During a small study, researchers assessed the safety, feasibility and effects of a standardised meditation and yoga intervention called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in adults with migraines. Nineteen adults were assigned to two groups with 10 receiving the MBSR intervention and nine receiving standard medical care.
The participants attended eight weekly classes to learn MBSR techniques and were instructed to practice 45 minutes on their own at least five additional days per week. “We found that MBSR participants had trends of fewer migraines that were less severe,” said Rebecca Erwin Wells, an assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina.
Secondary effects included headaches that were shorter in duration and less disabling. Participants had increases in mindfulness and self-efficacy – a sense of personal control over migraine pain.
“In addition, there were no adverse events and excellent adherence,” Wells reported. Specifically, the MBSR participants had 1.4 fewer migraines per month that were less severe.
The participants’ headaches were significantly shorter as compared to the control group.“MBSR is a safe and feasible therapy for adults with migraines. Although the sample size of this pilot study was small, secondary outcomes demonstrated this intervention had a beneficial effect on headache duration, disability, self-efficacy and mindfulness,”
The paper was published online in the journal Headache.