Alternative medicine - thoughts on mindfulness appreciated

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Alternative medicine - thoughts on mindfulness appreciated

Post  Feddy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:26 am

Hi again,
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I stopped taking Topamax in March. I just read the whole post about Topamax on the site and identify with all of the side effects and challenges weaning off. I will never go on that drug again. I have a doctor who thinks that this is my only option for "true" relief but having got my brain back (and my love of Coke satisfied again) I can't imagine that I'd agree. Here's the challenge: every time I've tried to bring up alternative treatment options, she goes back to Topamax. "Just get pregnant, have a baby and then you can go back on." I've told her I don't want to but it kind of feels like it's falling on deaf ears. I am starting to think I may have to explore other pain clinics but this is the wrong post for that. Smile
So I started to investigate alternative medicine on my own. I have been taking (very expensive) supplements for the past year and was always skeptical about if they were actually doing anything. I stopped taking them 6 weeks ago and there is absolutely no difference.
I have been a strong proponent of fascial massage for years and get treated at least every two weeks. That's an expense that's worth it. I use marijuana (almost daily) to manage mild to moderate pain. This is a huge help and reduces my use of narcotics substantially (I use codeine when I have to). I also see a psychiatrist who has treated me for depression and anxiety. He is a huge believer in mindfulness and meditation and has been trying to get me to learn for years.
I started reading about mindfulness a few weeks ago and am trying to incorporate it as much as I can in my life. Meditation has been surprisingly helpful. I can not tell you that I do it every day but at least a few times a week. These two things seem to be helping me more than anything else has in a long time.
It's hard to find information relating mindfulness and meditation specifically to migraine and I'm wondering what you guys know and if there are any great resources. I read a fantastic book "The Mindfulness Solution to Chronic Pain" by Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix and strongly recommend it to everyone.
Thanks, Feddy


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Alternative medicine - thoughts on mindfulness

Post  Cookie Monster on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:30 am

Hi Feddy,

I too have been diagnosed with anxiety and sporadic depression. I was seeing a psychologist until I could no longer afford it and she recommended a really helpful book. It's called the "The mindful path to self-compassion" by Christopher K. Germer. It is all about using meditation to improve self-acceptance. Interestingly enough, the type of meditation referred to in the book is based on a meditation program that I was already using called insight meditation by Salzberg and Goldstein. You can order the kit through Amazon - it comes with a book and some meditation CDs. I am still working on the whole acceptance piece but I think this is a good place to start.

Cookie Monster

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Re: Alternative medicine - thoughts on mindfulness appreciated

Post  mxgo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:32 am

Here are a series of guided meditation CDs, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, that might be of interest:

I use it every day and on some days, like this morning, I find that it helps with the chronic headache. However, I also had to take generic Midrin during the night.

A book that also helps me deal with chronic pain is "How to be Sick." I keep it by my bedside. Another book that I also find useful, is Joseph Campbell's book "Reflections on the Art of Living." This book can also be found on Amazon.



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Post  Feddy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:32 pm

Thank you both! How to be Sick looks fascinating and will probably be the first one I read but I am going to search for them all. I just started another book by Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living. It was recommended to me by a friend. She says it changed her life. I don't have such high expectations but will definitely let you know.

I appreciate the help. sunny


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How To Be Sick

Post  ConcordGrape on Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:21 pm

I just wanted to bump this thread to the top because in searching the archives I found Martin's suggestion and bought "How To Be Sick". I haven't finished it yet, but it is changing my life. (I'm purposely reading it very slowly, and taking it all in!)

A must-read for everyone on here!!

It helps if you have a little background in meditation/biofeedback or knowledge of Buddhism, but if not being open-minded is the only necessity Smile

PS-thank you Martin for the suggestion! I am going to write the author to tell her how much I love it

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Re: Alternative medicine - thoughts on mindfulness appreciated

Post  Mini on Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:37 pm

Sorry Feddy,
I was not able to read your post because it is written in one large block of test. I am not sure if you are aware, that many people with migraine cannot read unbroken blocs of text, so in future, I wonder if you can break your posts into smaller paragraphs. Thank You.

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Re: Alternative medicine - thoughts on mindfulness appreciated

Post  Thejetstreamm on Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:40 pm

I have tried about every alternative medication out there. Yoga, meditation, supplements, massage. I have never found a difference.

I am a buddhist and have been meditating for years. It is the type of thing that will help with your mood and stress, but on a neurological level I just don't think so. If you had baby headaches from stress it would probably help, but migraines are a genuine sickness. I really don't know why therapists and doctors think it works so well, I honestly don't see where they even get the information that it does. But who knows, it could work for you.

And if you don't like a certain medication I would say don't take it. I just feel like doctors can be super pretentious and think they know everything (when in reality they don't know squat haha). If it makes you feel bad its obviously not working correctly.

I found the best "alternative medication" is a regular bed time and wake up, healthy non trigger food, pain medication when needed and light daily exericse.


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Alternative treatments for Migraines

Post  migrainefactorx on Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:36 pm

As we all know, the migraines are a chronic problem. 75-80% of the migraine sufferers have them intermittently and the frequency can vary from once in a few months to 8-10/month.
There are 20-25% migraine sufferers who reach a stage of chronic daily headaches where they have more than 15 days of headaches per month. Majority of them have medication rebound headaches. If you take Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil(ibuprofen), Excedrin, Butalbital, Midrin, Percocet or Vicodin more than 2 times per week, you are very likely to develop rebound headaches.
You can control your headaches by following the Ten Steps for Migraine control as outlined at migraine factor X website.
Mindful meditation, deep breathing exercises, stress reduction are cornerstone of good migraine management. Stress is one of the major triggers for migraines. Two other biggest triggers are Caffeine and hormonal changes in women.
There is strong evidence for supplements in controlling the migraines. They primarily act as preventive agents. American academy of Neurology published guidelines on the use of preventive agents in migraines in 2012.
Migraine Factor X follows those guidelines and makes it easy for you to have the right amount of premium ingredients in a single capsule. But no supplement alone can help headaches. Following the Ten Steps for migraine management are very important.

Good luck on the journey to good headache control.

Migraine Factor X Team.

PS: Buy it at 50% off till 12/15/14 at Amazon.


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