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Monday, September 22, 2014

Mindfulness eases migraines in study

Meditation might be a path to migraine relief, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“Stress is a well-known trigger for headaches and research supports the general benefits of mind/body interventions for migraines, but there hasn’t been much research to evaluate specific standardized meditation interventions,” said Dr. Rebecca Erwin Wells, assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study published in the online edition of the journal Headache.

The study was designed to assess the effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a meditation program, in adults with migraines.

The study was small, only 19 people, but it found measurable differences in headache frequency and severity between those did the MBSR training and those who did not -- 1.4 fewer migraines of shorter duration. Meditators also had increases in mindfulness and self-efficacy -- a sense of personal control over their migraines, Wells said. There were no adverse events and "excellent adherence.”

"For the approximate 36 million Americans who suffer from migraines, there is big need for non-pharmaceutical treatment strategies, and doctors and patients should know that MBSR is a safe intervention that could potentially decrease the impact of migraines,” Wells said.  

Read more here.