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Meditation for Headaches


Headache sufferers are increasing looking for natural healing alternatives to prescribed medications that often carry unwanted side effects. Meditation is one such alternative treatment that has been used for centuries to heal the mind-body, balancing the person’s emotional, physical and mental states in order to reduce headache pain. Please read on for more information.

What is Meditation?

Meditation calms the thinking mind and increases awareness by creating a sustained focus and insight through observation. It promotes a natural state of reflection in which the mind is then able to contemplate (looks around) what it is meditating on, separating the self from external factors and allowing a person to disengage from thoughts which are often negative and self-destructive.

Common Meditation Techniques

Whilst there are hundreds of meditation techniques available to practice, all fit into either for the following categories:

  1. Concentration Meditation, where the mind is focused on a specific object. When the mind wanders into old thought patterns, the individual’s focus is brought back to the selected object.

  2. Mindfulness meditation, where the mind is focused also on an object or a process such as the breath, a mantra or visualization.

  3. Transdental meditation, in which the individual experiences a shift in consciousness or physiology.

Meditation Reduces Stress-Related Headaches

Meditation works to relieve stress-related headaches by physically relaxing the body and clearing the mind from the incessant negative thinking that often causes it. Physiologically, meditation reduces stress and thus headache pain by shifting brain activity from the stress-prone, right-frontal cortex of the brain to the more calming left frontal cortex. This allows the individual to disengage from their thoughts, feel more calm and at peace and therefore less likely to develop a headache.

Meditation Relieves Headache Pain

Recent scientific studies have demonstrated meditation to be an effective tool in relieving the frequency and severity of headaches (and other chronic forms of pain) as well as the perception of the pain itself. This has been attributed to its:

  • Soothing overall effects on the nervous system (especially over the part responsible stress)
  • Ability to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Ability to relax blood vessel walls.
  • Effect on brain waves.
  • Ability to allow one to reflect and gain insight on past traumas and other emotional forms of pain.

Other Ways Meditation Reduces Headaches

Meditation may also benefit headaches by:

  • Decreasing feelings of anxiety.
  • Decreasing feelings of sadness.
  • Decreasing moodiness and irritability.
  • Heightening concentration levels
  • Enhancing memory.
  • Increasing feelings of happiness.
  • Increasing emotional stability.
  • Increasing feelings of well being and vitality.
  • Increasing self-awareness.

Physiologically, meditation may benefit headache sufferers by:

  • Reducing the heart rate blood pressure often accelerated in times of stress and anxiety.
  • Reducing blood cholesterol levels that may be high due to excessive amounts of Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in the bloodstream.
  • Increase skin resistance, increasingly supporting the immune system.
  • Alleviating headache pain by increasing airflow (and Oxygen) to the lungs and ultimately brain.

Find out about other effective natural headache treatments. 


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