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Focusing Tip #666 – Focusing and migraines

Focusing Tip #666 – Focusing and migraines
July 31, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
When you have a migraine, does it help to be present to the pain? Read on...

Focusing Tip #666 – Focusing and migraines

When you have a migraine, does it help to be present to the pain? Read on…


Niamh writes:

I find Focusing hugely comforting when I feel emotional distress. Can Focusing help with physical pain? When I have a migraine, I am IN pain. It envelops me and I find it difficult to sense anything else.

It does help me to say hello to the part of me that says that I’m weak for being in pain, or that I’m a bad mother for being short tempered when I’m in pain. But mostly I just want to find a way to be numb or distracted to get away from the pain – the last thing I want is to be present to the pain.

Dear Niamh:

I am one of the lucky people who has never had a migraine. But I have heard a lot from people who have them. Some people do say it helps to acknowledge and describe the pain. Others say what you say, that it’s the last thing they want to do.

But body sensing can help with migraines in two other ways.

  1. What do I need when I have one? Does it help me to lie down in a dark room? Do I prefer soft music, or silence? This is something we can sense into… and it might even be different from time to time.
  2. What are the signals that a migraine is coming? Noticing those signals early enough can allow the worst of the migraine to be headed off. Those are subtle signals that you can feel at the body level because you are tuning in.

And yes, good for you for acknowledging the part of you that is blaming you for being “weak” or a “bad mother.” That part of you is actually worried about you, as you’ll find when you turn toward it with compassion.

I have many resources about Focusing with pain. Here are some past Tips:

How Can Focusing Help with Constant Physical Pain

Struggling with Physical Pain

And I also have a whole course that you can take by video any time:

The Rock and the Hard Place: Exploring the Gifts of Pain

I wish you well! Awareness does help… including your own sensitive awareness that this is not the time to be more aware.

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