An Easy Migraine Relaxation Technique For You

Studies show that using an easy migraine relaxation technique like progressive muscle relaxation reduces migraine frequency and increases pain tolerance. Children can do this too to reduce their attacks.

I can remember doing a progressive muscle relaxation technique in kindergarten when my teacher used to have nap time.

Do you remember nap time?

Anyway, she got all the kids to do this and it really helped calm us all down and have our nap.

It’s quite simple and fun to tense and release different limbs and muscles.

I still do a progressive muscle type migraine relaxation technique as part of my migraine prevention strategy. It is simple and it calms me down instantly. Please consider watching the video below for some easy ideas.

Help Reduce Your Migraine Frequency

According to Wachholtz and Pargament's (2008) study done with 83 migraine patients over the period of a month, regular meditation used for migraine relaxation was proven to reduce the frequency of migraines.

Reduced migraine frequency, less anxiety, and greater pain tolerance are the results from using a progressive muscle relaxation technique.

The study results also showed that doing muscle relaxation for 20 minutes a day was more effective when combined with spiritual meditation in reducing migraine frequency and the anxiety that accompanies them.

In fact, practicing any stress management techniques on a regular basis may help reduce your migraine frequency. I am very much for migraine relaxation techniques.

Use This Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique for Migraine Relaxation

Where I mention the body parts, you are meant to tense and relax the muscle in that body part. So where I say left foot, you tense the muscles in your left foot for 3 to 5 seconds and then release it.

Remember to breathe, inhale and count 1-2-3 as you hold the tension and then exhale and release the tension 1-2-3. Also don’t release the tension gradually, let it release quickly. Feel and imagine the tension draining out of your body every time you exhale.

Ready?

Lie down somewhere comfortable, where you can remain aware and not fall asleep.

Starting with Your Left Leg

Starting from the bottom to the top of your body bring your attention to your feet, tense and relax them. Tense the muscles in your left foot by pointing and curling your toes. Keep the muscles tight and hold the tension for a count of 1-2-3 and then release quickly.

You should feel the tension leaving your foot. Feel the warmth and relaxation spreading.

After tensing your foot, tense your left calf muscle. Pull the toes towards your head; hold the tension 1-2-3-4-5 and then release. Feel your calf relaxing.

Tense your left thigh. Stiffen the leg and keep the muscles tightened, hold 1-2-3-4-5 and release.

Tense your left buttock, hold 1-2-3-4-5 and release.

Your Right Leg

Move over to your right foot, and tense the right foot muscles. Tense the muscles in your right foot by pointing and curling your toes. Keep the muscles tight and hold the tension 1-2-3 and then release quickly.

You should feel the tension leaving your foot. Feel the warmth and relaxation spreading.

After tensing your foot, tense your right calf muscle. Pull the toes towards your head; hold the tension 1-2-3-4-5 and then release. Feel your calf relaxing.

Tense your right thigh. Stiffen the leg and keep the muscles tightened, hold 1-2-3-4-5 and release.

Tense your right buttock, hold 1-2-3-4-5 and release.

Migraine Relaxation

Notice that both legs from the toes to the hips are feeling warm and relaxed.

Feel the warmth continue to flow up your body and fill you. Feel it flow to: your lower back, your abdomen, your middle back, your ribs, your chest, your upper back. Feel the warmth. Now bring your awareness back to your stomach.

Tighten your stomach muscles, hold 1-2-3 and release. Feel the tension leaving your stomach. It might even tingle.

Hold your breath and bring your should blades together – this will tense your shoulder blades, hold 1-2-3, and release.

Tense the muscles in your left arm by making a fist. Squeeze this tighter, hold 1-2-3 and release.

Tense your left bicep and forearm by bending your elbow toward you in a curling motion, tense the muscle that moves your arm forward, hold 1-2-3-4-5 and relax. Tense your left hand and fingers by making that fist again, hold 1-2-3- and release. Remember to release quickly not gently.

Back to Your Right Side

With this migraine relaxation technique it is important to duplicate what you did on your left side, on the right side of your body. So, tense your right bicep and forearm and relax. Make a fist as above for the left side and tense your right hand and right fingers and release.

Gently lift your head off the floor to reach the chin to your chest, only as far as it can go. Don’t force anything. This will put tension on your neck and give it a good stretch. Be very gentle with these areas around your throat. Hold the tension 1-2-3 and release.

Your Face

Focus your attention on your forehead and lift your eye brows as high as you can. Hold this for the count of 1-2-3-4-5 and release. Feel the tension leaving your forehead with your exhale.

Now squint your eyes and wrinkle your nose to put tension on your eyes, cheeks and nose. Hold the tension 1-2-3-4-5 and release. Allow the tension to leave with your exhale.

Tense your jaw and mouth. Clench your teeth, carefully, and pull your mouth towards your ears. Hold this tension 1-2-3-4-5 and release.

Now just allow the warmth and relaxation to spread through out your head. Notice now that your face and head feels warm and relaxed.

Your Head - Spend More Time Here Fellow Migraine Sufferers

You may want to spend more time in the head area if you suffer with chronic migraines. Focus your attention on the side of your head, the side you most often have the attacks on. Bring your focus to the ear on that side and the jaw.  The eye and the neck.

Sense into the top your shoulder. Everywhere the tension is from the last migraine attack. Just hold your awareness there for a couple of minutes. This might be scary at first, so make sure you do this when you have no pain.

Take nice deep full breaths.

The Whole Body

Notice that your right leg, and the whole left leg – that both whole legs together feel warm and relaxed. Pause and notice warmth or tingling sensations.

Notice that your whole right arm and the whole left arm – together both arms feel warm and relaxed. Pause to notice any sensations.

Notice that the whole of your back, your buttocks, your spine, your shoulder blades all feel warm and relaxed. The whole front of your body, your stomach and chest are all warm and relaxed. Pause and notice warmth or tingling sensations all over these areas.

Notice your whole torso, the front and the back together all feel warm and relaxed. Notice your head, your face, your eyes and the whole of your head is warm and relaxed. The whole body is warm and relaxed. The whole body is warm and relaxed. The whole body … is warm and relaxed. Take time to pause and notice your physical sensations.

Migraine Relaxation Daydreaming

You have just completed your first round of the progressive muscle and migraine relaxation technique.

You may want to take a minute to see how you feel, or you may want to continue the relaxation. If so, you can return to your breath awareness with inhaling and exhaling for the count of three. In 1-2-3 and out 1-2-3 and repeat.

If you are going to sleep, then just let your body sleep from here. If you need to get up slowly start to wiggle and move your fingers and toes. Stretch your hands over your head. Open and close your eyes. Take a minute to fully wake up before you stand up.

Regular Stress Management is Important

Hopefully if a migraine was on its way, it has now retreated. Stress management is so important, in that, stress can trigger migraines, so whatever we can do to be proactive is beneficial.

The best thing I ever read on meditation and the migraine link was this ebook called Mindfulness Over Migraines. The technique in it changed my migraine management in every way. 

I can also recommend listening to relaxing CD's. I listen to them all over and over and over.

Check out our selection of headache music which I also find most beneficial for relaxing.

Remember that taking deep full breaths is important too. It's like a mini timeout.

Be gentle with yourself.

What Do You Do To Relax?

Please share what you use as a migraine relaxation technique on meditation for migraine pain.

Stay well,



References for Migraine Relaxation Technique:

1. Wong, C for Alternative Medicine (2012) Stopping Migraines with Stress Management. [Online], Available at: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/headache/a/migraines_stress.htm
2. Wachholtz, A.B., and Pargament, K.I. (2008) Migraines and Meditation: Does Spirituality Matter?" J Behav Med. Vol 31(4). pp.351-66. [Online], Available online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18551362


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With this new information, what one thing can you do now to reduce your attacks?