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A New Alternative Headache Relief Technique: Havening

Posted and verified by Holly Hazen


~ Guest post by Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT. Verified, edited and published by Holly Hazen.

Have you heard of this new alternative headache relief technique called Havening?

It's a cross between hypnosis and touch for health. Susanna was able to stop a migraine attack, in the middle, for her son.

Here's a short demonstration from a mom and now Havening Techniques®️ practitioner...



How I managed to stop a migraine attack, right in the middle, with my son using Havening Techniques®️

Hello! I'm Susanna Sweeney, creator of the online therapy clinic.com. Holly has invited me to introduce you to self Havening, which is a self help technique that you can use to improve your migraines. And in fact, you might be able to get rid of them all together, although initially, you might prefer to work with a practitioner.

You can achieve a lot on your own and I'm going to talk you through the exact protocol how to do that.

But first, a little bit about Havening Techniques®. So Havening Techniques® are still largely unknown. They're a relatively new modality only about 10 years old.

They were recently popularized by Justin Bieber, who uses them to manage stress and difficult emotions.

Havening Techniques® were invented by New York brothers, Dr. Ronald and Dr. Stephen Ruden, who became curious about 20 years ago about why people develop disturbing symptoms such as phobias, and intrusive memories after trauma. And other disturbing symptoms like chronic pain - migraines fall into this category.

And what they found was - they studied neuroscience - was that these issues are encoded in the amygdala. And it's always the same pattern that's followed. They're encoded in the same way that trauma is encoded.

Once they had this knowledge, what they did is, they looked at ways of decoding this traumatic encoding and that's what the Havening Techniques® grew out of.

Havening Techniques® is what we call a psycho sensory technique, which means using the senses to affect the psyche, the emotions and the body.

EMDR is a psycho sensory technique - you might have heard of EMDR before as that's relatively well known. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing = E M D R.

Although in my clinical observation - I use Havening Techniques® to work with anxiety in clients - I find that compared to EMDR, Havening Techniques® are much, much more gentle on the client, and that's in fact, where the word HAVENING comes from.

We create a safe haven for clients.

And how do we do that? We do that through touch, which is the sensory aspect used in Havening Techniques®. It's touch based.

This touch produces Delta brainwaves, and it's the Delta brainwaves that give a lovely relaxing effect and cushioning. In that space it's possible for the brain to quite safely process difficult issues, and chronic pain would fall into that category of issues that we otherwise would tend to avoid - naturally because they're very uncomfortable things to be dealing with.

So it's time now to introduce you to the actual touch technique. You can work alongside me in the video above. And if you do so, it will only take a minute or so until you feel the relaxing effects of the Delta brainwave.


I cover a lot of alternative treatments in my workshop. Here's the link...


We have three main areas in Havening that we use for touch:

  • your face,
  • from the shoulders to the elbows and
  • your palms.

So I will start off by showing you how to touch your face. I am wearing glasses so I will just focus on my cheeks but you can work from your forehead all the way to your chin.

You can separate your fingers as shown, you can keep them together, or you can use the actual palm for stroking your face. It's all about what makes you feel comfortable, what you enjoy - the kind of touch you enjoy.

From the shoulders to the elbows looks like this (in the video).

A lot of people are very comfortable with this. And another very discreet way of using Havening Techniques® is to just use your palms. We use all those three areas because they were shown to produce the most Delta brainwaves in a scientific study, when the touch receptors were exposed to vibrating pads.

So we activate the touch receptors by gentle stroking or on your face by gentle dabbing, (shown in video) if you don't want to disturb your makeup, for example.

You can use all three areas when you're working at home, or you can just focus on one. It's really very, very flexible.

For the purpose of this demonstration, I will continue to use all three areas. I will continue to do what we call rounds, so the face, then the shoulders to the elbows, and then the palms.

And now we're going to add another ingredient into the mix, which is where it becomes very specific for migraines. And this ingredient is a statement that we will use and this statement helps us to target one particular issue.

So I would suggest because migraines belong into the chronic pain category to use the word pain, but I suggest that you take a closer look at the type of migraine pain that you experience and use a word that describes your pain exactly.

So for example, pain can take different forms. It can be dull ache, it can be sharp, it can be cutting or have some other quality. So find the right word for you. And let's just use the example here for the purpose of this demonstration that I have a cutting pain and I'm going to work with this word - cutting pain. Cutting pain, cutting pain, cutting pain, cutting pain. And you're going to say this out loud.

So find a place where nobody's listening. "Cutting pain, cutting pain, cutting pain. Cutting pain. Cutting, cutting pain, cutting pain, cutting pain, cutting pain." So you can use this word at home whether or not you are in the midst of a migraine attack. It's also safe to use when you are experiencing a migraine attack.

With my son, I managed to stop a migraine attack in the middle of it. Now, it can take up to 20 minutes until the migraine stops or you get the level of improvement that you want. It's perfectly safe, you can keep going for that length of time. You can use rounds of Havening Touch just like I demonstrate in the video, or you can focus on just one of these areas. It's really very, very flexible. It's great for an alternative headache relief option.

The face was shown to produce the most Delta brainwaves. So if you're comfortable touching your face, then that's a very effective place to go for. And you can - I would suggest you use it on a daily basis at home.

You can finish the rounds on a positive statement, which is a really lovely way of rounding it up. And the example I'm going to use here is, I feel safe. I feel peaceful. I repeat I feel safe. I feel peaceful. I feel calm. I feel peaceful. I feel calm. Which you can keep going for another few minutes.

When you are working at home doing your own self care, Havening Techniques or self Havening, you can achieve a lot. You might want to get the support of a practitioner who is certified in Havening Techniques if you want to see if you can actually get rid of the migraines all together.

There might be a lot of work involved over a few months when you do that.

So this is all from me for today. I will keep my fingers crossed for you that you achieve a great improvement with self Havening. There is nothing you can do wrong with it really, it's perfectly safe, very well contained.

If you experience emotions or memories while you are self Havening, just let them pass. It's your brain going through its filing system. And that's all good.

Thank you for watching.

Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT.

Susanna Sweeney, is the creator of the Online Hypnotherapy Clinic and has training in Hypnosis, Havening Techniques®️, EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. She's an accredited psychotherapist MBACP.

You can see more of her work here: Hypnosis for Migraine Relief

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