Taming the migraine beast

Are you or someone you care about, having your quality of life ravaged by migraines?

The migraine beast is always lurking in the lives of multitudes worldwide. It is estimated that six million people in the UK alone are affected by this very disruptive neurological brain illness. The cost to the NHS of treating migraines is said to be in the region of £150 million every year.

This illness is a significant problem and can be ruinous to the quality of life, not only for the person afflicted with the condition but also for loved ones who frequently have to compensate when the migraine beast has struck! The beast that is apparently always lurking ready to pounce on those with the condition. These attacks can often appear random, without apparent warning. Migraines are especially prevalent when stress levels are high. Indeed, stress is one of the most common migraine triggers.

A migraine attack can be very savage and involve excruciating pain. It can also be very ugly. Certainly, this has been my own experience, having lived in the shadow of the migraine beast for over 50 years now. When experiencing a full-on attack, the unsightly and traumatic experience of severe vomiting down the toilet pan as I am crouched over it heaving can be a standard occurrence.

Indeed for many during an attack, vomiting can come as a welcome relief as they have learned from past attacks, that until the vomiting begins and runs a natural course, the migraine beast will not shift attention away from them and the relentless attack will continue. This is an all too familiar story for many living with the condition.

There is no cure

The bad news is that there is no cure. Migraine is an inherited condition to which the person with the affliction is genetically predisposed. My own mother suffers from migraines and so do two of my sons. It is something that clearly runs in families. However hold that thought, because there is some good news to come.

A person who experiences 15 or more attacks per month is considered to be a chronic migraine sufferer. Such frequency is extremely disruptive and makes planning life and running an effective business or career difficult. I know this from personal experience and had to change my own career as a police detective, to facilitate my personal progress towards finding a bespoke migraine solution. I say bespoke because everyone who suffers from migraines will have their own unique migraine profile. Triggers and effective treatments can vary widely between individuals.

Some good news

Now for the good news that I alluded to earlier. The migraine beast can be tamed, controlled, and managed. Although an inherited condition, a robust approach to identifying triggers and building personal resilience can have a profound effect in sending the migraine beast into a dormant state of hibernation, eradicating the illness from the life of the person living with the condition.

The compound effect of growing in knowledge and adopting lifestyle habits to build resilience is that extended periods of being migraine-free can become the new normal in their life, relegating migraine attacks to exceptions rather than the rule. Such a taming of the beast will be transformational in the lives of the beast tamers!

Migraine is very much a lifestyle condition which is why lifestyle coaching can be so transformational for the person living under the migraine cloud. 

As a lifestyle coach and migraine therapist, I focus on raising awareness around drug-free interventions, and resilience coaching. Resilience coaching comes in three phases.

  • building
  • increasing
  • maintaining

Building resilience

An analogy I often use to explain resilience is one of a bottle containing water. The empty bottle denotes the resilience capacity of the person with the migraine predisposition. The more the water level rises, the less resilience an individual has against a migraine attack. The rigours of life will keep topping the water level up. Stress at work. Environmental factors such as humidity and heat. Dietary factors, emotional factors, such as carrying grudges or resentments, not being willing to forgive and let go. Health factors such as being under the weather.

All these factors will increase the level of the water in the bottle, and in so doing, reducing a person's resilience. Then some small thing once the water is saturated to the top, can trigger a migraine attack as the water overflows and sets off the neurological chain reaction in the brain. 

Culprits or innocent scapegoats?

I’ll use the innocent chocolate bar or the glass of wine as examples. They are very much misunderstood and blamed as culprits. Let me explain. Someone may be feeling stressed by work, perhaps they have skipped a meal and neglected to drink enough water. As a consequence, they are left feeling a little dehydrated. They are also fatigued and running on empty after meeting a very important deadline on a project they have been working on.

That person then compensates for the drop in energy levels due to the skipped meal and a lack of sleep the previous night, by seeking sugar solace in a chocolate bar. Or seeks refuge from what has been a stressful time with a glass of their favourite wine. Unfortunately, the sugar in the chocolate or the alcohol in the wine further dehydrates and that is enough in the perfect storm of events to trigger a full-on migraine attack. Dehydration is another common trigger.

So the victim of the attack by the migraine beast may attribute the migraine to the wine or the chocolate bar they have just consumed. However, in reality, it was everything leading up to this, which reduced their resilience to the point where the ingestion of these treats has precipitated the attack. 

My mission is to help the migraine sufferer transform into a migraine overcomer. 

As a lifestyle coach for people struggling with the condition, I can leave my clients with some powerful tools they can walk away with after our very first session. If practised with discipline, these tools can transform their lives, and lead to pain-free days being their new normal. 

Man on a mission

My mission is to help the migraine sufferer transform into a migraine overcomer. A migraine sufferer all too often can adopt a victim mentality as they are savaged by the migraine beast. 'Woe is me' being the order of the day. I know this to be the case because I have been there myself, I was the 'woe is me' man, having periodic pity parties! 

Conversely, a migraine overcomer will adopt a far more positive mentality, as they become proactive towards taking responsibility for their health by finding their own solutions. My closing thought is this: if you live with migraines that are spoiling your quality of life, you owe it to yourself to prioritise your health and be intentional about finding solutions. Be the very best version of yourself.  

If this article has resonated with you and you would like to find out more about receiving coaching to overcome migraines, respond now by contacting me via my profile. Then we can set up a conversation.

You can also find me on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Wickford, Essex, SS11

Written by Randal Porter (Dip Coach & Dip Migraine Therapy)

Wickford, Essex, SS11

a retired police detective I am now a Lifestyle coach with a diploma in Migraine Therapy, I offer a new approach to managing migraines. I have lived with the condition myself for 50 years so it is an issue I care about. I have found solutions and believe that every person with migraine can find ways to achieve less migraine days.

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