Chronic Migraines Relieved after 35 Years
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Chronic Migraines Relieved after 35 Years
When Angela first came to see me she revealed that she had been suffering from frequent severe migraines for more than 35 years. During that time she had tried most other alternative treatments, visited The Migraine Clinic in London and seen two top neurologists and been given every kind of migraine medication that exists but absolutely nothing had worked. She had come to the point where she felt very alone as nobody in the medical world could help her however hard they tried.
She had a long history of challenging family experiences and was trying to support family and friends whilst managing the migraines. It had become so bad that about 3 months of every year she spent in bed with migraine pain. She had also had ME/CFS for a number of years, but had recovered sufficiently to be able to function relatively normally.
Angela was unhappy with the degree of restriction in her life due to the migraines. Whilst listening to her it quickly became evident that she felt extremely guilty about letting people down. This was a major stress factor which almost guaranteed the onset of a migraine. She very much felt that she was expected to be the strong one and didn’t want anyone seeing her as weak. Her focus was always on people around her who were less capable and more in need than she was.
In the first session we tapped on the frustration and helplessness she had felt whilst caring for her mother in the 10 years leading to her eventual death. There were multiple tales of inadequate nursing care through to downright callous cruelty from those in positions of power. Angela had had to become assertive although she was not happy with having to be that kind of person. As a sensitive person herself, she had the common fear of experiencing any kind of conflict.
At the second session Angela reported that she had felt much calmer and had had no migraines for a week! Her biggest stress still was her fear of letting other people down. We explored the possibility that the migraines were her body’s way of getting her off the hook of having to constantly meet other people’s expectations. Only when she was really ill could she allow herself to cancel a prearranged appointment. On frequent occasions over the last twenty years, Angela took very strong migraine medication and pain killers just so that she could help family and friends because she had made the arrangements and couldn't bear to let them down. This just exacerbated the problem further leading to more and more migraines
We tapped for her strong belief that she shouldn’t let people down, she should be strong and keep going no matter what happened, and explored the roles of her childhood experiences in forming this belief. The guilt she felt around other people’s suffering created an almost irresistible urge to do whatever she could to alleviate it.
Although she had described having a very happy childhood, she had formed some powerful beliefs about having to be strong in the face of adversity, especially for other people. Her grandmother had a long-term illness and her mother had a very hard life caring for her. For a few years, grandmother had lived with them. Seeing her mother having to work so hard and having to be strong and capable meant that the sensitive child Angela grew up feeling guilty about being needy herself.
By the 3rd session Angela was delightedly reporting she had gone 15 days without a migraine. We did further tapping around the belief that, when she sees other people who need help, “If I’ve got the energy then I should do it” and the subsequent worry about whether or not she would be well enough to do it. There was more to release about the fear of being seen to be weak and of disappointing other people.
Having learned the EFT points so she could tap for herself, Angela had also successfully diverted two migraines when she detected the early onset signals.
In subsequent sessions we worked on having compassion for herself, allowing in the new perspective of feeling sorry for all her years of suffering rather than simply seeing it all as normal. We also tapped for the guilt of not being worthy of help when other people seem to have suffered even more. There was still some residual shame about needing which we tapped for and Angela eventually reached a goal which she described as “It’s time to live my life in joy and fun and health and happiness”. She realised that doing things for herself didn’t take anything away from other people and that it was possible to want the best for herself AND the best for other people too.
After 4 months, Angela was feeling energy flowing through her body again, although she still had a tendency to feel the need to use it all up too quickly. She was doing things for herself and her diary had been cleared of many of the ‘burdens’ of caring for other people. The migraines had become non-existent and whenever she felt the signs she was learning that tapping would prevent the development of a full-blown migraine.
We looked at ways she could feel more powerful out in the world by harmonising with events before they happened and by using the power of positive visualisation. She realised that she had developed a habit of telling herself just one kind of story about future possibilities and was very excited and keen to play with the energy of different potentials.
With M’s migraine symptoms reducing even further, it was with some disappointment that she came to a session and told me she had had 3 migraines in the previous 5 days. We looked into what the trigger was by exploring what she had been doing on that day. It was another situation in which she felt pressured to do more than was realistically possible as well as doing something she didn’t really want to do but felt she ‘should’.
This poor lady had many traumas in her metaphorical forest of “I must be strong and keep going no matter what” and during the session we tapped through a complex story involving abuse, neglect and loneliness especially concerning obtaining needed medical care for her family. There were common themes of feeling that there was never anyone around who could support her and help her to get what she needed. Whilst talking about her experiences, she frequently used the phrase “well, you’ve got to keep going really haven’t you?”. What she thought of as a normal life was actually a tragic series of traumatic events.
Although there is still some trauma clearing to do – some big trees still in the forest – Angela has a much better life already and is discovering how to manage stress levels and build on her recovery from ME/CFS.
Here’s an email she sent me which I think says it all.
“Many thanks indeed for all your help, kindness, patience and understanding, I am gradually making progress and it is truly amazing to wake up with a clear head, sometimes for a period of 11 days in a row. To me it seems like a miracle after over 35 years of torture with migraine headaches occurring three or four times a week which added together amounted to as much as three months of every year in bed, whilst trying desperately hard to lead a normal life in between, almost an impossibility.
I cannot begin to describe the difference your help has made to the quality of my life. Although I still have migraines I am at last beginning to understand why and associate the pattern they follow. Before, I think I was living in a fog like world of pain and pills trying to battle on living in hope that one day things might eventually get better. With your help and guidance I now have the tools to be able to tackle the problems from within using the techniques you have introduced me to.
I am so grateful to feel I can talk to you in confidence about my life experiences and unravel problems that have clearly been building up for so long and it's such a relief to be able to share them with somebody at last who understands. Thank you so much once again for everything - I much appreciate your amazing ability to 'home in' and extract the pain and anxiety I have obviously been carrying around for so long. “
AAMET Level 3 practitioner and trainer and Hypnotherapist,
lives in the UK with her family. She specializes in healing the wounded heart, especially working with people who fit the category of Highly Sensitive Person. As an empath and intuitive herself she understands the devastating impact accumulated traumas have on our health and vitality. Integrating many skills with deep understanding and listening creates a powerful yet gentle and compassionate heart-filled space for healing.
Web: www.marianmills.co.uk email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (1)502 722538
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