Is PTSD Contributing to Your Migraines?

Have you ever felt an inexplicable tension in your head and neck that is relieved by a strong massage? Are your headaches accompanied by feelings of anxiety, sadness, or even fear? If so, you may be experiencing physical manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We’ll explore the possible connection between migraines and PTSD and how to treat them holistically. 

The Connection Between PTSD and Migraines 
Migraines can have many triggers—from changes in weather patterns to food sensitivities—but one of the most common causes is trauma. A study from the Journal of Headache Pain found that up to 21 percent of migraine sufferers experienced some form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is believed that traumatic experiences can trigger migraines because it heightens the body's fight or flight response, leading to increased levels of cortisol and other hormones in the body which can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches. 

How To Treat PTSD Related Migraines Holistically 
Although there are several medications available to treat both migraines and PTSD, they may not always be effective or desirable. Fortunately, there are holistic treatments available that can help reduce both physical pain and psychological distress associated with these conditions. Here are a few tips for treating migraines caused by PTSD holistically: 
•   Prayer: Prayer has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve mental clarity. Try setting aside 10 minutes each day. Listening to guided breathing techniques and prayer specifically designed for migraine relief can also be helpful. 
•    Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins which can help relieve tension in the body as well as lift your mood. Even just 30 minutes of walking a day can make a difference in how you feel physically and emotionally.  
•    Counseling: Talking with a counselor who specializes in trauma-informed care can help you develop coping strategies for dealing with emotional distress associated with PTSD. This focuses on understanding how past traumas affect current behavior and helps provide insight into unhealthy patterns that may be contributing to migraines.  

Everyone experiences pain differently; however, if you are suffering from frequent migraines accompanied by feelings of anxiety or fear then it could be a sign that you are experiencing physical manifestations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fortunately, there are holistic treatments available such as meditation, exercise, and counseling that can help reduce both physical pain and psychological distress associated with these conditions. By taking an integrative approach to healing these conditions, you will be able to find relief from both your head pain and emotional distress quickly and effectively.

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