Ever since I was 11 years old, I have experienced chronic migraines because of a school bus accident that caused me to bump my head on the window. At this young age, constant head pain was a feeling that I did not know how to handle, as well as a strain on many enjoyable moments, which was upsetting. At this time, I was prescribed a strong dosage of migraine-specific relief pill for my migraines, which normally occurred about twice a week, so medication was usually my go-to solution.

Around the age of 18, I began a natural journey, exposing myself to more holistic, whole-body, alternatives in diet, health, skin and hair care. At the same time, I tried to be less dependent on my prescribed medication and focused on potential triggers of these migraines. By reducing my caffeine intake, prioritizing at least 6 hours of sleep (in college), and eating more well-balanced meals, my migraines only came about twice a month.

The opioid epidemic made me realize the potential for misuse of some pain management medications, and encouraged me to seek out holistic alternatives to the underlying causes of my migraines rather than use immediate solutions to treat my symptoms. I had realized that often we may fall submissive to medicated solutions, instead of understanding our own bodies.

In fall 2019, I challenged myself to learn how to treat my migraines naturally through mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness-based practices include acknowledging my tension levels, pin pointing where tension may occur in my body, and developing an awareness of the pain. One of the most effective practices I have incorporated in my migraine-treatment routine is listening to guided meditation for headache relief. Visualization of a good memory or sensation is usually one of the techniques involved in these meditations. This allows my mind to distract itself from the pain my body is presently enduring, which is the main purpose of mindful meditation—awareness of the present.

Practicing mindfulness has been a huge accomplishment for my health and wellness. I’ve developed a powerful skill of self-control and an even deeper understanding of self-care. I have now incorporated the mindful techniques for my migraines into my daily routine, and my newfound, mindful life is less stressful and more productive.

I encourage everyone to become more mindful of their pain, instead of disregarding it. I encourage everyone to understand that the power that lies within their mind, and once you master that, then the mind will be a true master of its body.