More Power To You – Brain Power, That Is…

With time, this series of columns will give you a new sense of wonder about your power and creativity. Thanks to the power of thought, you DO have it in you – not just emotionally, but physically – to experience significant pain relief.

Who knew you could be your own power plant for improvement? And it’s certainly creating a friendlier environment in your body!

While a single medication or therapy may not have impressed me at first, the hope that it might rid me of excruciating headaches was a powerful motivator for me to say, “Okay, okay – I’ll try it!”.

Against all logic, against all odds, despite all appearances and prior experience to the contrary, when it came to getting rid of migraine pain, I left no stone unturned.  

Every option had the potential to help me find pain relief. And, if it worked for me, why couldn’t it work for others?

Modern medical science teaches us that visualization or guided imagery is a proven and recommended technique for curing cancers. It uses the power of the brain to generate the thought of healing. If guided imagery is such a powerful tool in healing cancers that the superbly trained modern medical profession recommends it, can guided imagery be adapted to benefit migraine sufferers?

YES, it can. I certainly did use that tool, and it was very effective. Instead of using the word “imagery,” – replace it with “imagination.”

Imagine – by a mere thought, you have just begun to slow down whatever insurmountable obstacle you are dealing with. Consider this: A mere thought generated in the brain can create a physical and chemical change in the body. And who generates that thought? YOU DO. The theory of hope might turn into reality once you take action, no matter how small. Legends, fables, folk and fairy tales aren’t just cute stories – often, they are teaching tools.

What happened to Dorothy? She was told to wish (a mere thought), and then she was told to take action (clicking her heels together). And what happened? Her hope, her wish, became her reality!

If someone were to share that they were feeling pain, most people, most of the time, would show compassion – either with a kind word, a suggestion for improvement or a referral. Why not decide to be as kindly toward your own good self? Is it not one of your fondest wishes to suffer less from migraines?

We’ve just celebrated American Thanksgiving; if it’s not your culture – it’s still a great excuse to celebrate. I once worked for a foreign consulate from a different culture from where I was raised. It meant double the legal holidays! Bonus!

Begin or continue on your migraine pain relief journey by – against all logic, against all odds and despite all appearances to the contrary – thinking quietly to yourself that you are grateful you are finding migraine pain relief, even while you are in the throes of a powerful migraine attack.

You are conditioning your mind to your new reality – significant pain relief.

The emotion of gratitude is a powerful, life-changing one recommended by the medical profession for its ability to improve mental health.

I did this exercise of expressing gratitude even when I was suffering my worst attacks. I would even say it out loud – it sounded and felt more like cursing when I gritted my teeth and expressed my thanks, but somehow, hearing my own voice must have had an impact over time.

Just like therapists teach their cancer patients in “guided imagery” – a sensation of relaxation begins. The brain starts to generate a long list of powerful painkilling chemicals, coursing through your body thanks to whatever systems move body fluids – circulatory, lymphatic, meridians, etc.

Relaxation is one of the sensations that will begin to reverse the excessive blood flow to half your head and counter the enervating effect of a migraine attack.

For competitive athletes, imagery is as much a part of their routine as the daily grind of physical exercise – they practice picturing themselves reaching a certain height or distance, being on the podium at the summit, winning a prize.

Then, they put their thoughts into action by getting on with physical training. They are not at the zenith of their powers, but they are on their way to their imagined level of success, step by step.

Your imagined level of success is that you can imagine yourself experiencing a lowering of the pain level. This will open your mind to adopting pain relief strategies. There are SO many out there – just waiting for you to try them. Aren’t these practices a better use of your time?

Dietary Tip of the Week: Oriental medicine teaches us that migraines are related to the gallbladder meridian (look for future columns on acupuncture and shiatsu).

How can you reduce your gallbladder’s workload? By lightening up! How can you replace a more processed, concentrated food with a closer-to-the-farmer’s fields and orchards ingredient?

Here’s one: try to replace vinegar in recipes with lime, lemon or other tart fruit or vegetable juice (keep the vinegar – it’s amazing for cleaning purposes).

And another: replace some of the oil in a recipe with water. There will still be enough oil to carry the flavor of the spices and enough moisture to keep the integrity of the recipe.


  • Carla Piringer

    Related to noted medical professionals, afflicted with an inherited excruciating migraine condition, the author followed traditional medical and alternative therapies, now living migraine-free for over 35 years. She now shares her doctor-recommended method in her book to inspire sufferers to find significant pain relief.

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