In this program you will find powerful mind-body approaches that prove helpful for most headaches. There are four separate deep relaxation and guided imagery experiences designed to:
Ø Relieve the discomfort through a deeply relaxing technique of muscle tension release;
Ø Trace the cause of your pain through a brief exploration of its origins, and alter the patterns that may be giving rise to repeated episodes of pain; and
Ø Use imagery as a daily measure to keep you pain free and feeling comfortable.
A special 7-minute relaxation ritual is provided for use each morning to start the day relaxed and breeze through challenges that might otherwise have caused a headache. Finally, at the end of each day another stress management exercise will assist in washing away any accumulated tension.
Purpose of Headache Relief:
· To alleviate mild, moderate or severe headaches, especially those associated with stress or muscle tension.
· To provide relaxing imagery meditations for starting and ending each day.
· To teach principles of self-care for a wide variety of headaches.
· To guide an exploration of the behaviors that trigger headaches and re-script those cognitive, physical, and emotional reactions and behaviors to prevent future headaches.
· To teach the powerful tools of deep relaxation and stress management.
· To clear the mind of worrisome activity that creates internal tension which often leads to some form of headache.
· To help restructure self-image of people who have become identified with their headaches.
Those suffering from chronic tension and stress headaches; or vascular headaches, such as migraines or those caused by emotional factors. Use alone or with medication, physical therapy, or other therapies.
Not recommended for use in cases of significant trauma to the head until the possibility of serious intracranial damage has been ruled out. Many people can learn to control their headaches and eliminate or reduce their need for medication, but in all cases, medication adjustment should be done only after consultation with the prescribing professional.
Track 1: "Relax Away Your Headache." Use 1X or 2X/day for one week; Try to take a 5-minute break each day to practice relaxation technique heard on Track 1 from memory.
Track 2: "Evening Relaxation and Clearing."
Track 3: "Greeting a relaxed, successful day"(Use Track 1 every couple of days as a refresher; Tracks 2 and 3 can be used on an ongoing basis.) or gradually dispensed with after a week or two once you have learned how and are able to appapply these techniques without the use of the tape and headaches have ceased.
Use Track 4: "Exploring the roots of your headache." once or twice a week for several weeks, until you feel you have a better understanding of the roots and triggers of your headaches, and are making changes in your attitudes, reactions, or behaviors so you have fewer and milder episodes.
Gradual and Immediate Changes
Although many people will find listening to this headache relief program provides immediate relief, others will find only partial relief the first few times they use it. Those who are unfamiliar with the techniques used may notice nothing except greater relaxation the first few times.
Whatever happens at first, it is important to continue to practice with the recordings for a while. This is a training program to teach the unconscious part of your mind skills that will later enable you to relieve pain by simply reviewing the imagery.
It is important to aim for continued success, and not set the stage for failure by not using the training program regularly. In many ways, this is like training a muscle to be strong by repeatedly using it in a certain way; after it is strong you can lift a heavy weight that would have been too heavy before you had built up that muscle.
The emphasis is not simply on relieving the symptoms of a headache, but on learning stress management, relaxation skills, and guided imagery to prevent headaches.
Detailed Description of Exercises:
Track 1 – Relax Away Your Headache: Before listening, gently examine your head, neck and shoulders, noting where there is tension, muscle knots, or sore trigger points. Next, you will be guided into a comfortable state of relaxation through a number of techniques.
First, there is a deep muscle relaxation procedure for relieving accumulated muscle tension in the shoulders, neck and scalp. Following a series of progressive relaxation images, you will receive suggestions to slowly tense your hand into a fist while imagining the tension in your hand is superimposed over the tense spot in your head. You will then be instructed to gradually relax your hand. As it relaxes, it models the letting go process. The unconscious mind then uses this as a metaphor, transferring the same process of relaxation to the neck and scalp muscles.
Track 2 – Evening Relaxation and Clearing: A 7-minute relaxation experience to use after work or at bedtime. First you will be guided into a pleasant state of relaxation and your deeper mind encouraged to release the tensions of the day.
Next it provides imagery for creating self-acceptance and forgiveness, two qualities frequently associated with the disappearance of headaches. No need to take extra tensions to bed. Encourages a deep, restorative night’s sleep. If you still need more relaxation to get to sleep, consider Easing Into Sleep.
Track 3 -- Greeting a Relaxed, Successful Day: A great way to begin your day is to listen to this track as soon as you wake up in the morning, before the challenges and worries of the day have begun. Designed to help diminish morning tension and depressed feelings, and to create an attitude of confidence and self-acceptance.
Next, the imagery will guide you into the future, projecting ahead to events that could potentially be stressful (and thus headache-producing). By rehearsing the response you want in such situations, you inoculate yourself against stress. This is called "image rehearsal," in which the appropriate behavioral responses (and freedom from head and neck pain) are visualized.
Sometimes things happen quickly, and just in case a headache should sneak up on you during the day, the pain relieving technique learned in Track 1 is rehearsed, so it will be available whenever you need it.
Track 4 – Exploring the Roots of Your Headache: (Do not use this part during an actual headache.)
This section is designed to train your system to operate without headaches. First you will trace the pattern of headaches back through time, to discover their common triggers, emotions, and behavior patterns. Next, you will be guided to relax deeply. Then your deeper mind will review certain stressful situations in your past, especially those that originally helped train your system to have headaches. You will pay careful attention to the triggers of your pain: the interaction with others, mental attitudes, and the emotional and behavioral reactions and responses that occur. Careful attention is paid to any “secondary gain” or subconscious purpose the headaches may have served.
These events are now “re-scripted” or “reprogrammed, using a process similar to that used in Dr. Miller's Writing Your Own Script (SC5202). In the “rewritten” script a new, more adaptive pattern of behavior is visualized – perhaps behavior that is more accepting, more confident, relaxed and wise. Whatever behavior your newer wiser self visualizes, it will lead to the reward of not getting a headache.
Some people will simply review their last few headaches, while others may find that they go back years or even decades to their earliest headaches. It is common to view a different series of events with each listening, thus adding to your ability to recognize maladaptive patterns and change them.
Running Time: 1hr 5 mins
Supplementary and Related Programs:
Healing Journey: relaxation and healing imagery
Letting Go of Stress: for a more complete learning of various techniques for reducing stress and relaxing
Change the Channel on Pain: additional techniques primarily for inducing relaxation and insensitivity to a pain focus
Ten-Minute Stress Manager: additional rapid techniques of relaxing during a busy day