Mindfulness and headache: A 'new' old treatment, with new findings
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A description of the experience
Cephalalgia. 2016 Sep 30. pii: 0333102416667023. [Epub ahead of print]
Mindfulness and headache: A "new" old treatment, with new findings.
Andrasik F1, Grazzi L2, D'Amico D2, Sansone E3, Leonardi M3, Raggi A3, Salgado-García F4.
- 1Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA email@example.com.
- 2Headache and Neuroalgology Unit, Neurological Institute C. Besta IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy.
- 3Neurology, Public Health and Disability Unit, Neurological Institute C. Besta IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy.
- 4Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA.
Mindfulness refers to a host of procedures that have been practiced for centuries, but only recently have begun to be applied to varied pain conditions, with the most recent being headache.
We reviewed research that incorporated components of mindfulness for treating pain, with a more in depth focus on headache disorders. We also examined literature that has closely studied potential physiological processes in the brain that might mediate the effects of mindfulness. We report as well preliminary findings of our ongoing trial comparing mindfulness alone to pharmacological treatment alone for treating chronic migraine accompanied by medication overuse.
Although research remains in its infancy, the initial findings support the utility of varied mindfulness approaches for enhancing usual care for headache management. Our preliminary findings suggest mindfulness by itself may produce effects comparable to that of medication alone for patients with chronic migraine and medication overuse.
Much work remains to more fully document the role and long term value of mindfulness for specific headache types. Areas in need of further investigation are discussed.
© International Headache Society 2016.
Mindfulness; acceptance and commitment therapy; meditation
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Concepts, symbols and science items
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