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:
- Relieve the discomfort through a deeply relaxing technique of muscle tension release;
- 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.
- 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 the 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 once or twice a day for one week, then every couple days as a refresher. Try to take a 5-minute break each day to practice the relaxation technique heard on Track 1 from memory.
Track 2 - Evening Relaxation and Clearing: Use to unwind from the day or prior to going to bed.
Track 3 - Greeting a Relaxed, Successful Day: Use to start off your day. (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 apply these techniques without the use of the recording and headaches have ceased.)
Track 4 - Exploring the Roots of Your Headache: Use 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 heavyweight 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: Use this 7-minute relaxation experience after work or at bedtime. First, you will be guided into a pleasant state of relaxation and your deeper mind is 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 Life Script. 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.
Supplementary and Related Programs:
Healing Journey: This program features a symphony created specifically for this recording, and was the first of Dr. Miller’s original creations from the 1970s. Pure relaxation and healing imagery.
Letting Go of Stress: Because accumulating stress is at the root of all anxiety, this program is useful for learning techniques to lower the overall level of stress in your life. A Dr. Miller Classic, Letting Go Of Stress is a perennial bestseller.
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.
Contraindications and Precautions:
Although there are really no absolute contraindications for the use of this product, people who are severely psychotic or who do not want to at least try to follow the guidance offered will probably benefit little from listening. Listening is also not a substitute for needed medical care or psychiatric care for serious mental or emotional disturbance. In any undiagnosed potentially serious condition such as a head injury, again, there will not likely be any harm, but it would be wise to delay their use until an adequate diagnosis has been made. Although no such problems have been reported, people with seizures of any kind, or neurological or with severe neurorespiratory disease, should check with their primary care practitioner for suggestions regarding the use of this program. Likewise, if you are undergoing psychotherapy, share your use of these with your therapist, as he/she may want to integrate this use with your treatment. And, of course, if you are driving or using equipment that requires your full attention, do not close your eyes and do not listen to any program that you find causes you to become drowsy, distracted, or incapable of functioning safely. Programs designated as “Drivetime” should be used with these precautions in mind.
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