I thought I would provide a brief book review on a helpful book I just finished reading called Breaking the Headache Cycle. It brings together things my neurologist and psychologist tell me.
The authors work for the Princeton Headache Clinic. Ian Livingstone is a neurologist and migraine sufferer, so I really felt he knew first hand what he was talking about.
The book describes a program they have developed called the HeadAche Reduction Program (HARP). The program is based on the theory that migraine sufferers have unusually sensitive nervous systems and that medication is a component of a more comprehensive program. There are two parts to the program. One part of the program takes place when the migraine occurs and involves deep breathing, deep relaxation, and reprogramming negative thoughts as well as medication. The second part of the program involves preventing migraines through preventing sensory overload, relaxation, regular routine and using a headache log.
I found the book helpful because it explained how and why migraines occured in biological terms. It explained that those of us with "sensitive" nervous systems are affected by things like weather, skipping meals, and stress. Though we often feel like it's our fault we can't cope with stress it's actually biological and there are things we can do about it.
It's not a difficult read. It took me about a day, with a headache and I've ben able to implement some of the techniques already.