Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) has become mainstream in alternative medicine because its practice has proven to be effective in reducing migraine headaches in clinical situations using integrative medicine. The proof of the effectiveness of MBSR is among the latest news items at Meditation / QiGong Trends around the World. Here are a few examples:
These articles point the way to stress reduction as a keystone in relieving migraine headaches while the method of mindfulness serves as the key.
Mindfulness is a simple method that has existed as long as meditation because meditation begins with mindfulness; it is a simple because all we’re doing is focusing our attention on one vital function at a time within our bodies. Since our breathing is most vital, our attention begins there.
The mindfulness meditation method I’m sharing here is a combination of methods that fit together like hand in glove. These methods are by Thomas Nardi who I first read in the 1980’s The Mind in the Martial Arts: A Key to Winning, Stewart Swerdlow, who served in esoteric government experiments in the 1980’s, and Gerald O’Donnell, a former financial advisor who also served in esoteric government experiments in the 1980’s.
First, we relax using what I like to call the HealingMindN Meditation Posture. The posture in itself helps to relieve stress and induce relaxation. You can download the guide for helping you into this posture at Mind Body Medicine. Although this guide is small, I include a lot of theory, so if you want to skip the theory, here are the seven essential steps:
HealingMindN Meditation Posture
- Breathe deeply and naturally. Remember to take deep, natural, slow breaths only through the nose towards the solar plexus as you perform each relaxation step.
- Hold your back in an upright posture. If you must lay down, you can use a pillow under
your back to hold a naturally straight posture.
- Relax your shoulders. Shrug them first to identify the tension, then relax. Repeat if necessary.
- Hold your head up, loosely. Feel as if your head is supported by a string from above. Your head is upright, but feels free and moves slightly as if it is floating above water.
- Relax your vision. Relax your focus as if gazing blankly along a distant horizon of the ocean.
- Relax your jaw. Allow your jaw to relax by letting it drop slightly.
- Place the tip of your tongue gently against the roof of your mouth. The tongue should be relaxed, but not touching the teeth. The relaxed tip of the tongue should be on or near the center of the palate (between soft and hard palates).
For your convenience, here is an audio of the guided instruction for the HealingMindN Posture:
Introduction to “S” Meditation
You’re going to be doing something called an “S” Meditation; it is based upon a healing modality by Stewart Swerdlow for eliminating headaches.
“S” can stand for “spectrum” like all the colors of the rainbow. “S” can also stand for “space” which can be a gap of sorts between yourself and an intented target. “S” refers to both in “S” Meditation.
You’re not going to go for everything at once as you see in the Chakra Man Graphic. That’s too much. What you’re going to do is progressive visualization in 5 small layers; it’s like progressive resistance when you’re lifting w8s in the gym. In this case, the only resistance you may encounter is your imagination and ability to focus.
You don’t have to get in the Lotus Position like Chakra Man. Simply begin from a sitting, HealingMindN Posture as you read this. Shift away your eyes from this screen or close them to fulfill each step. You will retain these steps well enough on your own after a few times. Use the “S” Meditation Graphic as a memory jog.
I’m going to exclude a lot of the theory here as I show you the steps; this is in contrast to the literature from one of my favorite authors, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, who is all about the theory before going into the exercises. The breathing exercises contain elements from Dr. Yang’s work since he is one of the main sifu when it comes to QiGong Breathing Exercises.
Since I’m a student of Steve G. Jones, I’m also including NLP techniques.
You may have a headache or migraine right now as you’re reading this, but I can’t imagine that you’re having your worst episode as you’re reading this or else how can you read anything?
You probably associate dark colors with this pounding or constant pressure you experience. There may be a certain darkness that you associate with a particular place in your head where you experience the most chronic pain. Recall a time when you had the worst pain in your head and focus on that spot:
- What colors do you associate with that pain?
- What aromas or flavors do you associate with that pain?
- What sounds do you associate with that pain?
- What emotions or feelings of movement do you associate with that pain?
Now, imagine that you are watching yourself. You are sitting or standing right across from yourself and watching yourself at this moment. Your other self is happy, healthy and pain free. Recall a time when you felt healthy and pain free:
- What colors do you associate with being healthy? Are they bright?
- What aromas or flavors do you associate with being healthy?
- What sounds do you associate with being healthy?
- What emotions or feelings of movement do you associate with that pain?
When you can recall that time of being healthy and pain free, then imagine a “hissing” sound as if you’re going to pronounce the letter “S.”
Unfortunately, for most chronic pain sufferers, they can’t recall a time when they were completely pain free. Not to worry. The “S” Meditation will reveal that healthier version of you.
HealingMindN “S” Meditation
- Using your diaphragm, breathe in for three seconds, then breathe out for 5 seconds; the 5 second exhale aids in a complete exhalation. As you can imagine, your inhale is a little deeper than your exhale which is a little slower, but don’t hold your breath. Breathe deeply and naturally. Repeat this breathing pattern 8 times.
- Same as above, but to help you relax further, breathe in for 5 seconds, then breathe out for 8 seconds. Again, as you can imagine, your inhale is a little deeper than your exhale which is slower and more complete. Repeat this breathing pattern 13 times.
- For those of you who recognize the pattern, yes, this pattern follows the Fibonacci Sequence. Proceed forward in the sequence to relax further (e.g. 8 second inhale, 13 second exhale, 21 times, etc). For those of you don’t know what I’m talking about, we’ll return to the three second inhale, 5 second exhale: Let’s call this the 3/5 Breathing Pattern.
- Imagine, once again, that you’re sitting or standing watching yourself – wherever you are. Imagine your other self in the place of Chakra Man as you see in the graphic to the right. For the ladies, please pretend with your wonderful imagination as if you are watching yourself as Chakra Woman.
- Imagine the “S” beginning at the perineum of your other self (in the area of the red chakra).
- Imagine that you’re able to control the “S” as it floats upward. The “S” floats upward with your 3/5 Breathing Pattern. Imagine the “S” being pulled up with your inhale then pushed up with your exhale.
- Slow down to a 5/8 Breathing Pattern (5 second inhale, 8 second exhale). Imagine the upward pattern of the “S” slowing down to match your breathing pattern.
- As the “S” passes through your other self, you can hear a faint “hissing” as if air is escaping from a bicycle tire – far away. As the “bicycle rider” get’s closer, the hissing gets a little louder.
- Within your other self, where the “S” is loudest, imagine that it sounds as if you’re hissing momentarily with tongue against pallet. At this place where the “S” passes in your other self, you feel happiest, healthiest and pain free: Note the color, feelings, flavors, aromas, textures, (and sounds); this chakrum is at the center of your personal well being.
- Before the “S” enters the center of your personal well being, slowly engage it with your tongue and pallet as you “hiss” softly. Disengage When the “S” leaves. Remember to return your tongue within the HealingMindN Posture. Do this 21 times using an 8/13 Breathing Pattern.
- Maintain your 8/13 Breathing Pattern. For those of you with greater lung capacity, more athletic and adventurous, you may proceed to a 13/21 Breathing Pattern.
- Imagine the “Pi” symbol as a living part of your other self, but as part of a higher place beyond the physical body.
- As the “S” floats upward with your exhale, it takes whatever problems you have to that higher place. (You may believe your problems belong in hell, but the “Pi” symbol used in this context is an invitation for “others” in this higher realm to fix your problems.)
- Maintain your 8/13 Breathing Pattern. Imagine your other self as a perfect version of you, happy, healthy, able to cope with any kind of stress, thinking clearly with the ability to solve problems.
- Imagine your other self perfectly connected to that higher realm. “Perfectly connected” means there are bright, beautiful colors, sounds, smells, flavors, and feelings are all around your other self.
- As you inhale, you draw closer to your other self. As you exhale, you slowly trade places with your other self. You become part of your other self as you both breath in sync.
- When you feel there is a perfect connection to your other self, wherein the “S” bridges the gap between you and that perfect version of yourself, allow your tongue and pallet to softly form a “hissing” sound for that moment, then relax.
- The “S” Meditation can be used any time you feel an attack coming on, therefore, it can be used anywhere; it is best applied at the onset of a headache.
- Practice makes perfect. After enough practice, your stress-based headaches should disappear within a few minutes.
- Always start with the most comfortable Breathing Pattern (depends on your lung capacity), then progress to deeper breathing patterns as you are able.
- HealingMindN Posture and the “S” Meditation are part of an integrative program and are not meant to replace professional medical advice for chronic pain and suffering.
I wish for you real peace. Thanks for your time.
P.S. If you prefer the “S” Meditation as a guided audio instruction that can be down loaded, then please let us know in the comments below.