A pilot study of mindfulness shows promise for this type of meditation to improve migraine frequency and severity.
Mindfulness is defined as nonjudgmental, moment-to-moment awareness.
Pilot studies are in general too small to statistically detect an effect of an intervention (the treatment being studied) on the outcome (the problem being looked at). However, they can give an idea about if it is helpful.
Researchers studies 19 patients and divided them into two groups:
- Control group of usual care – told they would start the course in a month
- Group assigned to an 8-week mindfulness program, consisting of 8 weekly 2-hour group sessions led by a trained instructor, followed by a 6-hour mindfulness retreat. Patients in this group are given information about stress and stress relief. Participants are encouraged to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives so that daily routines, such as brushing teeth or taking a shower, become a meditative practice.
They were allowed to continue taking their usual medications and were asked not to change dosages.
Despite inadequate power due to small sample size, mindfulness participants had 1.4 fewer migraines per month compared with the control group, as well as reduced severity and duration of all and 2.9 fewer hours per headache. Disability also decreased compared with the control group.
Classes incorporated in the program included:
- mindful eating
- sitting and walking meditation
- body scan (mindful attention to different body parts), and
- mindful movement or yoga.
Source : Headache journal