Resolving Debilitating Migraines

by Imane Kurdi


A little about the client:

Melanie (name changed) is a retired mid-wife who came to see me for help with migraines. She had suffered from debilitating migraines since being a teenager and currently reported having an average of 15-18 migraines per month. Though prescription medication did help her manage her migraines, they also brought on a number of unpleasant side effects. She also suffered from terrible nightmares and found sleep difficult. Now in her seventies, she despaired of ever finding relief for the pain that had characterised her adult life.

What we did:

We did three therapy sessions three weeks apart. Our starting point was identifying the strongest emotion felt at the onset of a migraine as well as the significant recurring thought associated with the emotion. The emotion was identified as anger, associated with helplessness and powerlessness. The significant thought was: "Here it comes again. What am I going to do?" We then went back in time using regression identifying key moments in her life where this emotion and significant thought occurred.

We were able to revisit memories of a series of traumatic events in Melanie's early childhood. Though she was aware of these events and had brought them up in the pre-session interview, she could not recall exactly what had happened. Recalling the memories resulted in the release of some painful emotions and also brought immediate relief. It was as if she regained a part of herself that had been lost.

In the second session, we used inner child healing to heal these traumatic childhood events. We also recalled her birth. Melanie's birth had been difficult as she was born with meconium in the amniotic fluid. After re-living the birth as it happened, we created an alternate birth where the adult Melanie was mid-wife at her own birth, ensuring that the birth went smoothly and without complication. This time the amniotic fluid was clear and everyone was calm and happy during the birth.

Inner child healing identified a two-year old inner child. The adult Melanie joined this two-year old at the moment of the first traumatic event that had been recalled. Melanie comforted the child, gave her the love and protection she needed. We then transformed the traumatic memory with the adult Melanie pushing away her aggressor as he entered the child's room, ensuring the child felt safe and protected.

We also created the opportunity for Melanie to communicate with her mother. Hypnosis was used to create a space where she could imagine being with her mother and talking to her. This enabled her to feel her mother's love and to forgive her for all that had happened. It also enabled Melanie to obtain answers about a family secret that she suspected. After speaking to her mother, she called the other family members involved one after the other and asked each of them why they had behaved as they had. Each discussion went on until resolution was found and Melanie felt at peace with all involved.

The third session was focused on healing and helping Melanie move on. We started by using hypnosis to diminish the effect of traumatic memories on her day to day life. To do this, Melanie imagined that her memories were all stored in an old wardrobe. She moved the traumatic events, making those memories tiny and hiding them under a pile of clothes in a hidden corner. We then recalled three of her happiest memories, reliving each one and anchoring the feelings of happiness they generated, before storing the three memories in the centre of the wardrobe in pride of place, making sure they took plenty of room and were now easily accessible.

We then visited three healing places. The first healing place Melanie found herself in was a beautiful garden full of lavender in flower. She lay on the soft grass and felt a strong connection with the earth, grounding her. The second was a waterfall with a lagoon. As she stood under the waterfall, she felt the pain in her body wash away. Finally, she went to a beach in Tahiti where she was met by an angelic being. She described him as her guardian angel and reported that he placed his hand on her head and her neck removing all the pain that had come from her migraines. He reassured her that he would always be around her, that she simply had to ask for his help and he would appear. We finished the session by anchoring the smell, shape and colour of lavender as her signal for feeling free of pain.

How did her symptoms diminish?

Melanie reported that she had suffered only two migraines in the month that had elapsed and that the nightmares had entirely disappeared.

Feedback from Melanie (translated from french)

I suffered from migraines since a long time ago and in the last few years their frequency, 15 to 18 per month, made my life really difficult. I did three sessions with Imane and these last two months I have only had one or two migraines! I am living again. She helped me understand painful memories from my childhood and to replace them with pleasant sensations. It's enormous! What is more, I no longer have nightmares and if I have some turbulent dreams, my role in them is positive. Whereas before I experienced situations where I wasn't able to do things, I couldn't do my work or I couldn't dial the right number to ask for help, now in my dreams, I am able to call the number and I manage to do my work tasks. My only regret is not having had these sessions earlier