Music - Thankful Despite Migraine
One of the things that often soothes me when I have a migraine is music. I know that can seem counterintuitive since so many of us have phonophobia during a migraine, but it can work for me.
Although I usually do better if I lie down during a migraine, there are times when I feel better upright. Often, that means sitting in my recliner with my sweet calico cat in my lap. Other times, I find sitting at my piano playing very softly is comforting, and it's a good distraction when I wait for my treatment to work. My cat doesn't walk on the keyboard like the cat in the picture does, but she often sits beside me on the piano bench or lies on the piano bench with her head on my thigh.
My iPod is a treasured part of my migraine attack pack, as is a bluetooth speaker. Listening to my iPod with earbuds is pretty much impossible, BUT the bluetooth speaker works well. I can set it several feet away from me, the choose the music and set the volume directly from the iPod. There are different types of music I may listen to during a migraine:
- If I don't want to sleep, but to comfort and soothe myself while I wait for my medications to work, I love melodic oldies, especially Carole King, James Taylor, and Carly Simon. (Yes, I guess I'm kind of dating myself here.)
- If I'm trying to sleep, I follow the advice I've been given by some experts - listen to music that has a tempo slower than my resting heart rate, has no lyrics to catch my attention, and is very abstract with no repeating musical motifs that our brains subconsciously listen for. My favorite in this category is the CD Effortless Relaxation by Stephen Halpern, PhD.
- Music of just about any king also helps cheer me up. That's especially during a migraine when it's messing around with the neurotransmitters in my brain, often making me feel "down," depressed, and sometimes anxious.
When I don't have a migraine, my iPod and the music on it are still prized. When traveling by car, it's super to be able to play the iPod through the car speakers, especially when driving in areas where I keep losing radio stations. When flying, it helps to listen to music rather than the noise in the plane, especially the noisy electronic games that so many people like to plan in planes these days.
In it's various forms, I'm quite grateful for music. I think one of the reasons I love music so much is that no matter what mood I'm in or what I need, there's appropriate music. Whether I'm listening to music or creating it, it's always available, and it's always helpful.
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© Teri Robert, 2014, • Last updated November 29, 2014.