Migraines are a common but complex disorder often involving genetic and environmental factors. There are numerous types of migraines: abdominal migraines, ocular migraines, cluster headaches, chronic daily migraines, migraines with or without aura – the list is large. Some migraines are triggered by external stimuli such as chemicals, certain foods or food additives, change in barometric pressure or bright or pulsing light. Other migraines are triggered by a internal stimuli such as hormone levels, stress responses, genes, blood flow patterns or infection. The type of migraine will determine the appropriate treatment. Effective treatment of migraines may require medications and/or training in relaxation techniques. There are several classes of medications that may be used which fall into two basic categories: preventive or abortive medications. Some migraine sufferers can identify the first symptoms of migraine and use preventive medications to avoid a full blown migraine. Relaxation techniques are proven strategies in the management of headache pain. Research has shown that the soothing, repetitious sounds of chanting, meditation or prayer can increase the brains “feel good” chemicals while reducing tension and the brain’s perception of pain. Yoga, listening to soothing music, massage… these are all relaxation techniques that can be practiced and applied to migraine prevention or reduction. In recent years the benefits of meditation have been studied extensively and yet there is still some common misconceptions as to what meditation is and isn’t. Meditation is not a type of thinking. Meditation is not daydreaming. Meditation is a conscious effort to focus the mind in a non-judgmental, non-analytic, non-attached manner away from distracting or worrisome thoughts and toward a point of focus. This point of focus may be a word (“relax” or “health”), an idea (compassion or love) or just simply each breath. Those who practice meditation show a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and stress symptoms (worry, insomnia, anxiety, depression). A recent research study found that spiritual meditations (meditation, chanting, prayer) could reduced the number of headaches experienced in those who suffer migraines. In addition, participants felt they were able to better tolerate pain and control their headache status. The end result is not only a decrease in negative emotional and physical states but an improvement in overall well-being.