Bueno de Mesquita, Paul

Advisor Department





migraines; non-pharmacological; treatment; stress; yoga; meditation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Migraines are a disabling neurological medical condition that affects about 12% of the population. Traditionally, migraines are managed with medication however many patients still experience migraines even while on medication. Stress reduction methods such as meditation, deep breathing, reiki, yoga and hypnosis can help with the treatment of a variety of diseases. This study examines the effects of these non-pharmacological treatments on migraines. First, a systematic literature review was completed to explore the effectiveness of alternative treatment approaches. Twenty-four studies were included in the review and the literature concluded patients with migraines can benefit from psychological interventions. Second, a qualitative online survey of about 100 participants who either experience migraines or personally know someone with migraines, was conducted to examine the positive impact of stress reducing alternatives on the disease. Finally, this research includes semi-structured interviews of two people that teach stress reduction techniques. The interviews examine some of these alternatives and how they feel these techniques could be beneficial for someone with migraines. In conclusion, it is common for a diagnosis of migraines to be followed up with a medication treatment plan. While this might be needed for some patients, this project studies less invasive treatment of migraines that could be a complement to medication or could potentially be more effective than pharmacological treatments.