Galway scientists believe Buddhist meditation could relieve chronic headachesGoogle Images

Scientists in Galway believe Buddhism could help Ireland’s thousands of migraine sufferers.

A report in the Irish Times states that the Buddhist practice of mindfulness can help to relieve chronic or recurrent headache.

Galway University’s Centre for Pain Research are looking for six migraine sufferers to undergo mindfulness training.

The paper says that meditation technique, recognised as one of seven elements for enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition, focuses on awareness of reality in the present moment.

Psychologists already use the technique to treat a number of mental and physical conditions.

Now Galway researchers believe it may assist in chronic headache pain management.

The online sessions in the research project have been tailored specifically for headache pain by clinical psychology lecturer Dr Jonathan Egan, according to the report.

The Irish Times says that the researchers will focus on active self-management, instruction in a range of relaxation techniques, coping skills and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help identify negative thinking and coping patterns.

The researchers are looking for volunteers who have chronic daily headache, defined as chronic head pain, on 15 or more days per month over a period of three to four months.

This would include tension-type headache, migraine and medication-overuse headache.

Dr Egan told the paper: “Many people find that the combination of cognitive and relaxation therapies which are offered in this headache management programme enable them to take back control of their lives and engage more in daily activities with the knowledge they have the tools necessary to better manage their pain.”