After spending the last six-months suffering from regular migraines - the kind that come with blurred vision and vomiting, combined with searing head, neck, and eye pain - I was ready to try anything.
When my migraines hit, it is prescription painkillers at best, at worst an hour on a drip in hospital. Not something that anyone wants, or has time for, and difficult to explain to friends or colleagues who class migraines as nothing more than headaches.
Naturally, hypnosis wasn’t my first port of call. I did everything that a variety of doctors told me to. I tried to take regular screen breaks from my computer, I even cut dairy out of my diet, but nothing seemed to be helping, so hypnosis seemed worth a shot.
I booked an appointment with Dubai-based hypnotherapist Alla Tchemodanova, who promises help with everything from the fear of heights to anxiety and commitment issues, not to mention migraines and other medical ailments.
As we chat before my session, Alla explains that she feels that migraines are very much a psychological rather than a medical problem. She asks lots of questions about when my migraines occur – weekends, mostly – how I feel before they come on – stressed – as well as delving into my relationships with friends and family.
She believes that migraines are caused by a psychological trigger and are the body’s way of stopping us doing things that are bad for us. Be it work, or just a personal situation that we don’t want to deal with, she thinks that our bodies force us to step back and, in a sense, shut down.
Now, the ‘science’ bit. I recline back on a comfy chair and Alla covers me in a blanket as I close my eyes. I know from friends who have had hypnotherapy before that you need to completely let yourself go, no matter how tempting it might be to sit up and question what’s going on, so I make myself go with what Alla is telling me.
First she holds my right hand before dropping it to make sure it’s limp and I’m relaxed. It’s not easy, but I’m trying my best to play along. Next, she starts asking me to think about the things that make me stressed before going back to my childhood to see if this is where these compulsions come from.
Of course, as with every good Oprah Winfrey-style “issue” they can be traced back to my upbringing. Alla then asks me to think about why these things stress me out as she tries to delve into deep-seated issues with my parents that I’m not sure I actually have. Nevertheless, she seems to be making sense with the cause of my migraines, so I persevere.
As she “brings me round” 20 minutes or so later, I feel sleepy and relaxed, but also a bit guilty that I might have implicated my parents in some kind of childhood mental abuse.
I do feel as though my mindset might have changed a bit, and I now understand the feelings that trigger off the migraines which have blighted months of my life, but I’m not sure if they have been cured forever, it’s too early to tell. Watch this space.
If you think that hypnosis might help you, log onto www.hypnosisuae.com to make an appointment with Alla.
Each session lasts on average between one to one and a half hours. Minor cases require about three sessions, for normal and major cases allow between four to eight sessions.
Pricing is on a case by case basis, call 04 362 5253.