Episode 116 Yoga For Migraine: Interview with Adriane Dellorco

Apr 26, 2023

Do you suffer from the impact of migraines? Can incorporating yoga into your daily routine alleviate your migraine symptoms?

MEET Adriane Dellorco

Adriane Dellorco (RYT200) is one of the world’s leading experts on yoga for migraine. She is the founder of Yoga for Migraine, an online community that offers transformational yoga and coaching programs to people living with migraine and headache disorders.

She is a lifelong dancer and yoga practitioner who has been living with migraines since 2007. Adriane has been featured in the 2021 Migraine World Summit, Migraine.com, the National Headache Foundations For Head’s Sake Podcast, HealthCentral, and Healthline.

Her certifications in Pain Reprocessing Therapy and Pain Care Aware Yoga have given her cutting-edge skills to help clients with chronic migraine reduce their chronic pain symptoms and feel more empowered in their daily lives.

In addition to offering migraine-friendly yoga practices in her online classes and group coaching programs, Adriane makes yoga accessible to the wider migraine community in collaboration with organizations like Miles for Migraine and RetreatMigraine. She is proud to advocate Congress every year in Headache on the Hill and to be a finalist in Wego Health’s 2022 Social Health Awards in the Creative Contributor category.

Adriane is a member of the Education Council for Headache Online, an Accessible Yoga Ambassador, and is pursuing her IAYT yoga therapist certification.

As a mother of two and a former public school teacher, she brings her life experience living with migraine into her healing yoga practices.

Adriane’s mission is to help others decrease their own migraine pain and increase their quality of life with yoga.

Find out more at Yoga Migraine and connect with Adriane on Facebook & Instagram

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • What are the negative impacts of migraines? 3:56
  • Making lifestyle changes when dealing with migraines 9:01
  • Overcoming fear when experiencing migraines 15:53

What Are The Negative Impact Of Migraines?

  • Understanding that migraines affect everyone differently
  • Taking a holistic approach to dealing with migraines
  • The importance of finding the right combination of care to deal with your specific needs
  • Seeking community when dealing with migraine symptoms

Making Lifestyle Changes When Dealing With Migraines

  • What is SEEDS?
  • Incorporating gentle yoga moves into your daily routine 
  • Learning to adjust the intensity of your daily movement
  • Finding tools to calm our nervous system

Overcoming Fear When Experiencing Migraines

  • Finding your migraine triggers
  • How to integrate breathwork with gentle movement
  • What is Restorative Yoga?
  • How to be more proactive and ask yourself the right questions about your self-care

Connect With Me

Instagram @holisticcounselingpodcast

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Join the private Facebook group

Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Find out more at Yoga Migraine and connect with Adriane on Facebook & Instagram

Pain Care Aware Program

Connect with Molly Sider on Instagram and on the I Am This Age Podcast

Transcript

Chris McDonald: Are you or someone you know suffering from the debilitating impact of migraines? Have you struggled to find relief? I know I have. From specific yoga postures to breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques, we'll discuss how incorporating yoga into your daily routine can have a significant impact on your migraine symptoms.

So sit back, relax, and join us as we delve into the world of yoga and migraines. This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. Today we're gonna talk about migraines and yoga. Migraines can be very disruptive for so many people. It can leave you feeling hopeless, helpless. If you're a therapist who suffers from migraines, it can impact your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

You may have to cancel sessions, miss out on fun activities, and it can be a struggle to get them under control. The good news is there is hope. Studies have found that yoga can reduce your migraine attack frequency, and medication use by nearly 50%. And that brings us to today's guests. Adrian Delco is one of the world's leading experts on yoga for migraine.

She is founder of Yoga for Migraine, and her mission is to help others decrease their own migraine pain and increase their quality of life with yoga. But before we jump in, Do you struggle with creating time for yourself? Many counselors find it difficult to find time for self-care. My book for Self-Care for the Counselor was written just for you, and it's jam-packed with holistic strategies to help you be more present and find the renewed energy you need.

Stay tuned at the end of the episode on how to access this book. Back to today's episode. Welcome to the podcast, Adrian.

Adriane Dellorco: It's so great to be here. Chris, I have been listening to your podcast and have loved all the, the other guests and have been learning a lot, just, just listening. So I am grateful to be here.

Yeah,

Chris McDonald: and I'm so glad that you're here. So can you share more about yourself

Adriane Dellorco: and your. Yeah, so I myself have been living with migraines since 2007 and got to the point of having chronic migraine, which is defined as having at least 15 headache days a month. Uh, and that was a very challenging time in my life.

Um, I was a public school teacher. I had a young child and. Yeah, the, the mental health repercussions of living with chronic migraine were huge and got me to the point where I needed to make some big life changes and was looking for yoga practices that would help me in dealing with migraine. I had lived with.

Migraine since my early twenties, but I actually had practiced yoga since I was 13, and it had always been a part of my life. But when I was diagnosed with migraine, I really couldn't sustain the style of yoga. I was used to practicing, which was a very vigorous, intense Vinyasa style, and it was really out of my own search looking for.

Yoga that would be compatible with migraine. That led me to develop yoga for migraine because I felt like there was yoga for nearly every other health condition. And true, there's so many of us living with migraine. I mean, it is one of the most common health conditions in the world. Uh, The second leading cause of disability and the fact that there really wasn't anything out there yet for migraine felt like it's something I needed for myself and I thought others would benefit from as

Chris McDonald: well.

And I also suffer from migraines, so that's why I was really happy that I found Adrian to come on that podcast. I think it can be so disruptive. Personally, professionally, what have you seen as the negative impacts of migraine on people's lives?

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah, absolutely it can. Just turn people's lives upside down.

It is a spectrum disorder, so some people, you know, might have one or two migraine attacks a year and it doesn't really change their lives and, and then for others it is a serious disability in which they can no longer work or hardly leave the house or function, and then everything in between. So it affects mental health for so many people living with migraine.

Also deal with anxiety and depression. Um, To the, the most leading comorbid conditions for people living with migraine. And it gets to the point where people are feeling unable to work like they used to. Cognitively, it can affect people in terms of their memory, brain fog, their energy level is zaps, and then just that unpredictable nature of migraine can make it so hard to function one day and not the next.

A lot of people. Don't understand migraine and kind of dismiss it. So a lot of people with migraine can feel stigmatized that their condition's not taken seriously cuz it's not something people can see, um, or it's dismissed as just a headache. So there's so many factors that it really change out every aspect of one's life.

And so what I really try to bring with not only my yoga for migraine practice, but the coaching I do with clients. Is to help really all the buckets of people's lives from their, their mental health to their physical health, to just their daily routines. Like how can we work, uh, in a more holistic way to help people function better with migraine, but also decrease the symptoms as

Chris McDonald: well.

I appreciate that and, and I love how you have the holistic approach as well. I think cuz it, it has to be with migraine cuz it's so, it's so complicated too, I think with treatment. Cause I know I've been to so many neurologists and tried so many holistic medications and it's just, Trying to find the right combo of things that works.

It's, it's a frustrating process. I'm sure you've seen that and felt that too.

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah. It's such an individual disease and Right. I've gone through the gamut of every type, nearly every type of pharmaceutical, but also holistic treatment. And often it is the combination of all, it's like not just one thing, it's really.

You know, having some medical treatment, especially when you're having a, a high pain day. Um, and also doing the lifestyle strategies that we talked about. Uh, in my coaching, I also am certified in pain re processing therapy, which is often a, an approach used by psychotherapists to help people dealing with chronic pain.

And, and that is a big aspect too, of brain retraining of, of kind of teaching your brain new ways to get out of that quantification of pain. So that, You can have more neutrality when you experience discomfort or pain. You can start to see how some of your preoccupying thoughts can increase the pain or decrease the pain.

So there's a lot we can do mentally, physically, and emotionally to to just make life better that you can. Have migraine, but you can still have a good life. You can still enjoy your life. Uh, and that,

Chris McDonald: that's important too, to remember that there's always that hope. And how do you help people with their thoughts with migraine?

Because I know me and my sister both have them and we are able to talk to each other, but I don't know if sometimes it's worse too and we get. Negative together about what we're going through. So I guess how do, how do you approach that?

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah, so in my coaching program, we do have a group coaching call, which actually so many people in my program appreciate of having that community space for everyone there gets it and we're all nodding our heads and, and knowing.

We're not alone because a migraine can feel very isolating when you're having a high pain day. You're, you're in bed and it's dark and it can just feel like you're trying to navigate all this, uh, the pain and even just. The treatment alone, which can be a very daunting, can be a full-time job, just just navigating the treatment and appointments.

So that community aspect is really, really key. And working with pain processing therapy, we, we always kick off with some somatic tracking, so practice in which you observe your discomfort or pain and really try to bring a sense of neutrality so that you're just kind of watching what it. And so as you go towards the pain, rather than flee from the.

You were teaching your brain that, hey, this is just my brain kind of overreacting. These sensations are safe. Um, and the safer your brain feels, the less pain. So big part is, is understanding how the sensations themselves can kind of activate this. Preoccupation and trying to cut that off really just by feeling the sensation thematically so that the thoughts can kind of start to disentangle a bit.

Chris McDonald: So I know you mentioned lifestyle changes. Is there certain changes that people should make that are prone to migraines?

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah, so I encourage people to follow a, a protocol that has been developed by, uh, numerous neurologists. It's called, the acronym is seeds and it stands for sleep, eating, exercise, diary, and Stress.

And I think it's just a brilliant way to guide people into creating these, these life changes that really add up and for migraine. We, the migraine brain does much better with routine, with regularity, and it's typically when there's changes that can trigger a migraine attack. So changes can be everything from you got a bad night's sleep to got, you know, a stressful event.

For many women, hormonal changes are a big change that can throw migraine off. Keeping things as stable as you can with routine and from also, interestingly, more the, the yoga and Ayurvedic perspective routine is calming for the va dosha, which can often be aggravated and create so many health conditions, like migraine is a big part of, of that dosha that can be aggravated.

So, Routine in all aspects of life. And with that, you know, bringing in that physical activity, which for so many people with migraine, is just almost impossible for people really who are living, you know, nearly every day in pain. Either the, they don't have the energy to get out of bed or, um, what's even harder is that physical activity can in and of.

Create a migraine attack so people kind of feel like it's this catch 22. Okay. Physical activity. Um, there has been research that shows this can prevent migraine, but like how can you do it? Right? Yeah. For many folks, this, this creates a migraine attack and so I think yoga can be a great. Gateway form of exercise where it is, can be so easily adjusted to someone's pain level that you can do more gentle practices like yoga nira or restorative yoga for higher pain days.

And then on lower pain days, you can gradually increase the intensity. But even then, it's that consistency that da. That really is the key. I know

Chris McDonald: you mentioned part of that the CS was eating, so do you recommend any changes with eating?

Adriane Dellorco: I'm not a huge proponent of like certain migraine diets, but I am a proponent of just regularity with eating, so I agree.

I'm avoiding skipping meals, keeping your blood sugar

Chris McDonald: level. Yeah. Cause I know a lot of people are interested in like intermittent fastening, but for me, with my migraines, I, I just can't fast when I have to fast a medical thing, I am in bad shape. Yeah. Cause my migraines get triggered and Yeah. So I think that's even harder with people with migraines with.

Not eating it for a certain amount of time and,

Adriane Dellorco: right. Absolutely. Yeah. And there are tons of migraine diets out there and the evidence backing them is quite scant, but they are very popular and many people have swear by them. So it does take a lot of trial and error. My approach tends to be one of, let's calm our nervous system and have tools to calm our nervous system.

You know, using yoga, using the breath, using how we think about our pain. So say my approach is like, Do all we can to decrease anxiety if having a diet is making you more anxious. To me, that is counterproductive. Exactly.

Chris McDonald: So I know you mentioned part of it is using a migraine diary. Can you talk about the handout that you have, the migraine and self-care diary?

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah. Yeah. This is something that I created for myself that I wanted to keep track of how much yoga, meditation, my sleep, um, and how that related to migraine. Many people have been told by their doctors to keep track of their migraine attacks, maybe their medication. These diaries can get incredibly elaborate and kind of cumbersome.

But there's way to, to keep it simple so that you're still have some usable data, but it's not ano yet another thing to kind of feel preoccupied about and kind of like hyperfocus on. So in, it's just a very simple PDF that people, when they join my website, we will get a free copy of, and when you, uh, joined my email, And so really it's just a, a little graph of, you know, keeping track of any headache days, migraine days, your sleep, how many minutes of yoga you've done of exercise.

And this gives people a very tangible way to see, does increasing my self care also decrease my migraine days? Is there a relationship? And usually it's, it takes my clients a couple months to see that benefit, but for many people it's, the benefit is really immense. Worked with people who've dealt with chronic migraine for decades and within.

Two months have seen their numbers drop at least by half. Many more than that. Really just with this self-care, with this taking better care of how you, your body of your thoughts, of how you think about things, you're helping to increase that safety and decrease fear, and it can make such a difference.

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Chris McDonald: I know you mentioned on your website that you're pain care aware yoga practices, so what is that?

Yeah.

Adriane Dellorco: This is, uh, an incredible program that, uh, was created by Neil Pearson and Lisa Pearson. Neil Pearson being, uh, both of them yoga therapists, but Neil being a, a physiotherapist. In Canada and Lisa a, uh, a Swami, and this is an online program and an in-person program where they have certifications in kind of like they have nowadays trauma informed yoga, and they're really trying to make pain informed yoga and really creating the best practices of, of not only educating yoga teachers on how pain works, what to do when someone experiences pain in Asana, but how.

Shift our language to, to help people, to what to do if you experience pain. You know, is it what many yoga teachers say is like, oh, if you feel pain, don't do it. Their approach is actually a little slightly different. It's actually the, to bring a little more awareness and observation to, to that experience of pain in the asana.

So is your. Still stable? Or has your breath become more shallow and rapid? Can you do this and feel like you can get out of the pose as easily as you came into the pose? Or are you kind of really struggling now to get out? Do you feel like you're gonna regret this tomorrow? So kind of going a little bit deeper before someone just kind of bails on a practice or pose.

So that. Just a little less of that fight or flight about the pain that we can explore the pain in a safe way. You can go to your edge, you can come out back out of your edge. You can go past your edge. Like we can explore this without being afraid of it. I think

Chris McDonald: that fear is what trips people up, isn't it?

And, and I know for me too, avoidance of activities and it's not like it always is triggered by something, but maybe you had a migraine once for doing this one yoga pose and so you're now, you're afraid of doing

Adriane Dellorco: it. Yeah, the fear aspect, it can completely limit people and understandably, right? Yeah. I mean, if you have a bad experience, like you don't wanna repeat that.

And yet when people develop chronic pain, it's like almost the opposite where you wanna start adding those little things in again, because when you get so limited, that's when your nervous system actually gets more sensitive to things and it's. Yeah, increasing your sensitivity and so, you know, going back to how does yoga integrate with migraine?

I've done my own unscientific, but you know, I've done my own surveys of people living with migraine. I did a survey in 2020 when I was first starting yoga for migraine of nearly 200 people and you know, asked them what, um, have they experienced migraine triggers. During a, a yogas in a class, what's their experience been with migraine and yoga?

And I think it was about 75% of people said they had experienced a migraine attack correlating with a yoga practice, including myself. And so then, you know, looking at, well, what, what might have been some of the precipitating factors? So for many people with migraine, um, inversions, Your head is lower than your heart was one of the top triggers.

So like a down dog, which is kind of ubiquitous in most Vinyasa classes. Doing like fast up and down movement, which you might see in a, in a vinyasa class, heated studios, these are all common yoga, uh, common migraine triggers. And so as I'm kind of creating, you know, what would be a safer. Practice for people living with migraine.

Uh, we don't do inversions, and if we do, we give options and they're, they're very gentle ones. But that said, not everybody with migraine has that trigger either. It's very individual. I'm fine with inversions, but my approach is definitely on the gentler side physically, so that really the focus is, On rest and relaxation of and having a variety of practices that you can adjust to meet your pain level.

Chris McDonald: And I know you mentioned the aino practice, so is there other practices you teach? I think you mentioned breath work.

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah, there's a little bit of everything. So I'd say. For the higher pain days, my go-to practices are yoga nidra, which really is not physical at all. It's a guided meditation done lying down.

So it's, uh, a practice that's very powerful, uh, in terms of, you know, your subconscious and unconscious of going through these layers of, in yoga, the koshers of these layers of being through this guided meditation. And it's, it can be thought of similarly as like hypnosis. There's a. Different reason we do it.

But it's similar in terms of like that guidance and kind of lowering the brain waves, um, to get you to a place where you can yeah, bring this kind of goal in a western sense, in, in the yogic sense. You might, you call it a culpa, this kind of intention for yourself and kind of getting this to be more kind of planted on into your subconscious.

That's on the esoteric level, but practically it's a guided meditation. Maybe runs 20 to 30 minutes in which people just can feel deeply relaxed. And so when you're in a MI having a migraine attack, you're in bed. This can be very soothing, but I also use this practice to help my clients pace their energy.

How many people with migraine. We talked about the changes can, what is, what triggers migraine attacks? So if people have kind of been active and then often they crash and then they have this let down migraine. So using yoga nidra rests more proactively to, to help people pace their energy and so their energy level.

Is staying more, more stable and with that, their migraine is less easily triggered. Uh, restorative yoga is another great practice that so many of my clients just, they're drawn to that. Just can you share what that is for those that aren't aware? Yeah, restorative yoga uses pro yoga props, like bolsters pillows, blankets to help support people poses in a very effortless way.

So the goal isn't stretching or you know, getting your heart rate up. It is really to deeply relax. In a supportive way. So that comfort is key. And you can use all these props to hold these poses. Um, often it can be up to, you know, 10, 15 minutes, but maybe in typically a five to 10 minute pose. Um, for instance, a supported child's pose where.

You might do a child's pose in a yoga class without props on your knees and then reaching forward, but then with a, a bolster under your torso, um, it kind of just creates more support and have less load on your, on your spine. Just allows people to feel cozy, feel good. So that's a great practice that my students love for higher pain.

With people living with migraine, uh, insomnia and sleep challenges is another one of the most comorbid conditions. So, so you, uh, restorative yoga or yoga nidra before bed has really helped many people just down regulate and shift into sleep more easily. And then once people are able to. Start becoming more active, help people practice yoga for 30 minutes a day.

That's really like our, our goal to like, this is the dose. And it's also, you know, not overwhelming, like can do an hour class. That's awesome. But we can even just, even if the 30 minutes a day is broken up, like all of this counts, all of this. Helps people decrease their symptoms. And then we have practices that you can do like chair yoga, things from, from the mat all the way up to standing.

That really, I'm all always giving options. That's a big part of it. There's, there's always options to increase the intensity or decrease the intensity. I

Chris McDonald: appreciate that too. Cause I think. Even though I know you said it's not trauma informed necessarily, but it that brings some components of that trauma informed too.

Just giving those options and there's not just one way and, and I wonder with your yoga, so. Is it not so much like, oh, my arm has to be perfectly straight this way? Or do you focus on that at all? Or does that not matter

Adriane Dellorco: with alignment? Yeah, I'm, I'm definitely not an alignment focused, uh, teacher. It's really about your internal experience.

I mean, we always have some kind of. Theme that relates to what people with migraine are dealing with. And sometimes it's more aspirational. Like last week we worked on just the idea of freedom and because so many people with migraine are just feel so limited. And so how can we increase freedom? Um, connect to that feeling, you know, even just cultivate that through our asana practice, through meditation, through uh, yoga nidra.

So all of this kind of working together. Uh, so yeah, alignment is not so key and, but one thing I do tend to bring more than others is, uh, a focus on upper body, neck, and shoulders. Uh, because so many people with migraine do report neck tension specifically, it's actually neck tension is one of the most common migraine symptoms.

Often not really realize like, oh, people think okay, we've got head pain, maybe nausea, sensitive to light. But uh, 70% of people living with migraine report neck pain as a symptom. And it is one of those chicken or the egg things too. Is it the neck pain triggering migraine or vice versa? And they. They don't totally know, but we know that many people living with migraine have tense supper bodies.

And so we always do a lot to, to help release tension and with time strengthen upper back and shoulders so that you're, we're supporting people's posture, um, as we live in such a, a sedentary, seated forward looking Oh, for sure. Society.

Chris McDonald: And I wondered with your practices for the neck, cuz I have had some yoga classes.

Cause migraines. Yeah. With neck they do like way too much or it's not like gentle enough. So I guess with your practice, are, are they more, I guess, gentle with the way that you approach it?

Adriane Dellorco: I would hope so. And right. It's like you don't wanna do too much of a good thing. So there's, I'd say I always give options, like I say, and, and it's not like we do a whole whole class on the neck or something like that.

Um, but that said, Migraine and everybody, it's, it's, we're all so individual, so going into a yoga practice and always just feeling like you can have, you have the choice to change it, to opt out, to modify, to take a moment and just check in. I'd say that's a big part of what I do too, is we don't just go from one thing to the next.

Like we, we'll do a few poses and then we take a moment to check in so you can really know, like, do I wanna go more? Do I wanna pull back? And having those moments, Not only key for, I'd say a yoga practice, but just living in general with migraine. Um, because we so easily just kind of keep going, one step after the next, pushing through and, and then just crash with the migraine.

Like how can we integrate more times where we just pause, see how you're doing. You're speaking my language. And, uh, these little breaks really, really help relieve so much pressure that can build up and then trigger an attack. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: And my uh, yoga teacher only did my training, says the powers in the pause.

Cuz what I teach is that interception too. And that, and it just got me thinking too with migraine. I never made that connection before. Like how powerful that is to have that interception to really say, well wait a second, I'm just feeling really drained right now. I don't have a migraine. Maybe it's good for

Adriane Dellorco: me to rest.

Yes. Yes. Being more proactive. Yeah. But I

Chris McDonald: don't know if, if you felt this, but sometimes I get, like one day I'll have like, oh, why am I so exhausted? And then I get a migraine the next day. So just really tuning into that. What do I need to do today to care for myself? Asking those

questions,

Adriane Dellorco: right. And.

Catching it all earlier, like I think yoga and all these mindfulness practices, like you said, you're helping to just be more self-aware internally of what you're experiencing so that you can observe those little cues and identify, huh, I'm, I'm fatigued, I'm irritable, I'm feeling rushed, whatever. Those little, like, we kind of can talk about the mu, you know, danger cues.

Can we see them and take care of them earlier? Take care of yourself earlier before they pile up, and then you're, you're out for the count. And that that can take some, you know, unlearning. A lot of people are just used to go, go going. Or what's what can be frustrating for people living with migraine is, you know, when they do have good days, they wanna take advantage of it and they wanna do all the things they felt like they haven't been able to.

Um, but often that kind of perpetuates. Yes. Boom and bus cycle. So pacing, uh, is a big thing that, that we focus on. And all these yoga practices are great ways to pace and to take care of ourselves to, to know that we are important, that we're not putting ourselves last.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, that is the message, isn't it?

The internal message you're giving yourself when you do engage in these practices daily. That I am important, that I do matter, and not just everyone else around me. I know I found a lot with women too. We tend to give, give, give, and that we have nothing left for ourselves. So putting yourself on the top of that list is so

Adriane Dellorco: important.

Yeah, and it's, it's something that, you know, when people are hesitant to do that or that's take some effort, you know, even framing it as the, you know, even for moms, right? Like, the better I take care of myself, I'm able to take better care of everyone too. And so many people living with chronic pain, they often, there is.

Especially coming from that pain reprocessing therapy viewpoint, that there's some similar tendencies, like there might have been emotional trauma there, there's a tendency towards anxiety, perhaps, uh, perfectionism, people pleasing. So there's a, a lot of these factors that contribute to just. Fear. And so how can we help ourselves feel safe in our, our body and mind?

And taking care of ourselves is a great way to, to really, you know, put a, a stake in the ground and say, I'm putting this time in for, for me because I'm important. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: And I wondered more about your group program. So what do you offer in there?

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah, so it kind of kicks off with a eight week coaching and yoga intensive where each week we have a, a weekly group call.

We have a weekly live yoga class. This is all virtual, so I've, I have clients all over the world, um, which is amazing. And, and then each week there's a new module, online module where they'll have a daily yoga practice to work with that starts very gentle with yoga nidra and then works up to restorative yoga and it kind of, Physically as people are feeling able to be more active, we have some trainings on everything from neuroscience to yoga philosophy to migraine research.

So, uh, there's a lot that's. Integrative and holistic. But the main foundation I'd say is, you know, getting people to just show up and practice. Yoga doesn't even happen to be on their yoga mat in bed. There's so much that people can do and giving people that sense of empowerment that it's. It's not, doesn't have to be all or nothing either.

It doesn't have to be another minute class. Yeah. Like you can do yoga when you're laid up in bed. You can breathe, you can, and, and that these are all kind of a adding up to help you decrease your symptoms. So that typically by the end of this kind of eight week more intensive time, I'd say about 75% of people.

Observe that their symptoms have decreased by about half the quarter, who perhaps don't see as much change in their symptoms. Also though, report benefits in other ways, like having a lot more energy, not needing to take naps as much. They're able to. Return to the activities that they had to give up due to migraine.

So for some that might be, uh, you know, they're able to do more with their photography. Um, I worked with a woman recently who thought she wasn't gonna be able to return to work ever. She was an animal trainer. She had been out of the workforce for 10 years. And her symptoms. She had a, a traumatic brain injury, so it can be understandable that perhaps her symptoms didn't change it as much, but her daily, like two to three hour naps, like vanished, um, through especially the practice of yoga nidra.

And then, um, she amazingly was able to get a part-time job working with animals again. So these are, you know, life changing things. When people are able to connect to things that give them joy and purpose again. I mean, that makes it all worth it. It makes the pain less important, even if we still have migraine.

I still have migraine, but it is way more, it's not a hundred

Chris McDonald: percent. Yeah. Yeah. And that's so impressive that you said, was it

Adriane Dellorco: 70% show? Yeah, it's say about 75%. Decrease. It's amazing, at least by half. And it does take, like, you know, many things. It's not even just the yoga, like it's yoga, it's having routine.

It's changing how we think about migraine, how we think about ourselves. You know, just treating ourselves more kindly and taking care of ourselves goes a long way with chronic pain. I

Chris McDonald: wonder if the community piece too just, I know when I connect with someone who also experiences migraine, it's just like they get it.

Yeah, absolutely. There is still so much si stigma out there and you know, there's still a lot of people like, oh, you have a headache, get over it. Right? Yeah. It's not a big deal. And that invisible illness, I guess you could say.

Adriane Dellorco: Right? And all these things are. I mean, they are backed up by research, like you said.

Uh, group therapy has research, uh, yoga has research for migraine, and when you just put it all together, um, and not to say people don't continue whatever medical treatment most people do, but others have definitely been able to reduce like their rescue medication for migraine. But all of it then, Help support each other.

So people are able to, what they say, raise their migraine threshold. They're able to just become more resilient so they're not as easily triggered by migraine triggers. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: So what's a takeaway you could share with listeners who may be experiencing migraine?

Adriane Dellorco: Yeah, I wanna say that it's not your fault.

That's one thing that it can really feel like, oh, I did this, I did that, and that's why I have a migraine attack. You know, this is just a condition that millions of us have. Like you are not alone. You're actually in quite good company. There are, I think it's like 40 million Americans, um, live with migraines.

17% of women in the US have migraine, and this is huge numbers. So you are absolutely not alone and there is so much. That you can do in your own power to decrease your symptoms. And I think that can feel really empowering. Um, like, okay, yeah, like I can use my breath, I can use yoga, um, I can work with my thoughts for some, that also feels like, ooh, that's like a bit of a responsibility and a little bit of a, a burden, like more you're putting on me.

So just to, you know, share. It's all, it's not just one thing that that's gonna shift things. The medication's great and then getting that routine, helping your nervous system calm, whatever helps you just feel safer in the long run is gonna help with any chronic pain condition.

Chris McDonald: Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast,

Adriane Dellorco: Adrian.

I'm such a great conversation and always great to talk to another person, like you said, with Migraine who got

Chris McDonald: sick. Yes, er. We are not alone. And that wraps up another episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. If you haven't grabbed your copy of Self-Care for the counselor, do yourself a favor and get it today.

You'll find it will help you be more energized and discover more comp. Go to www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com/resources. This is Chris McDonald signing each one of you much light. Until next time, take care.

Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. Check out my resource page, which has amazing holistic resources and discount codes for products that I have personally vetted. Head on over to www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com/resources. Your support is

Adriane Dellorco: appreciated.

Chris McDonald: The information in this podcast is for general educational purposes only, and is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guest are giving legal, financial counseling, or any other kind of professional advice. If you need a professional, please find the right one for you.

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