Lately I was thinking of why the busting helps so many of us (I think about this very often). I already have had a lot of success with meditation during a rising attack and thus it becomes more and more important for me. I am convinced of the fact that long term meditation can also have a large impact on the brain like the mm have after busting. Studies have shown an increase in grey/white matter in certain brain sectors, while other areas are decreased. I found out that certain meditation techniques affect different brain sectors. So my naïve approach was to compare the brain scans of longterm meditators with the CH scans from wikipedia. As many of you know, the hypothalamus is active during a CH attack and also the distribution of grey matter is higher in this region.
The understanding of meditation seems to be still quite unexplored but I found some medical papers and also some talks and websites from scientists. Unfortunately, I found no match for Zen and Mindfulness meditations. However, at transcendental mediation (TM) I got lucky . So the right meditation technique seems to be an essential key!
It was found that TM can decrease the activity and blood flow in brain areas close to (and also in) the hypothalamus. Furthermore, it seems to have a large impact on the amygdala - that part of the brain which controls anxiety thoughts. According to the PET scans from wikipedia, this region shows also high activity during an attack. I also have heard of improved anxiety feelings from e.g. cancer patients after the treatment with tm. Both, mm and TM can be used to treat PTSD.
Proceedings of the Endocrine Society of Australia, 1976 even outline this:
"The results suggest that TM produces a marked acute and chronic reduction in trophotropic anterior hypothalamic activity but little effect on ergotropic posterior hypothalamic function." (Yes, I know this was a long time ago but I just get started with that topic.)
Furthermore, this technique also seems to change the serotonin behaviors, which is another connection to CH.
Personally, I have the feeling that this TM is worth a try. I was googling around and found no connection between TM and CH yet. Maybe it is something that can bring us relief, even though it takes time to reach a high practice level. I think that the transcendence thing could possibly be connected to CH. So a lot of us find relief by trying out diets and unusual behaviors. If one, in turn, thinks about what really helped him and reaches a certain level of awareness, things can end up worse again! It happened a lot to me. From that, I deduce that placebo and awareness seem to play an important role. So developing a "I don't care whatever..." consciousness and getting rid of anxiety doesn't harm at all!
At last a few sentences about TM. Transcendental Meditation was being invented in the late 50's by a yogi and it was very famous back then. Unfortunately, over the years it was commercialized by many people. Those are quite active in the web and you will find lots of advertisements. The price to learn this technique is not cheap according to them (around 1.200,- $). However, it is not necessary to join a course! The whole principle is based on mantras which you have to repeat very often in your minds. The only thing that matters is that you don't connect anything with the mantra. For example if you choose the word "apple", a thousand things would run through your mind! I took the mantra "So ham", which means "I am pure" (Don't ask me why, I just needed a Mantra). So what you are going to do is to repeat this as often as possible in your minds. If some thoughts come into your mind, you simply go back to the mantra. And that's it. You need to do this 20 min in the morning and in the evening, receptively. Additionally, you also can use music in the background if you want.
The purpose of this is to bore your mind literately. For myself, this calms my entire body down. I just started a couple of days ago with that technique but I am planning to keep going at least 6 months. Maybe there is a chance to change anything in my brain! If you want me to keep you updated, I will do so!