Exploring Reliefs For Migraine Pain: Art Therapy

Migraine attacks are very discomforting, that’s something we can definitely agree on. From the pain to nausea, to the increased sensitivity to light and sound, every part of it is very uncomfortable. Living with migraine comes with a different set of challenges that requires, unfortunately, a lot of trial and error. While migraine itself has no cure (yet), its symptoms can be mitigated to make the attacks less painful. 

Migraine relief methods can vary from medicinal to non-medicinal. When we speak about migraine reliefs, there are some common ones that pop into our minds immediately—ice pack, acute medications, sleep, or hot showers just to name a few. Here’s another for your consideration: art therapy.


What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves treating and managing pain with art. This type of therapy aims to adjust the body’s response to different factors that are related to pain—both emotional factors and physical factors [1]. The art mediums involved can be anything from digital drawings, to paintings, and even sculpting! 

We all had art classes when we were very young, and most of us would have enjoyed it, because who doesn’t like drawing shapes and coloring them? Art therapy is quite different from those art classes we had as children. One thing they both have in common is that there is the creation of art, but they are also different in that art therapy involves working with a specialist, called an art therapist. 

The role of the art therapist is to guide us through the whole creation of art and, at the same time, unearthing its connection with our pain [2]. Just like other types of therapists, an art therapist is licensed and certified. The art therapist is essential to the whole process, as simply drawing lines and shapes may not provide much meaning. The correlation between what you drew and the pain that you’re experience needs to be made, and that is what the art therapist is there for.


It’s often a misconception that you need to be artistically inclined in order for art therapy to be beneficial. It does not matter whether you are an artist or not. If you are an artist, it also does not matter the type of art you specialize in! 

In the early stage of the therapy sessions, it is usually just you and the art therapist. With time, the therapist may introduce you to other groups of people who are also undergoing art therapy. Each person then displays and shares briefly on their work. Doing so allows everyone to have a shared experience and to understand how art therapy can be widely applicable in different situations!  

Of course, not all of us have the resources to engage in art therapy. That doesn’t mean that you should close off this option though! In the next article on this topic, we will look at some of the pros and cons of art therapy to see if this is a suitable way to manage your pain! ?



[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/art-therapy-another-way-to-help-manage-pain-2018071214243

[2] https://arttherapy.org/about-art-therapy/

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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