Louise’s first migraine struck when she was in her twenties in graduate school. Having never had one, she had no idea what was happening. Her field of vision filled with stars, which was intriguing but worrisome. Then the pain hit. It was excruciating and frightening, unlike anything she’d ever felt. Then the vomiting began. She was in the school’s infirmary for a few days before the episode ended.
In her thirties, migraines struck occasionally, but in her forties, with a deteriorating marriage and three young children, her migraines worsened both in frequency and intensity. At this point she decided to see a neurologist, because over-the-counter remedies were useless, and being incapacitated as a single mother was not an option. It was the start of a dizzying, and unsuccessful, thirty-plus-year journey with Western medicine as well as several alternative medicine approaches.
She remained hopeful, but more desperate, as each new possibility failed, She tried everything she came across. Nothing worked. Her life eventually came to a standstill, held captive by almost daily attacks…. Until one day, out of the blue through a torrent of her tears, someone handed her a business card for Diana Warren, EEM-AP, and a new journey began that turned Louise’s life around….
Given the severity and frequency of Louise’s migraines in her forties, the neurologist labeled her a “migraineur” who was at risk of stroke and heart attack, and “qualified” for preventive medicine, adding that there was no cure, nor even a reliable prevention method. It would be a hit-or-miss approach to a range of medicines that “might” work. With this gloomy presentation, her journey intensified down a wide array of paths that led to deadends.
Louise started with one of the older anti-depressant medications that seemed to help some patients. That failed, as well as having difficult side effects. Then she tried another. That failed, while adding more side effects. Then she tried a heart drug, also known to help some migraineurs. That, too, failed, and also lowered her already low blood pressure to such a degree that she could barely function.
In the meantime, she tried four different triptans, or so-called abort drugs that don’t prevent migraines but can stop them once they’ve started. They, too, had side effects, but in desperation for relief from the weekly pain, she settled on one that would usually stop the migraine in its early stages; but the drug only gave her one day’s relief, after which she’d need to take more because the triptan, perversely, would cause a rebound migraine when it wore off. The limit for “safely” taking the drug was twice a week. By her fifties, Louise was getting migraines five days a week, so after those two days she was stuck.
During these years, Louise also tried massage, craniosacral therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, vitamin and mineral supplements—all things that she would hear now and then had helped some people—in hopes that alternative approaches would be the solution. Each helped briefly—sometimes just for the day, sometimes a few weeks—but none had lasting effects.
During this time, a cardiologist told Louise that the triptan, the abort drug that she still used twice a week most weeks, was damaging her heart and she should stop using it immediately. He knew of no alternative to address the now almost-daily headache pain, so he urged her to look for clinical trials in hopes there might be some new treatment in the works. After looking through more than 300 listings for trials of various drugs, she was about to give up when she noticed that one of the last listings was for a clinical trial using Vipassana meditation for migraines. She immediately called the neurologist running the trial, a doctor at John Hopkins, and was accepted.
After initial tests and a medical history, she was sent to a silent retreat at a regional Buddhist meditation center where she, and 100 others, meditated a total of twelve hours a day, living in silence, for ten days. After the challenge of adjusting, Louise found the meditation extremely calming. She had a few migraine episodes while there but used far less medicine than usual to treat them. She was feeling so good at the end of the ten days that she didn’t have another migraine for two weeks, something that hadn’t happened in years.
She continued meditating a minimum of two hours daily for the next year, which was a condition of the study. During that time, the migraines only struck a handful of times a month, which might seem crippling for most people, but for Louise, this was progress.
But after the study ended, she gradually drifted from the routine, and the migraines returned with a vengeance. She became incapacitated and bedridden. Twice she was hospitalized for several days for a “cocktail” of IV drugs—narcotics, steroids, NSAIDs, and anti-nausea drugs to try to break the cycle of the migraines that now sometimes lasted up to ten days. She could no longer work or make plans to do anything. Even when she wasn’t in the grips of searing pain she felt scared to leave the house, lest a migraine hit while she was out.
Desperate, Louise tried an anti-seizure drug that doctors were trying as a preventive solution. It dulled the pain but didn’t stop the frequency. It also eliminated her appetite and she became dangerously thin. Another drug failure. At the same time, the neurologist injected a nerve block into several points on her head, which gave her a few weeks of relief until the medicine wore off. That could only be “safely” used a few times a year. Next, her neurologist (the sixth one over the years) told her that, since she had failed every drug, she was a candidate for Botox—thirty-one injections into seven areas on the face, head, and neck. This paralyzed nerves, leaving her forehead frozen. It dulled the pain but didn’t end it or reduce the frequency of the attacks.
At this point, Louise had a breakdown. She collapsed, started crying, and couldn’t stop. “I looked back at the decades of migraines, thought about all the living I’d missed, and about all the things I had tried and none of them had worked. Nobody had an answer. I felt like a total slave to this disease. I cried and cried for hours,” she says.
Eventually she gained enough composure to call her GP. He told her to hang up and immediately call a psychologist who had previously helped her to deal with the trauma of this disease. The psychologist, knowing all the treatments she’d been through and “failed,” said he had a suggestion that might sound “far out.” He referred her to EEM practitioner Diana Warren. “He told me, ‘You might think this is kind of odd, but she does something a little different and might be able to help you.’ He handed me her card and off I went. Diana gave me back my life!”
During her first session with Diana, Louise realized that something truly different was happening. “She was so compassionate and I hadn’t had somebody like that,” recalls Louise. “She helped put me back in charge by giving me tools to use when I started to feel symptoms.”
After assessing her foundational energies and teaching her the Daily Energy Routine, Diana grounded Louise, kneaded her field and filled it with figure eights, cleared and charged her chakras, and did the Quickie Energy Balancer and Black Pearl. She also sedated the Triple Warmer and Gall Bladder meridians, which turned out to be a key to finding Louise’s path toward balance, since both of these meridians were overcharged and overly reactive to life events, as is often the case with migraine sufferers. Diana taught Louise how to calm these meridians on her own in order to help release her body from its loop of flight-flight-freeze responses.
The first three techniques Louise took home from that first session were the Fear Tap, the sedating points for the Gall Bladder meridian, and a spoon for spooning her feet. When migraine pain woke her in the middle of the night (its typical pattern with her), she would tap on each hand until she felt calm, then spoon her feet and hold the GB sedating points.
For the first time in all those decades, she felt empowered. Gradually, she started to feel better, both physically and emotionally. “I shifted from feeling like a helpless victim, hoping someone could finally rescue me, to learning that I had the power to help my body heal. What a life-changing realization! No one had ever told me, or shown me, this! Diana said this was a partnership, and I worked really hard every day for months while seeing her weekly. I expect to do the Daily Energy Routine for the rest of my life!”
In subsequent sessions, Diana began what she refers to as “energy forensics,” looking for relationships and patterns of over-energy and under-energy, poor harmony, and inadequate communication. Change wasn’t immediate, but slowly Louise’s energies began to correct and she made continuous improvement. After a month, her weekly migraines shortened from several days to often just one day, giving her many days a week to actually live a normal life.
When she felt a migraine coming on, she sedated her Gallbladder and Triple Warmer meridians, helping to blunt its intensity and allowing her to stay calm. “There’s a tremendous fear that takes hold when you live with migraines. It’s almost like you go into a panic. You never know when one will hit and whether you’ll have another round of excruciating pain and nausea that lands you back in the hospital on horrible IV drugs. It’s terrifying at times,” she says.
After about a year, the migraines dropped to once a month, and now they occur just a few times a year, often around times of high stress. Louise has been so enthralled by this healing path that turned her life around that she knew doing this work with others was how she wants to spend the rest of her life. She is an EEM Certified Practitioner and is starting Year 3 this summer, with plans to keep going through Year 4.
Louise now has her own EEM practice in collaboration with Diana and two other EEM practitioners, and she’s thrilled to be able to support others on their healing journeys. “If I can help others release themselves from pain and suffering, I can’t think of a more satisfying way to use this life I’ve regained.”
Says Diana: “Louise was a wonderful client because she was willing to learn and take charge of her healing. It did not happen overnight, but through patience and perseverance, Louise’s life turned around with weekly energy sessions. Our work together was truly collaborative and a partnership.”