"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."
-- Christopher Reeve

Hope is a limited emotional resource. There are a lot of migraine sufferers who have not been successful with medical or alternative options for pain relief. They have all but abandoned any hope that their quality of life will ever again improve.

If you can access the inner resources which allow you to create hope again, you can start down a constructive path which will help you

A) to regain control of your life, and

B) to reduce your migraine-related suffering.

People have different levels of hopefulness. Dr. Jerome Groopman is a physician, an observer and a writer who has specialized in advanced cancer patients over the course of his long professional career. He responds authoritatively to these two issues:

1. Why are some patients able to find hope, but others cannot do so?

2. Can hope help to alter the direction of an illness?

Even though Groopman's work is based on human beings in extreme circumstances, his findings are relevant to those of us who experience regular migraines. Often it can be very hard to cling to hope in the face of unpredictable but frequent migraine symptoms. Backed by his research, I strongly believe that you can find hope again.

In his highly original book, "The Anatomy of Hope", Dr. Groopman gives a 3 part definition of True Hope:

· It is an emotion that arises if you both think and feel that there can be a better future.

· True hope is more than optimism, because hope without realizing the full truth might not be sustainable the moment that setbacks take place. True hope is realistic optimism.

· Even though true hope contains the prospect of failure and the stumbling-blocks ahead, it arms us with the courage to face our circumstances as well as the resilience to rise above reversals.

Groopman's book is comprised of a set of tales about his patients. He learned from his patients and who they were as individuals. He divides hope into two components -- Belief and Expectation.

To have hope, you need to first believe that you've got some control over what is going to happen. When you're convinced you are a victim, it is hard to believe in a controllable future; but someone who feels they can still make a difference has hope. When you are a migraine sufferer, once you know about other migraineurs (this writer is one) who are living or have lived powerful lives, and you also have the support of a migraine coach, you are on your way to regaining control.

Hope even permits a person to demonstrate remarkable behaviour in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds: as Groopman relates, even a very limited chance of finding a remedy for their condition will keep a cancer patient fighting to live. In a similar vein, there are numerous tales of weary rescuers finding a child alive who was buried by an earthquake, after long days and nights spent searching. Human beings possess a very strong will to live, and also to enrich their lot in life. Do you want to continue being a slave to the whim of your migraine condition for the rest of your life -- or would you rather seize an opportunity to ease your suffering?

There is much scientific evidence that the expectation of improvement in well-being - whether through medication, an operation or some other plan - can itself bring on that improvement. The relief will occur from brain chemicals like endorphins, enkephalins and dopamine. That is why placebos work (many scientific experiments have proved this!). Groopman shows how the initiation of hope releases these chemical ingredients and starts to break the cycle of pain.

I urge you not to delay until near the end of your life before finding out whether you are a truly hopeful person! Together, let's look for the switch that will give you true hope again, and work alongside one another from there to reduce your suffering from migraine pain.

Author's Bio: 

Gerry Fryer is a professional coach who specializes in working with chronic migraine sufferers. Please visit his dedicated website at

Migraine Independence Coaching

to learn more and receive the free report, “A Dozen Migraine Strategies”, as soon as you subscribe. The Migraine Independence website also gives you access to the introductory webinar "Beyond Migraine Pain -- How to Rise Above Your Suffering", which explains the distinction between migraine pain and suffering, and how coaching can help you reduce your suffering.