I’ve been suffering from chronic migraine since 10 years. As often happens, its onset was quite gradual but my condition rapidly evolved from occasional headaches to daily, invalidating migraine attacks. To manage them, in the last years, I took medicines that, on the one hand, were helpful, for they made my everyday life more tolerable but, on the other, they caused several relevant side effects both on the physical and cognitive level: prostration, attention problems, sleepiness, dizziness, etc.
When I learned that hypnosis could be used to work on pain and, more specifically, on migraines, I decided to go to the Milton Erickson Institute of Turin where I started meeting dr. Nicoletta Gava in order to work both on my headache and on the system around it. To monitor the effects of my work, I kept a diary in which everyday I reported my pain levels on a scale that ranged from very weak (level 1) to very strong (level 4).
Since the beginning of the work I noticed, episodically at first, many positive changes that with the passing of time became more constant and significant. With time, I acquired several techniques that I could use to feel better and that kept changing while the work kept going on in harmony with the new experiences and resources that my subconscious was providing me with. Initial successes became, time after time, new starting points and improvements became gradually more incisive and long lasting. Therefore, meeting after meeting, my monitoring sheet stopped showing just high or very high levels of pain (levels 3 and 4) and began oscillating more and more frequently to medium and low levels (level 1 and 2). After a while, entire weeks started to pass without any pain: I couldn’t believe it! My work days became lighter and lighter up to the point when I felt like I was on a holiday: I started going to the gym, my everyday life acquired an unhoped-for lightness and I entered a virtuous circle that further accelerated the process that hypnosis had triggered. The hypnotic work, in fact, didn’t only focus on analgesia, but also on mobilizing all of my personal resources that could sustain, support and accompany a more broad improvement, as an individual who is not just the carrier of a symptom.
In the past, when symptoms started to become relevant, I felt like endlessly fighting, as if my own body was betraying me. I was subject to pain and to all the daily nuisances that it caused. Medicines helped me with pain, but the sensation of an endless fight remained. On the contrary, I felt that hypnotic techniques were tailored not only on my problem but also on my resources and, because of that, the first sensation I felt, even before the soothing of pain, was of being able to once again grab the reins of my life using my own inner possibilities. The emotional soothing and the pragmatic change that came from that allowed me to shift from a condition in which I took pain for granted, to another one in which my expectations and my daily planning became less and less influenced by it; I started planning different projects expecting of being well while feeling for the first time that not only pain became tolerable, but also that I was actively well as I never thought I could be: in the monitoring sheet level 0 appeared, which was something that I  never even knew and which confirmed me that I was on the right road.
I could say that this is the biggest objective I achieved with hypnosis, living entire weeks without any pain is a true relief and a joy, but actually there is something more important. In the end, pharmacotherapy too allowed me not to feel pain, but in a completely different way. It is as if, through pills, pain gets sedated, gets pushed under the threshold of my perception for a certain amount of hours, like an arm wrestling match in a temporary and exhausting truce. With the hypnotic work, on the other hand, it is as if pain crumbles and evaporates, just as when the sky becomes clear in a limpid, light and natural way and I can reemerge in total serenity, finally laying down my weapons.
When I realized for the first time that several days had passed since when I even had thought about migraine, I felt free for the first time in years. It is not still a condition that I achieved definitively: there are days when I still feel pain, but my work with hypnosis is going on and keeps evolving together with my resources and potential to reach well being.