Gessler, Nicholas (gessler@ANTHRO.SSCNET.UCLA.EDU)
Tue, 24 Jan 1995 10:00:00 PST

As a 49 year old sufferer from migraines, I find that the a discomforts can
be somewhat offset by investigating the associated symptoms, which often do
not follow the direction of the causal arrow which may at first appear to be
correct. For example, stress, noises, light, and odors are often described
as causitive, where in fact they seem to be symptoms. The "aura" (no, not a
pseudo-scientific term) and visual disturbances can range from subtle to
pronounced, and one's interpretation of the phenomena can range from
recognition that one's sensors are awry, to actually believing that the world
has changed, or that one has made an excursion to some other "place." Oliver
Sachs, in his recent book on the history of migraines (the exact title
escapes me), gives an account of Hildegard's visions as migrainous. To my
mind, his is the most insightful (and entertaining) writing on the subject.
I must have missed the original post, but cross-cultural studies on migraine
could be fascinating.
Nick Gessler