Like the effects of migraine preventative medication, the benefits of relaxation techniques appear to come on over weeks after the start of a period of daily therapy. It is true that we do not know really why relaxation techniques work.
It is generally recommended that the patient finds 15 minutes every evening to sit down, put some relaxing music on and create a meditative atmosphere. Then they focus on relaxing successive muscle groups, starting at their toes and working up: ankles, knees, hips, tummy, shoulders and neck. They should spend most time on relaxing the muscles of the neck. The aim is that, by doing these shorts exercises each day, they ‘train’ their body to relax unconsciously at other times throughout the day. Joining mediation, yoga or Pilates classes they may also find useful. Complimentary therapies include acupuncture and hypnotherapy, which work well for some patients.
One can imagine how putting relaxation at the centre of their daily lives might help many patients with a range of symptoms.