What is the connection between aura and calming the waves of your mind? Â Read on for the unexpected answer!
Studying the aura is a fairly common thing in various New Age circles, and these people take it quite literally. I have briefly seen my own, but I still believe it is just a way for the mind to visualize something that is really invisible.
Auras also appear in entertainment. Â In the online game City of Heroes auras are available to high-level characters, and can be subtle or quite remarkable. Â In Japanese anime, it is not uncommon to use auras to illustrate strong emotions or a contest of wills. Â They are also used to animate magic or psychic powers.
But unfortunately the aura I am writing about today is my migraine aura. Â Not all migraine patients have it, but for me it is actually the most spectacular part of the migraine. Â As usual with migraine aura, it starts as a small point, kind of like the after-image after you have accidentally seen a reflection of the sun. Â Gradually over a period of (in my case) a quarter of an hour to half an hour, it expands. It takes form of a circle (although in my case I seem to only be able to see the left side clearly) and it looks to me like it is made of many glittering shards. Â Tiny shards, in many colors, hanging restlessly suspended in the air, making up the bright portal of the aura.
In the center is absolute nothingness. Â Not black, not gray, just nothing. When the hole is small, my brain just pastes whatever is around int the hole, as if it abhors a vacuum. So when I look at a person’s face at that time, they seem to miss their right eye. Â There is just no eye there. Â The face is otherwise there, but the eye is missing. Â Creepy! Â Today it broke out on my way from the bus to work, and by the time I came to the office, it had advanced to the point where I was surprised to see that someone had removed the door handle from the locked door into our apartment. Â Then I remembered the missing eyes from earlier episodes, and of course the door handle was there, it was just invisible when I looked at it.
I have used the image of my aura in at least one fantasy story I wrote. Â I think it was “Shadow of Cneko” but it would take more time than it is worth to read through it looking. Â It may have been a similar story, or both. Â It certainly looks like something that could take you to a different world, once it has grown large enough: Â A glittering portal surrounding a hole of absolute nothingness. Not the darkness you see when you close your eyes, but a lack of the very sense of vision. As if part of your brain is no longer aware that sight exists. Â If you have not seen it, then I don’t think anything I say can get it across. Â Our brain always creates images, but how to you imagine not being able to see a certain part of what is in front of you?
I have actually only had migraine a few times in my life! Â I am lucky in that regard. Â And I think I have had a spectacular aura every time. Â Some people have no aura, just the pain. Â For me, the aura comes far ahead of the rest. The first time I had migraine, I was a fairly young adult. Â I had never had it before and only knew that migraine was a headache, which I did not have. Only a glittering portal to nothingness. Â I was sure that my brain was severely damaged by stroke or a formerly hidden tumor. Â At that time I lived only minutes’ walk from a family that were close friends, and I somehow made my way there. Â They managed to get a doctor. Â Neither I nor they had any idea that it was migraine. The doctor arrived after the aura was fading but before the headache had set in. Â The queasiness may have started, I am not sure. Â The doctor thought it was stress and prescribed some relaxant that would probably have fetched me a decent amount at the black market. Â I don’t think I ever fetched it. Â The “real” migraine set in shortly after, and I did not have much doubt after that what I experienced.
Today followed the same pattern, except I knew what was coming. Â It was years since last time, but today I was careless. Reading in direct sunlight is the only thing I know that will set it off. The sky was lightly clouded and I thought it would be OK, especially since I have glasses that automatically darken in the sun. Â I have barely had an attack after I bought them. Â But today I had.
First thing after I came to the office, I put on my headphones and started playing LifeFlow 8, a brainwave entrainment track. Â Until just recently, it was believed that migraine originated with the blood vessels in the cranium. Â But today we know that the start of the attack is in the actual neurons, where a wave of intense activity arises and gradually spreads. Â This makes me think it may be vaguely related to epilepsy, which also has some kind of aura warning in some people, but is far more drastic of course. Â In any case, brain waves is something I have been experimenting with this spring and summer. Â I reasoned that if I could create a standing wave in by brain through the use of the sound track, this would compete with the spreading wave of the migraine.
I would call the result a partial success. Â The nausea and accompanying gut wrenching was quite unpleasant, but I have had worse. And the pain was a bit distracting, but I was able to do my work. Â (Admittedly, this particular work is so familiar I could probably do it while too drunk to walk unaided. Not that I ever intend to find out.) Â I am also lucky in that I am fairly resistant to moderate pain, although intense pain affects me like other men. Â Still, I will say that this particular migraine attack was weaker than those I have had before.
To further put things into perspective, I had a surprise visit by a coworker who had just returned from 4 months of cancer treatment. Â I’d pick the migraine, thank you very much. Â And if you have a problem with migraine too, you may want to learn about brainwave entrainment and see if it can help you as well. Â Especially if you don’t have a pretty aura, but even so, I think I will sacrifice the pretty if I can avoid the queasiness, malaise and hours of headache. Â After all, I can always see a pretty aura in City of Heroes if it is that important…