Johns Hopkins Intensive Meditation and Migraine Study

Effects on Health and Well Being 




  •  Take a break from everyday life and enrich yourself by learning meditation at an intensive meditation retreat


  • Participate in a study on the effects of meditation on your headaches and overall health


  • Meditation can have a variety of health benefits, but can be hard to master.  It does not have any proven effects on headaches.






























































We are currently recruiting participants for this research study. If you are interested, and have at least 4 migraines per month, you may be eligible.  We are also interested in those who have chronic daily headaches.

 Men & women 18 years and older are eligible.


About Meditation

The meditation technique teaches one to explore the mind-body phenomenon in great detail, studying it systematically on subtle levels.  The emphasis is on understanding the technique, as well as guided practice.  Because the meditation teaches one to understand how the mind affects sensations in the body, our interest is in studying the effect of intensive meditation on the sensations of headache and pain.  The particular technique we are using is called Vipassana.

Retreat Details

Learning meditation can require a significant amount of personal training to be effective.  Some people have more time than others to devote to this type of personal project.  Our training begins with a 12 day retreat that helps you get started.  We have a couple of retreats, one about a 2 hour drive from Baltimore and another about a 7 hour drive from Baltimore.  During the retreat you would train for about 10 hours each day.  Participants are not expected to have any experience in meditation beforehand.

The first day begins with a seminar that introduces you to the concepts and technique of meditation.  Then the group practices meditation (wearing comfortable clothes and seated in a comfortable position) in hour-long blocks while listening to pre-recorded voice guidance.  At the close of each day there is another seminar discussing the steps for how to train the next day.  After the training, you would practice on your own daily.  You would also get together weekly with others to practice meditation for an hour or two.  It does not involve religion or any religious practices.  It is not inconsistent with any religious beliefs.

Your involvement in the study will last 12 months.  During this time, we will be doing 24 hour monitoring of your heart rate and blood pressure periodically.  We will also be doing periodic evaluations of your headaches and general health.  Regardless of the effects of Vipassana Meditation on your headaches, you would gain a thorough grounding in how to meditate, as well as learn a tool that some believe is helpful for coping with stress and pain.

The website for Vipassana Meditation ( is extensive.  Some of the relevant parts you should review before signing up for the study are (click on links below):

1) What is Vipassana? 

2) a short video (which needs QuickTime movie player available for free at QuickTime - be sure to uncheck the "sign-up" items to avoid extra spam)

3) The Code of Discipline and

4) Questions & Answers about the Technique

If you are planning to join our study, DO NOT FILL OUT THE ONLINE APPLICATION on the Vipassana Website.  We will do this with you for our specific course.  If you have read over the links above and are interested in participating in the study, please email or call us at the address below.

Food and lodging are provided to the participants.  Participants will need to be able to stay at the retreat for the initial 12 day training.  During the 12 day retreat, you would miss seven and half to eight working days.


 Our next retreats are:
 Sept 19 - Sept 30, 2012
Oct 10 - Oct 21, 2012
(Chestertown, MD)

We are currently recruiting participants for this research study.   If you are interested, and have at least 4 migraines per month, you may contact us at: 

You may also call Dr. Goyal in  General Internal Medicine at (410) 502-8814.  Please remember to provide your full name and phone number so we can initiate the screening process.