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Migraine Program at Center for Brain

If medical intervention hasn’t helped your migraine headaches or you’d like to discontinue or avoid using medication, neurofeedback could be your answer. Neurofeedback training is very helpful for reducing both the frequency and the intensity of migraines. By balancing the brain so it operates better, headaches go away, occur less frequently or are less intense.

A Client’s Experience with Neurofeedback

In addition to using neurofeedback, we also help patients look carefully at other factors that may contribute to migraines and headaches like diet and lifestyle. We find that this combination approach, often not employed by MDs with their patients, can be highly effective.

Neurofeedback & Migraines

Play Videohis ABC News story features how neurofeedback training is helping migraine sufferers reduce, and even eliminate, their migraines. Improvement rates cited in this video are reported to be 85%–90%.

 

> Click here for two other case examples (below)

New Study published on migraines: Significant reduction in migraines using neurofeedback

In the migraine study referenced below, 62% of participants using neurofeedback reported major or total improvement in their migraines.

Per the study, most patients had long histories of migraines and had tried multiple pharmaceutical treatments prior to trying neurofeedback. Most were on medications during the study. Participants took part in an average of 40 sessions over six months.

Seventy percent of the 37 participants showed a 50% or greater reduction in the frequency of their migraines, and only 16% failed to improve at all. Of those who improved, 62% reported major or total improvement in their migraines.

What’s significant here is that all patients in the study had been on medications for years but still suffered from severe migraines. The migraines these patients were experiencing were some of the toughest to resolve.

Other symptoms also improved

In addition to migraine improvement, many of these patients also experienced improvements in over 50% of non-targeted symptoms such as in anxiety, depression, focus and sleep.

Based on these results – and on clinical experience from clinicians around the country – neurofeedback offers the potential for significant relief for anyone still struggling with migraines.

The study was entitled “Neurofeedback and Biofeedback with 37 Migraineurs: a clinical outcome study” by Deborah Stokes, Ph.D. and Martha Lappin published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Function. > Access the study online.

Case Examples

Alex: 25 years of migraines

Alex, a 50-year-old man, struggled for 25 years with migraines and OCD. The migraines were often crippling and contributed to a feeling of constantly being tired and very unproductive.  He was unconvinced that neurofeedback could help him, because the results were not instant.  After doing neurofeedback for several sessions, he became resistant and wanted to quit.  He didn’t see how neurofeedback could possibly help. His mother (in her 80’s) continued to encourage him to come. With her help and our encouragement, he kept on. After the 8th session, he noticed some slight improvement in his migraines and improved sleep.  By session 15, he was seeing consistent improvements in reducing the number and intensity of migraines. Then he came on his own. We did 25 sessions with him before he stopped coming, because he began working more (and getting more done). After he stopped, we periodically talked with him.  He reported that so far (some months post treatment), he had had no resumption of migraines. He noted having a few headaches, but he said they were “normal headaches – like normal people. I can handle them with no problem.” Note: his OCD improved tremendously as well.  He stated: “I still have it (OCD), but it no longer gets in my way.” Since using neurofeedback and experiencing these results, he told us: “I cannot imagine why anyone would use medications once they learn about neurofeedback.”

Jeff: 30 years of migraines

A retired chiropractor (a friend of Michael Cohen, the director) had suffered from migraines for 30 years. One evening he got a severe migraine and called Mike at 10:30 p.m. in excruciating pain. He was considering going to the hospital. He reported when this level of migraine occurred, there was no way to stop it for many hours. Mike had a neurofeedback unit at home, so he took it to Jeff’s house and used it on Jeff while Jeff was in bed. In about 15 minutes Jeff noticed a small improvement in pain. By the end of 25 minutes, Jeff reported his pain had gone from a 10 to a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.  After the training stopped, he reported 5 minutes later the pain had dropped to a level 1. He said he could not believe it was possible to stop a migraine like that in such a short time – and for it simply to be virtually gone.

Training a migraine away while it’s occurring is a bonus but isn’t the goal

Training away a migraine in progress is not an isolated incident. In fact, it’s common to stop a migraine in progress if the sufferer can come in while they’re having one.

The goal of neurofeedback, however, is to reduce, on an ongoing basis, the number and intensity of migraines.

We encourage you to talk with us at Center for Brain to discuss your individual situation and allow us to answer questions about how our program could be helpful. Please call us at 561-744-7616 or fill out the contact form and submit it to us.

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