Headaches are a part of life, but migraines don’t have to be. Many of us suffer from the effects of migraines in darkness, literally: sensitivity to light is a major symptom. Migraines can affect everything from our work to our family life, and last for up to 72 hours. While they aren’t life-threatening, the pain caused by a migraine can severely impact daily activities.
How do you know whether what you’re experiencing is a migraine or not? Aside from the obvious intensity and severity, there are other symptoms associated with migraine:
- pain behind one eye or ear
- pain in the temples
- seeing spots or flashing lights
- sensitivity to light and/or sound
- temporary vision loss
Treatment for migraine usually starts with over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. If migraines persist or worsen over time, stronger pain medications may be prescribed by a primary care physician. However, people who suffer from frequent migraines report that pain medication often does not help and they search for alternative therapies. This is where neurofeedback comes in.
Did you know?
According to Statistics Canada, an estimated 8.3% of Canadians (2.7 million) reported that they had been diagnosed with migraine by a health professional. Women were more likely than men to report migraine: 11.8% versus 4.7%. Finally, migraine prevalence was highest among people in their 30s and 40s.
How can Neurotherapy help?
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free way to treat migraine symptoms at the root: in the brain itself. Think of it as a training session for your brain, teaching it how to respond to stimulus in a more positive way. A key to reducing migraines is to reduce stress, and by learning what stress triggers are affecting your brain waves, you will be given the tools to “re-train” the way that your brain reacts. In concert with a treatment plan from your doctor, neurofeedback can help you leave debilitating migraines in the dark.
RESEARCH ON PIR HEG NEUROFEEDBACK & MIGRAINES
In this study, 100 migraine sufferers were treated using Passive Infrared Hemoencephalography (pIR HEG) over a period of four years. pIR HEG appears to have a strong impact on migraine headaches, even for people who have not had a positive response to medication. Headache response by the end of 6 sessions appears to be a good predictor of probability of improvement.
Carmen, J. A. (2004), Passive Infrared Hemoencephalography: Four Years and 100 Migraines. Journal of Neurotherapy, 8 (3), 23-51.