Migraine/Headache

Soothing PondMigraines are devastating. They can wipe you out and put you in a dark room for the day…or for days. Many patients try to suffer through them or take powerful medications. Some of the medications have unwanted side-effects that can be alarming by themselves. The side-effects can range from physical discomfort to cognitive decline. Patients often report missed days from work, missed family parties and social gatherings, or just a severely disrupted life in general. Due to the symptoms and effects of migraines, the quality of life is drastically reduced. The addition of a Mind-Body treatment approach may be a solution.

Many decades ago, researchers observed that a significant number of migraineurs also had cold hands. This led to many speculations about the relationship between the cold hands and migraines. Currently, biofeedback is used to help patients with migraines learn to warm their hands. This treatment seems confusing and strange at first. In part the reason it works is simple, however, the psychophysiological mechanisms that underlie how hand temperature is consciously controlled is somewhat complicated. The end result is a very effective reduction or elimination of migraines. During treatment you will learn the what’s and why’s that make this form of biofeedback work, as well as, an effective new cognitive approach to maintaining psychophysiological balance.

StonehengeResearch has demonstrated that patients who combined relaxation and biofeedback had been significantly helped in reducing or eliminating migraine/headache symptoms. Biofeedback has been recognized by most insurance companies* as being effective and most have include it on their list of effective, reimbursable treatments for migraine headaches.

Current research on tension headaches indicate that stress-management training was as effective as tricyclic antidepressants for treating this type of headache. Mind-Body therapies for medical conditions should always be considered as an adjunctive treatment to standard care. Much like coronary artery disease and hypertension, the addition of a Mind-Body therapy to standard care is the most prudent approach and should lead to the improved quality of life you are looking for. Feel free to call me for more information. I am happy to contact your physician as well to explain how adjunctive treatment with Mind-Body therapy can provide a powerful result.

Tension headaches respond well to Mind-Body therapies as well. Recent research indicates that Mind-Body therapies are significantly effective across all headache types and outcomes. Biofeedback treatment has been very successful at reducing muscle tension contributing to tension headaches. Surprisingly, most adults are unaware of how much unnecessary muscle tension they hold in their bodies. With a combination of Biofeedback and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, headache frequency and severity has been shown to be reduced. Biofeedback is used to monitor muscle tension and teach patients to consciously reduce tension, while Cognitive Behavioral Therapy compliments the Biofeedback by targeting specific stressors and behaviors that contribute to holding onto tension. The combination provides a powerful tool for relieving headaches.

Call Dr. Seay to learn more about how to reduce your headaches and return to a more balanced life.

*Insurance companies have their own medical criteria for treatments, so check your insurance company’s coverage.