Need some stress management too?
Biofeedback and migraines can go hand in hand to reduce stress and prevent attacks. It is commonly used with a guided meditation and is proven to be most effective... for some migraine sufferers but not all.
The good news is that this might be much easier and
more fun than most of the other things you've tried to rid yourself of your relentless, horrific migraines.
However, as in learning anything new, great patience is often needed so you may just have to persevere learning this as an adult.
The good news is that children usually learn to use a biofeedback system much quicker and easier than adults do.
I tried using the temperature biofeedback system to warm my freezing cold hands, but it didn't reduce my terrible migraine pain in any way. I did try another kind again, after I sorted out my medication strategy, called the Wild Divine System that Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and Dean Ornish are involved with.
I highly respect all three of these men and have been following them for years. I had much better results with this system... with some added benefits.
Biofeedback works on the assumption that your body has a “natural potential and ability to influence certain autonomic (involuntary) functions".
Computers and computerized monitors assist you in learning and training yourself to use the programs to change your breath, body temperature and heart rate. I thought it would be impossible.
Once you master the resulting relaxation and mind control - you can use it anywhere and any anytime, with no further need for the equipment. (YAY!)
Here are the three most common types of biofeedback:
Temperature biofeedback – you can hold onto or be attached to a temperature sensor on your finger or toe. When you are stressed out or anxious your skin temperature drops. The blood is redirected to the muscles and inner organs when you are stressed out. The sensor will be attached to a computer, and the computer screen will monitor the changes.
Galvanic skin response – aka “lie detector”. Yes, just like in
the movies, electrodes are attached to your body (skin), a small hardly
detectible electrical charge runs through your skin and registers on the
machine. The machine actually uses the electrodes to measure changes
in your skins secretions (water and salt) from your sweat gland ducts.
This has proven effective in the past as the increased emotions can be
measured through the increase in sweat when under pressure.
Electromyogram (EMG) – This one is used for training us migraineurs how to use a biofeedback system. During training electrodes are placed on muscles in the forehead, jaw, and upper shoulders. You are meant to relax while the machine produces a tone or a light for each muscle group where tension is detected. It takes patience and perseverance.
Your doctor or therapist might want you to have some specific goals for your training sessions, depending on the migraine diagnosis you receive.
My goal, of course, is to be completely migraine free forever. Might that be similar to yours?
Your doctor will be happy if you simply reduce the occurrence of them thus reducing the medications you need to use.
You will have physical goals like:
Other goals/benefits: increased concentration, increased attention span, and increased ability to focus.
Biofeedback is often used along with relaxation training, meditation, and imagery or visualization techniques.
One goal I didn't mention is the time you need to put into training. Just like meditation, 20 minutes twice every day is a good maintenance routine to work towards.
Some doctors will recommend three, ten minute sessions each day until you have results.
Other systems I have found that also work well are: the emWave2 personal stress reduction system and the TENS units. I think the tens machines are similar to biofeedback, but the machine does all the work. I like that.
These have all worked for me, give one a try. I hope you get great results too.
Come over to migraine stories and share your story. Whether it's about biofeedback and migraines or not... sharing help others.
Be well and pain free,
Biofeedback and Migraines Reference: Robert, T. (2005) Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. Harper Collins Publishers: New York. pp. 155-156.
Biofeedback and Migraines: The Goals of Training