Alternative Treatments

Biofeedback

BIOFEEDBACK THERAPY FOR MIGRAINES

Biofeedback (also referred to ask biofeedback training) is a therapeutic technique that implements various bodily sensors to measure stress-related body functions. Via a display monitor, patients can observe how stress affects their body and implement different exercises to control stress-inducing bodily reactions, thus relieving tension and enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal.

HOW DOES BIOFEEDBACK WORK?

Biofeedback works by encouraging relaxation. During a biofeedback session, tiny electrodes are placed on the surface of your skin. Finger sensors may also be used. Each electrode or sensor will collect data regarding your body’s realtime function and relay that data to a monitor, which will communicate findings to the patient via sound, flashing light or imagery that represents heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and muscle activity.

HOW IS BIOFEEDBACK USED FOR MIGRAINES?

Muscle tension and stress can contribute to the onset of a migraine attack. As stress elevates, body functions change. Heart rate may increase, muscles may become tense, blood pressure becomes elevated and breathing may quicken – the likes of which, the patient will be able to see during a biofeedback session.

To combat the cascade of changes that occur as stress develops, a trained biofeedback therapist will teach the patient different stress reduction exercises. The patient will practice these exercises while connected to a biofeedback monitor, and will receive immediate feedback on whether efforts are successful, thus training the patient to become more aware of their ability to over-ride the body functions that contribute to stress, tension and eventually migraine pain.

Biofeedback therapy is scheduled in 30-minutes sessions and may require 10 to 20 sessions before experiencing the benefits of the training.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

Because biofeedback doesn’t actually alter anything about the body, it is considered a safe treatment option with almost no serious side effects. However, one type of biofeedback called electroencephalogram (EEG) has been known to cause headaches, tiredness and dizziness in some patients.

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR BIOFEEDBACK?

Individuals interested in being an active participant in their pain relief make ideal candidates for biofeedback therapy, as the technique requires commitment and practice to achieve results.

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